Wednesday, May 29, 2024

City of Casey adopts anti-racism roadmap

Victoria’s City of Casey Council has developed an anti-racism roadmap to understand how reporting and support services for people who have experienced racism can be strengthened. 

Launched in partnership with City of Greater Dandenong Council and Victoria University (VU), the research project behind the Anti-racism Report involved 18 months of community consultation and engagement to examine reporting barriers for people who experience racism in the community.   

Despite ongoing efforts to tackle discrimination and racism in Victoria, many ethnic, cultural and religious minority communities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continue to experience stigmatisation, marginalisation, harassment and abuse because of their identity, Council said in a statement today.

The research found:  

  • more than three-out-of-five participants or their families had experienced racism in the previous 12 months, mainly at work, when shopping, or at school;
  • common forms of racism were microaggressions, insults, unfair treatment, or physical threats;
  • four-out-of-five respondents who experienced racism did not report it because they didn’t think it would change anything; didn’t know where to go; had language barriers; didn’t trust existing services; or were concerned about negative backlash;
  • the motivations for those who did report their experiences were to raise awareness about racism; get legal assistance; or find emotional or psychological support;
  • most participants who reported racist incidents were disappointed with their experience and outcome;
  • participants said they would be more likely to report racism if reporting and support services were offered by organisations they trusted, were better qualified to respond, more culturally-sensitive, and offered advocacy and empathy instead of a bureaucratic reporting procedure. 

The report provides a range of recommendations to improve support services and networks for those who have experienced racism.  

City of Casey Council Chair of Administrators, Noelene Duff PSM, welcomed the report and noted Council’s commitment to supporting those who experience racism.  

“International and emerging national research shows that those who experience racism often do not know where to turn to for support and refrain, for various reasons, from even reporting what they have experienced,” said Ms Duff. 

“This can further aggravate their sense of disempowerment and have severe long-term effects on their sense of belonging and mental health – which has negative implications for society at large. 

“This report provides a roadmap towards improving reporting and response systems to racism across Melbourne’s Southeast, so we can better support those who experience it. This includes establishing a local community-led anti-racism support network.” 

The recommendations aim to improve the under-reporting of racism which makes it impossible to understand the actual scope and specific nature of prejudice-motivated incidents in society and hampers the development of effective measures and initiatives to counter these forms of exclusion and discrimination. 

The report can be viewed on Victoria University’s website. 

Latest Articles