One in five people living in Australia have experienced racist abuse

  • During the past year, 1 in 5 people living in Australia was a target of racial discrimination (around 4.6 million people). This is an increase from 1 in 8 the previous year (Source).
  • 1 in 5 people living in Australia has been a target of verbal racial abuse (Source). Verbal abuse is the most common form of racism (Source).
  • Nearly half of all Australian residents from a culturally and linguistically diverse background have experienced racism at some time in their life (Source).
  • 7 in 10 teenagers have experienced racism (Source).
  • 3 in 4 Indigenous Australians regularly experience racism (Source).

Denial of racism in Australia

Australia has a culture of denial when it comes to racism. We’ve created an infographic to explain this simply. It is based on the findings in the report Denial of racism and its implication for location action by Jacqueline Nelson, University of Western Sydney, 2013.

Denial of racism in Australia perpetuates racist behaviour (Source). Speaking up reduces racism by helping perpetrators understand that their views are in the minority (Source), making them less likely to engage in prejudice and stereotyping behaviour (Source).

Half of us are positive about cultural diversity

  • While five in ten of us are positive about cultural diversity, four in ten are ambivalent about cultural diversity. One in ten have racist attitudes (Source).
  • One in seven people living in Australia are against the concept of multiculturalism (Source).
  • Three in ten people do not believe that immigrants make Australia stronger (Source), and one in three believe there are some cultural groups that do not belong in Australia (Source: VicHealth 2007).

How does racism in Australia affect us?

Cross-cultural tension affects everybody in our society.

A range of health problems including high blood pressure and heart disease, depression, anxiety, low birth rate and premature birth can all be caused directly by people’s personal experiences of racism (Source).

It also affects people’s employment and housing opportunities. For example, to get as many job interviews as an Anglo applicant, an Indigenous person must submit 35% more applications, a Chinese person 68% more, an Italian person 12% more, and a Middle Eastern person 64% more applications (Source).

Racism can lead to violence, as seen in Melbourne and Sydney during the past decade.

The Tourism Forecasting Committee says the number of Indians applying for student visas to Australia has plummeted by 46% due to racially-motivated attacks. This is a potential economic loss to Australia of up to $78 million.

A solution to racism in Australia

Most people know the solution to gender inequality requires both males and females to take action. Similarly, the solution to race inequality requires commitment and participation by everyone regardless of their cultural origin.
This goal is achievable by working on both a local and national scale, in a range of settings, simultaneously.

All Together Now’s contribution is to create innovative, evidence-based, and and effective social marketing aimed at preventing racism.