Thursday 1 January 2009 to Saturday 31 December 2011

African Australian Communities

A review of human rights and social inclusion experiences of African Australian communities was released by Race Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes AM in Melbourne 18 June 2010. In Our Own Words – African Australians: A review of human rights and social inclusion issues documents the results of three years of consultation with African Australian communities around the country. This initiative was part of the suite of the Community Partnership for Human Rights (CPHR) projects.

In Our Own Words highlights key barriers impeding the settlement of many in African Australian communities mainly in regard to access to the Australian justice system, training and employment, education, health and housing that require specific consideration in relation to policy development, program design, service delivery and resourcing


Views expressed in submissions are the responsibility of their authors. Note that not all submissions made are available on line. Some submissions were marked confidential. In addition, the Commission did not have capacity to publish all hard copy submissions received.

Supplementary documents

A number of additional documents were produced to supplement the main report:

Literature review and background papers

* These background papers were commissioned by the Australian Human Rights Commission, however each paper is an independent piece of research and reflects the views of the individual author only.

Activities following the release of the report

Since the release of the In Our Own Words, the Commission has widely communicated its findings to key stakeholders with the aim of influencing key policy and program changes to address the key issues affecting the settlement of African Australian communities.

The second phase of the Commission’s work in this area sought to facilitate the empowerment of leaders of African communities through human rights education and ongoing systemic advocacy on particular human rights issues facing their communities.

Roundtables were held in Western Sydney (28 July 2011) and Perth (23 September 2011).

The roundtables aimed to:

  • raise awareness of the key human rights issues raised in the In Our Own Words report
  • foster discussion among key stakeholders on human rights issues affecting African Australian communities
  • develop advocacy strategies to address human rights issues affecting African Australian communities.

You can read a report of the roundtable proceedings here.

The Commission has also contributed to the development to the draft Programme of Action for the International Decade for People of African Descent (2013-2023). In March 2012, the Commission provided a response to a questionnaire circulated by the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent that looked at national initiatives taken with regard to the promotion and protection of the rights of people of African descent. You can read the response here.