Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner has welcomed the federal budget announcement that $7.5 million over 4 years will be provided to the Australian Human Rights Commission to develop a national strategy to tackle racism and promote racial equality in Australia.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan welcomed the funding and said: “When Australia is experiencing rising rates of anti-Asian racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia and racist extremism, funding for the Commission to develop a coordinated national strategy to tackle racism and build a more equal, just and fair Australia is timely and welcome.
“The funding will enable the Commission to develop and deliver a national anti-racism framework and focus on anti-racism initiatives including solutions to measure the prevalence and severity of racism, and build the capacity of all sectors of government, community and institutions to tackle racism at a systemic level. It also means the Commission can expand its national Racism. It Stops With Me campaign aimed at raising community awareness about anti-racism.
“I commend the commitment of the Attorney-General and the Government to taking action on racism and promoting anti-racist initiatives.”
A key component of a National Anti-Racism Strategy, is a framework to guide actions on anti-racism across government, private and community sectors. The Commission called for such a framework in March 2021 in response to heightened racism in Australia and across the globe in recent years, including racism arising within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Tan said, “following an initial scoping phase for a framework, this funding will now allow us to engage in nationwide community- consultations to ensure the final national anti-racism framework reflects community priorities, and draws on community strengths, knowledge, and expertise."
“Most notably, the lived experiences of First Nations people will be a priority focus in the Commission’s anti-racism work and initiatives," Commissioner Tan said.