Recognition and leadership are keys to tackling racism

The National Congress says high level leadership to better inform the attitudes and actions of everyday Australians is key to tackling racism in Australia.

Congress Co-Chair Jody Broun said our parliamentarians must provide an example to the Australian people by rejecting legislation, policies and programs that are racially discriminatory.

“Leadership is needed here – obviously from our political leaders but also from organisations like Congress,” said Ms Broun.

“But it’s also up to all individuals as well, we all have a responsibility.

“Congress works for unity, for our peoples and for all Australians and unity cannot be achieved until racism is overcome.

“As a national representative body we do not tolerate, accept, or condone the use of racism or oppression within our structure.

“Congress welcomes the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the anti-racism strategy and we recognise the effects racist behaviour has on our peoples’ cultural pride and identity as well as on physical and mental health.

 “While there are many forms of racism in Australian society, our peoples have a unique experience of racism driven by the ongoing impact of colonialism and historical disadvantage.

“Congress’s position paper to the National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy recognises these systemic causes of racism and its recommendations go to the heart of this,” she said.

Congress submission includes:

–          The importance of leadership: that political and business leaders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, elite sportspeople or people in the media speak out against racism and offer support for Australia’s diversity. 

–          No diminution of the protections in the Racial Discrimination Act. Congress supports the retention of the racial vilification provisions added to the Act in 1995

–          That the constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples and the removal of racially discriminatory clauses in the constitution are fundamental steps in addressing historical and institutional racism.

–          The importance of education programs in schools, communities and workplaces and specifically highlighting cyber racism

–          The necessity of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in that there is prior and informed consent of First Peoples in the making of laws and policies which affect them, and the embedding human rights standards in legislation.

Congress will work in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission on the soon to be released National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy.

 See the  full submission on our website:

On this page

http://nationalcongress.com.au/policyandadvocacy/

 Direct document download

http://nationalcongress.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/20120603CongressAntiRacismDiscussionPaper.pdf

Contact: Liz Willis 0457 877 408

Liz Willis Media Manager

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

Ph: 02 8070 3100 M: 0457 877 408