“Public debate about the Racial Discrimination Act is unlikely to abate any time soon. But we hope discussion of the Act is based on an accurate understanding of what it means and how it operates. And we hope our society will remain committed to racial tolerance, non-discrimination and equality,” writes Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane in the Law Society Journal.
Federal racial hatred legislation and the complaints-handling processes of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) are currently the subjects of an inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Committee’s ‘Freedom of speech in Australia’ inquiry, due to report by 28 February 2017, is giving particular attention to sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Speech given at the 2nd Annual Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture, University of Technology Sydney
Next Monday, 31 October, we will mark the 41st anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act coming into effect.
The Act is Australian society’s official statement against racial discrimination. It has been the foundation of racial equality and the legislative expression of Australian multiculturalism.
Speech given at the Herbert and Valmae Freilich Foundation's Annual Lecture in Bigotry and Intolerance, Australian National University
Debates about racism in Australia are always contentious. Today, we are regularly confronted with contests about what counts as racism and how we can best respond to it. It is timely, then, that the Freilich Foundation has convened this forum. And even more appropriate that it has returned to first principles in asking, ‘How do we define racism in modern Australia?’
Speech given at The Festival of Democracy, The University of Sydney
From whence do prophets come? Many of you will know of the 1976 film, Network. In the film’s most famous scene, news anchor Howard Beale launches into an extended tirade.
The idea of the recent Harmony Walk is based on a simple proposition: that people, from all backgrounds, can walk in solidarity. It's a simple proposition, yet a challenging task. Because solidarity requires compassion. Before we can walk with someone, we may first need to walk in their shoes. Doing this can be easy when you share a lot in common. But when you have little in common with someone, stepping into their shoes involves less a step and more a leap; an imaginative leap.
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Speech to UTS Human Rights Awards Night
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, and the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, congratulate beyondblue for a new campaign highlighting the insidious nature of racial discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Invisible Discriminator shows the devastating psychological effect that subtle racism has on Indigenous Australians.
The Commission welcomes today’s release by the Attorney-General of the exposure draft on changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
There was an increase in complaints received by the Commission under the Racial Discrimination Act in the previous financial year, with a significant increase in complaints relating to material on the internet.
“The RDA provides a vital protection against racism and vilification in the community. The Commission reiterates the importance of ensuring effective protections exist,” said President Triggs.
An edited version of the Alice Tay Lecture in Law and Human Rights 2014.