Australia is a vibrant, multicultural country. We are home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, as well as Australians who identify with more than 270 ancestries. This rich, cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths. It is central to our national identity.
Most new migrants feel a strong sense of belonging to Australia, a feeling that deepens over time. However, the reality is that too many individuals and communities in Australia experience prejudice, discrimination and racism on a regular basis.
Racism can have serious consequences for the people who experience it. It can shatter their confidence and their sense of worth. It can undermine their ability to perform at work or in their studies. It can also affect their physical health and life expectancy. More broadly, racism locks people out of social and economic opportunities, entrenching disadvantage. It adds unnecessary costs to our workplaces and our economy and it works against our goal of building a fair, inclusive community.
Ultimately, racism hurts us all.
The National Anti-Racism Strategy is about working together to take action against racism, in all its different forms, wherever we see or experience it.
In 2011, the Australian Government committed to develop and implement the National Anti-Racism Strategy for Australia. The Strategy was launched in 2012. In 2015, it was extended for a further three years. It focuses on public awareness, education resources and youth engagement and is be underpinned by research, consultation and evaluation.
The aim of the National Anti-Racism Strategy is to promote a clear understanding in the Australian community of what racism is, and how it can be prevented and reduced.
This aim is achieved through three objectives:
- create awareness of racism and how it affects individuals and the broader community
- identify, promote and build on good practice initiatives to prevent and reduce racism, and
- empower communities and individuals to take action to prevent and reduce racism and to seek redress when it occurs.
The primary awareness raising and engagement activity within the Strategy is the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign.
The Campaign aims to:
- Ensure more Australians recognise that racism is unacceptable in our community
- Give more Australians the tools & resources to take practical action against racism
- Empower individuals & organisations to prevent & respond effectively to racism
All across Australia, there are people and organisations doing great things to reduce and prevent racism. This campaign isn’t about reinventing the wheel: we want to learn from past achievements and challenges. Our consultations have told us that it’s often the people working on the ground within local communities or specific environments who have the best understanding of the issues and ideas of how to overcome them. We believe that the most effective way to make a difference in the incidence of racism is to encourage and coordinate these efforts.
The campaign will:
- Ask organisations to commit to the campaign and develop their own anti-racism activities
- Ask individuals to become part of a community of people who are committed to leading by example
- Offer advice and assistance to supporters in implementing their anti-racism activities
- Provide a central coordination point for activities happening across Australia
- Develop materials to assist in the promotion of anti-racism messages
- Develop education tools for a range of audiences
- Share good practice examples for others to learn from and build on
- Facilitate linkages and partnerships between our supporter organisations.
By doing this, we hope to create a culture where people are able to identify racism and have the confidence and tools to act appropriately when it does occur.
For translated summaries of the National Anti-Racism Strategy please see the Racism. It Stops With Me website.