During 2014 and 2015 a trial was piloted in Northern Melbourne (City of Yarra, Darebin and Whittlesea) and Shepparton, allowing Aboriginal community members to report any incident of race discrimination including:
- street-based harassment or vilification
- refusal of or bad service in a shop because of race
- discrimination at work
- complaints about how the police have treated them.
In all, we received 54 reports through the trial. Of these, 15 were from the trial regions, and 38 were from other parts of Victoria. Reporting Places took nine of these reports, with the remainder being made directly to the Commission (by email, over the phone or online). We received 25 reports of racism towards Aboriginal people, and the remaining 29 reports were about racism towards non-Aboriginal people.
We recognise that the number of reports the trial received does not tell the whole story of what Report Racism means for the Aboriginal community. For this reason, we contracted an independent consultant, Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting, to evaluate Report Racism. Their findings tell us that while the initiative has been well received by community members, significant barriers continue to prevent the Aboriginal community from reporting racism. These barriers include the historical distrust of government organisations and police, concerns about confidentiality and a perception that nothing will change. The Report Racism trial: Outcomes report, available below, includes more information about the trial and the evaluation findings.
The Commission remains committed as always to the core objectives of Report Racism, and will continue to work to overcome the barriers that prevent people from reporting racism. However, we know that the model we have trialled is highly resource-intensive, and that we would not be able to support this model with the Commission’s current resources.
This means that we need to find a sustainable model for Report Racism. We have already had some great suggestions for what this would look like, and want to talk with interested Aboriginal community members and also people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and organisations about their views.
Consultation will run until the end of June 2016. Together, the evaluation and consultation findings will inform the next stage of Report Racism. While the redevelopment of the initative is underway, people can continue to use the Report Racism website (see www.reportracism.com.au), and existing Reporting Places will continue to offer a safe place for community members to make reports (see www.reportracism.com.au/index.php/service-providers).
If you want to be involved in this consultation, or have any questions about Report Racism, please contact Jidah Clark on (03) 9032 3409 or at Jidah.Clark@veohrc.vic.gov.au.
View speeches from the launch of Report Racism:
- Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins
- Deputy CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Wayne Muir
- Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay
View vox pop videos from the launch:
View the letter of commitment signed by the project partners.
What is Report Racism
Report Racism aims to create an environment where you can feel confident and safe to report any cases of racism you experience or witness (including racial discrimination and vilification).
Report Racism is an initiative that allows people to report racism online, to Victoria Police or the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Report Racism trialled a third party reporting initiative which means that people couldreport racism online or at a local community organisation as well as directly to Victoria Police or the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
The trial was evaluated by an independent consultant, Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting. The Report Racism trial: Outcomes report (PDF, 495KB) includes more information about the trial and evaluation findings. The Commission has since held consultations regarding how to approach the next stage of Report Racism.
What can you report?
You can report any kind of racism, such as:
- violence against you because of your race
- racist graffiti
- harassment on the street
- racially motivated crime
- racial abuse at a sporting event
- refusal of or bad service in a shop because of your race
- discrimination at work or school
- complaints about how the police have treated you.
You can make a report about racism in any area of public life about any person or organisation.
Who can make a report?
Anyone who is a victim of racism or who witnesses racism can make a report. You can also make a report on behalf of someone else.
How can I make a report?
- You can make a report online
- You can call the enquiry line at the Commission (1300 252 193) and say you want to make a complaint through Report Racism
You will not be turned away from making a report, you will receive support throughout the process and your report will be taken seriously.
Can I report anonymously?
You can report anonymously or you can choose to be identified. It is up to you.
Please note that if you wish to make a formal complaint to the Commission, we do need to have your contact details. We can discuss this option with you so you can make up your own mind.
Anonymous reports are still important.
If you choose to be anonymous, we will not attempt to contact you about the report unless we have serious concerns about your safety. But your report will still be useful. We will read the report, look at patterns or trends in all the reports of racism, and think about what we can do about them.
What happens to my report?
Once a report is made the Commission will be responsible for managing the information:
- the Commission can contact you to discuss the options for dealing with your report
- the Commission will contact you before referring your report to the police.
If you report anonymously, we will not attempt to contact you unless we have serious concerns about your safety.
If your report contains personal information about somebody else, the Commission is obliged to take reasonable steps to let the person know that we have collected their personal information. However, the Commission will not attempt to notify a person who is mentioned in a report if this would pose a serious risk to anyone.
What if my safety is at risk?
If your safety is at risk, call 000 immediately.
Report Racism is not monitored all the time. If your safety is at risk, call 000.
Please note that while we are committed to protecting your privacy and respecting your wishes, if the information contained in your report indicates that someone’s safety may be seriously at risk we may contact you.
Will my details be given to the police?
Unless you give us your permission (or we are compelled by law) we will not give your personal details to the police.
You can read more about how we will protect your privacy.
How will we protect your privacy?
We care about protecting the privacy of your personal information.
If you are making a report, you can find out everything you need to know about how we will collect, store and use your personal information below.
A couple of important things to know are that:
- we will not attempt to contact you unless we have your permission or we have serious concerns about your safety.
- we will not disclose your personal information to anyone, including the police, without your permission (unless we have to by law).
You can contact the Commission on 1300 292 153 if you have any questions or concerns about your privacy.
About the reporting process
How we will collect reports
You can make a report directly to the Commission. Your report can be anonymous or you can give us your contact details so that we can contact you to discuss your options.
Reports can be made by a victim, a witness or on behalf of another person. Reports can be made online, by telephone or in hardcopy.
How we will use your report
Depending on what you would like us to do, we will respond to your report in different ways.
If you report anonymously, we will not attempt to contact you unless we have serious concerns about your safety. We will only use your de-identified report to collect general information about racism in Victoria and to report on the scheme.
If you give us your contact details, we will contact you to discuss the options for dealing with your report. This could include giving you information about making a formal complaint to the Commission. If your report isn’t about a racist incident, we will do our best to refer you to the best organisation to help you.
If you are making a report as a witness or on a victim’s behalf, the Commission may attempt to contact the victim to notify them about the report. If your report contains personal information about somebody else, the Commission is obliged to take reasonable steps to let the person know that we have collected their personal information. However, the Commission will not attempt to notify a person who is mentioned in a report if this would pose a serious risk to anyone.
What if the report is about a police member?
If your report is about a police member, we will refer your report to Professional Standards Command (PSC) with your consent. The role of PSC is to enhance and promote a culture of high ethical standards throughout Victoria Police. The Police Conduct Unit (within PSC) was set up for people wishing to make a complaint or compliment on service given by a particular police member.
We will not refer your complaint to the local station where the police member is stationed.
We may use de-identified reports to publish general information about the Report Racism Scheme on our website (including information about general trends), and for sharing general information about racism in Victoria.
The Commission and the reporting places are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information.
The Commission will also act in accordance with its secrecy obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. This means that in most cases the Commission cannot disclose your personal information without your consent.
Accessing your report
If you would like to access your report or correct any information in the report, you can contact the Commission’s Privacy Officer or Freedom of Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How we will store your report
The Commission has policies and procedures in place to store and manage your personal information. The Commission will store your report in its secure electronic document management system. Your report will also be retained and destroyed in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973.
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton.
Fax: 1300 891 858
Hearing impaired (TTY): 1300 289 621
Interpreters: 1300 152 494
Fill in an online complaint form
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Find us at: facebook.com/VEOHRC
Making a report
You can still Report Racism by making a report online or by calling the Commission on 1300 292 153.
For more information about this project please contact us at email@example.com.