Reconciliation Australia joins fight to end racism
Melbourne: Reconciliation Australia has joined forces with some of Australia’s leading community organisations, businesses and government agencies to support the Racism. It stops with me. campaign.
The new national anti-racism campaign aims to increase understanding of the damaging impact of racism and give Australians the tools and resources to take action when they see or experience racism in schools, workplaces and communities.
Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair, and former Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tom Calma said racism was a significant obstacle to achieving a reconciled Australia and commended the Australian Human Rights Commission for taking the lead in this campaign.
“Raising the issue of racism is uncomfortable for many Australians—and is even resented—but the reality is it affects so many Australians every single day.
“We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians continue to experience high levels of direct and indirect racism and I think it’s time to have some tough conversations, to really stop and think about how we can all work together to address this serious issue,” Dr Calma said.
According to the Australian Reconciliation Barometer, 93 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were surveyed believed that the levels of prejudice towards them are ‘very high’ or ‘fairly high’.
At the launch event in Melbourne Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair Ms Melinda Cilento said at its core, racism reflects a lack of understanding and respect for another person’s culture.
“Racism locks people out of social and economic opportunities; it also damages relationships.
“Stronger relationships, built on shared knowledge and respect, are a key part of reducing the level of racism experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which is why Reconciliation Australia supports this campaign,” Ms Cilento said.
Almost 350 organisations around Australia are working through their Reconciliation Action Plans to build respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Reconciliation Australia encourages all Australians to get behind the Racism. It stops with me. campaign.