STAR Header

Racism and Discrimination are Illegal in Australia

Racist and discriminatory talk is actually illegal in most states of Australia. Racist action such as discriminatory treatment is unethical and illegal.

We believe that the having a lot of health students and staff wearing STAR badges and stickers will contribute to squeezing racism out.

Supporting the Target

If you have witnessed racism directed at an individual or their family, sometimes it is best to politely speak out about this at the time.

However, some people who are targets of racism might feel uncomfortable about this of even feel like you are putting your nose into their business, even making it worse. So you need to be sensitive about this.

But you can also show your support to the targets of racism by:

  • Going back after the event and saying to them “I am sorry you had to see / hear that”.
  • Ask “Is there something you would like to do about it?”
  • Offer to get the Indigenous Liaison Officer to come and see them
  • Tell them who their allies are - So and so are good people who are on your side

And a gentle touch of the hand and a smile can show that you are with the targets – and that can count for a lot.

Racism that has gone much too far:

If you think it needs to be managed beyond your immediate response you can:

  • Talk with the target of racism or their family and ask if they would like to report it or if they would like you to report it
  • Discriminatory health management is unethical and unprofessional and could possibly be reported to an organisation’s ethics or clinical governance group
  • Most state health departments have a complaints department.
  • You can go to the State anti-discrimination agencies of even the Australian Human Rights Commission (https://www.humanrights.gov.au/)