The National Anti-Racism Strategy was launched in August 2012 for an initial period of three years. Its objectives were to raise awareness of racism and its effects, promote initiatives that prevent and reduce racism, and empower communities to take action to prevent and reduce racism. In 2015, it was extended for a further three years.
The Strategy is a partnership-based strategy, involving government departments and a number of non-government organisations. I thank all of our partners for their work over the last three years: the Attorney-General's Department, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Social Services, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, Australian Multicultural Council, Migration Council Australia, Department of Human Services, Reconciliation Australia, and the Australian Sports Commission.
I would also like to thank the campaign supporters of Racism. It Stops with Me. As of August 2018, there are more than 370 organisations that are supporters of the campaign. Some of them were interviewed in the preparation of this report.
Since 2015, race has dominated headlines and driven public debates in a way that many would not have anticipated when the National Anti-Racism Strategy was last evaluated. Globally, the rise of anti-immigrant populism has fuelled racism. Australia has not been immune from this. While our multicultural consensus remains strong, it has been challenged by some.
The project and campaign work of the Strategy has only grown in importance and urgency. Our recent community service announcements were the most successful videos of the Strategy so far, receiving 1.6 million views on social media (and were also shown on ABC, SBS and Ten). Project work on early childhood resources, inclusion in sport, community inclusion, youth anti-racism advocacy and institutional racism has started new conversations and empowered more people than ever to take action to prevent or reduce racism in our community.
This report reviews and evaluates the Strategy, including the Racism. It Stops with Me campaign. It provides an overview of the state of play on race in Australia, and documents our work since June 2015.
There have been many proud achievements from the past six years of the Strategy. The Strategy has been a success. But there is clearly much more that remains to be done, and an opportunity to renew anti-racism interventions. I hope that this report provides some guidance to future efforts, and wish the next Race Discrimination Commissioner every success in their work on anti-racism.
Dr Tim Soutphommasane
Race Discrimination Commissioner
13 August 2018