: Blog

Awarded prestigious Churchill Fellowship

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) provides an opportunity for Australians to travel overseas to conduct research in their chosen field that is not readily available in Australia. It also aims to reward proven achievement of talented and deserving Australians with further opportunity in their pursuit of excellence for the enrichment of Australian society.

Churchill award presentation

Priscilla Brice-Weller awarded a Churchill Fellowship at NSW Government House.

In July 2013 I was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship for my proposal to research the factors which make non-profit racism prevention initiatives effective. Over six weeks I plan to visit organisations in Poland, Belgium, France, England and the USA.

There are a lot of antiracism initiatives in these countries, particularly England and the USA. To narrow down the field I will specifically be investigating organisations which, like All Together Now, are:

  • not for profit (ruling out government and corporate-sponsored antiracism activities);
  • secular and not ethnic-specific (ruling out membership-based initiatives including those based on religion or ethnicity and instead preferencing initiatives which take a whole-of-population approach);
  • nonpartisan (ruling out those initiatives designed to counter racist political parties);
  • taking a big-picture, national focus to racism prevention (rather than a community-focussed approach, as there are some excellent examples of these in Australia already such as LEAD); and
  • successfully increasing awareness, attitude change and behaviour change among adults (which rules out those organisations providing social support, school education initiatives, etc. Using the word “successfully” suggests that they measure their social impact).

This is not to say that the approaches I’m ruling out don’t have any benefit to racism prevention, but rather that I sought other initiatives that were most like All Together Now in their approach. It also leaves a lot of scope for other people to apply for Churchill Fellowships to study racism prevention in the future (hint hint fellow antiracists!).

This list still leaves us with at least 20 effective organisations and programs, among them some of the most highly-regarded and well-known racism prevention initiatives in the world. I will be contacting some of these in the coming months.

When I return home from my trip in mid-2014 I will begin to apply what I learn to All Together Now’s work so that our racism prevention programs are even more effective.

This is a huge opportunity, not only for me personally, but for antiracism practice in Australia. Having searched the Churchill archives I wasn’t able to find a single Fellow who had investigated racism prevention among adults in previous years, meaning that the value of this trip is potentially a massive first step for Australia. I’m so grateful to the WCMT for trusting and enabling me to carry out this important work!

Please stay tuned to this blog over the next year to read about who I’ll be visiting, what I learn and how All Together Now’s work improves as a result.