Racism remains a barrier to reconciliation

 In Five Dimensions, News

“Our Australian Reconciliation Barometer findings show that in the six months prior to the survey, 46 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, experienced at least one form of racial prejudice,” said Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mr Justin Mohamed.

“This is up from 39 percent in 2014, and is two and a half times higher than an Australian from the general community, of whom only 18 percent had had such experiences,” he said.

The Australian Reconciliation Barometer is a national research study conducted every two years to measure and compare attitudes and perceptions towards reconciliation in both the general Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Other key findings of the survey reveal that:

  • Many Australians (57% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and 39% Australians in the general Australian community) agree Australia is a racist country.
  • Almost half (46%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians say they trust other Australians, but only 1 in 5 (19%) of the general Australian community think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians trust them.
  • Almost all Australians (97% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and 89% Australians in the general community) believe the relationship is important.
  • Most Australians agree that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are important to Australia’s national identity (93% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and 77% Australians in the general community).

“What we’re seeing since the first survey in 2008 just after the National Apology to Stolen Generations is that whilst we’ve maintained a lot of goodwill since then, we aren’t moving fast enough on issues of racism and trust. This is holding all Australians back from having positive relationships with each other,” Mr. Mohamed added.

“Part of the problem that our State of Reconciliation in Australia report uncovered last year is that we aren’t addressing racism at an institutional level. Attempts to weaken legal protections under the Racial Discrimination Act are ongoing; Australia is yet to implement its international obligations under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Australian Constitution still allows for racial discrimination in our nation’s founding document.”

“The reality is, that unless goodwill is followed through with significant reform at an institutional level, Australia will continue to fall short of its full potential as a reconciled nation.”

To read more, view the overview brochure and full report on survey findings.

– ENDS –

Media enquiries
Thursday morning, 9 February:                                              All other times:

Mayrah Sonter                                                                        Reconciliation Australia

0405 834 016                                                                          0458 722 608
mayrah@33creative.com.au                                                  media@reconciliation.org.au

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