Established in April 2012 by All Together Now, Phase 1 of the One Parramatta project provided young adults with information about how to speak up when they witness racism and encourage them to reflect on their behaviour towards people of different races, ethnicities and cultures.
Our primary demographic was 18-25 year old males living and working in the Parramatta local government area; however we knew that this campaign would reach far beyond this group.
All Together Now filmed interviews with people on the streets of Parramatta by asking them questions about values, racism and the benefits of cultural diversity. We knew that people would give the first answer that would come into their head while answering to camera, but that many of them would then go away and think further about their answers. This self-reflection was key to the project as it is in that moment where there is potential for behaviour change to develop depending on the individual’s prior experiences of racism and capacity for honest self-reflection.
We edited seven one-minute voxpop episodes created from the interviews, and screened them at Parramatta cinema. Each episode was shown for seven weeks and then swapped for the next episode, totalling a 12-month advertising campaign.
Did it Work?
The project has provided young people with information about how to speak up when they witness racism in the community and encourage them to reflect on their behaviour towards people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
Nearly 46,500 locals watched a One Parramatta film at the cinema, and an additional 5,500 people visited the One Parramatta website.
During surveys we conducted in the foyer of Parramatta cinema, 100% of people were able to remember the message, a quote or statistic two or more hours later (i.e. after watching the feature film). Everybody surveyed was very positive about the films and gave feedback like:
- • “good perspective”,
- • “thought-provoking”,
- • “very good concept”,
- • “challenging and genuine”
Among the more insightful feedback from the foyer survey included these quotes:
“I really like this initiative. We all have to learn about different people and different cultures. All as in everyone, not just the majority group(s).”
“I was happy someone took action and stood up for people in our society who are treated this way. There is no place for racism in our society!”
We asked our website visitors to fill in an online survey. As a result of watching an episode of One Parramatta at the cinema:
- • 80% of survey respondents said they understand racism more
- • 85% of survey respondents said they are more likely to be welcoming of other cultures.
Success was measured by an increase in the number of people who:
- • understand what racism is better than they did previously;
- • feel more confident about speaking up when they witness racism; and
- • have not directed a racial slur towards somebody else since participating in this project.
These three factors together mean that we have increased racial literacy among our target audience. The people who attended our focus groups demonstrated this with quotes like:
“I was interviewed at the NAIDOC Festival in Parramatta. And the person who interviewed me asked me: “If I have ever fought racism”. And I realized that I have never thought of that before. And then I realized that I should/could fight. I remember that for days after the interview, I kept thinking of this question. And yes, I realized that I have the right to fight.”
“I have a friend and we’ve been playing squash together for 15 years. Except that he kept calling me Bruce Lee. The fact of being involved for One Parramatta and All Together Now helped me be more conscious about everyday racism. And I finally found the courage to tell my friend to stop and that it wasn’t funny at all.”