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SA signs up to national anti-racism campaign

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South Australia became the first state to sign up to the National Anti-Racism Strategy on 10th December - World Human Rights Day.

South Australia's Premier Jay Weatherill committed SA to the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign which encourages all Australians to take a stand against racism.

The campaign is driven in South Australia by the Equal Opportunity Commission and the signing was the culmination of six months’ work and discussion with public sector agencies.

Jay Weatherill signs up to campaign

The event was attended by the Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommansane, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Mr Hieu Van Le, Commissioner for South Australian Police, Gary Burns, the Honourable Dr Robyn Layton, AO QC, Professor Roger Thomas, and a number of heads of government departments.

In her introduction, Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Anne Gale said, "Whilst we live in a culturally diverse South Australia, racism is still experienced by Aboriginal people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, in employment and in receiving goods and services.  And whilst, in the main, we live in harmony, there is still work to be done to strive toward having no racial discrimination complaints in our state".

Speaking about racism, Mr Weatherill said, "We know of course what it means for people, it does rob them of their dignity. It hurts people and basically it's a justice that must be remedied”.

Professor Roger Thomas said racism is particularly prominent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with 75% stating that they have experienced racism.

Speaking about her experiences of racism, Manal Younus, International Relations student at the University of South Australia, said, "When we hear and see racism we must actively decide that we will not participate. This might, in some situations, mean standing out and speaking against it. In others it might just be not compromising who we are or what we want in order to appease others".

Almost a quarter of complaints made to the Equal Opportunity Commission last year related to race discrimination.

200 organisations and 1000 individuals have pledged their support for the campaign.

Anne Gale Jay Weatherill
Tim Soutphommansane Roger Thomas
Manal Younus group shot
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