Stop, think, respect and put a stop to racism

Reconciliation Australia congratulates Beyond Blue on its new national anti-discrimination campaign which is a timely wake-up call for all Australians to think carefully about their behaviour and the impact it has on others around them.

Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair Dr Tom Calma AO, the former Race Discrimination Commissioner, said all forms of racism should be condemned.

“We know that racism destroys the confidence, self-esteem and health of individuals and in many cases can lead to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples taking their own lives.

“Highlighting the impact of racism on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will, we hope, encourage all Australians to ‘check’ their behaviour,” Dr Calma said.

Racial discrimination has a compounding effect on mental health.  A recent study conducted by the Lowitja Institute, showed an overwhelming majority (97 percent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced racism multiple times.

The campaign Stop, Think, Respect aims to reduce the impact of interpersonal discrimination on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by raising awareness among non-Indigenous people and challenging them to question their own behaviour and expressions of racial discrimination, particularly subtle racism.

Reconciliation Australia was part of a national advisory group to help guide the project’s development.

“At Reconciliation Australia we know that racism undermines efforts to create fair and inclusive communities, breaks down relationships and erodes trust.”

“Racism also perpetuates inequalities and can directly, or indirectly, exclude people from accessing opportunities and reaching their full potential,” Dr Calma said.

“We believe that stronger relationships, built on shared knowledge and respect, are central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people fully participating in the economic and social opportunities enjoyed by the wider community, which is their fundamental right.”

Stop, Think, Respect will run for six weeks across television, digital and outdoor advertising channels. To join the campaign on social media, use #StopThinkRespect or visit for more details.

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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