Reconciliation Australia joins fight to end racism

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.

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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