Reconciliation NSW, through its amplification of First Nations voices, truth-telling, education, and active anti-racism campaigning, is committed to the fight against racism in NSW.
During the recent referendum campaign for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, overt racism, misinformation, and the deficit discourse around Indigenous peoples became acutely apparent in media, and reports of racism directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples increased in staggering numbers. The need for truth-telling about racism in our communities is urgent. Australia has a deeply embedded history of racism, which persists through the institutions and structures that shape our society.
As allies, we have a responsibility to actively educate the people of NSW and combat racism through truth-telling and calling it out. We must not remain passive to the many ways it presents in our communities and causes harm to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, organisations, and families.
It is a fundamental human right that all people live free of racial discrimination; yet despite this, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Peoples of this continent, continue to live with prejudice rhetoric and overt racism from the wider Australian community. As mistruths and misrepresentations in mainstream media, social media, and education institutions further perpetuate discrimination and marginalisation, there must be accountability and structural reforms.
According to the 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer (ABR) 57% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents agree that Australia is a racist country and 60% have experienced some form of racial discrimination. This number is alarmingly high and could be much higher, as many incidents of racial discrimination against First Nations people go unreported.
We need to do better as a nation, and this starts with grass-roots initiatives to educate the people of NSW.
Reconciliation NSW asks our supporters, members and fellow allies to continue on this journey of reconciliation, that at its core, is fighting against racism and discrimination, and to continue our calls and efforts for equity and social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Reconciliation NSW Anti-Racism Toolkit:
Factsheet 1. Racial Literacy
Factsheet 2. Allyship
Reconciliation NSW has collated an extensive list of resources and educational materials on racism to be used by schools, organisations and individuals, covering the topics of:
- Cultural Capability
- Understanding Racism
- Impact of Racism on Health and Wellbeing
- A National Anti-Racism famework
- Countering Racism
- Addressing Racism in Schools
- Classroom Resources for Teachers
- Videos, Media and Podcasts
Other useful initiatives to help allies learn about forms of racism and educate others:
The Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Racism it stops with me’ campaign.
Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education – supporting schools and early learning centres to embed reconciliation and teach pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledges, and perspectives.
The ‘Call it Out’ racism register. An online form where both First Nations and non-Indigenous people can report incidents of racism they witness or experience against First Nations people.
Gari Yala (Speak the Truth): Centreing the Work Experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians, Diversity Council Australia/Jumbunna Institute, 2020.