Race discrimination in nightclubs, pubs and bars

Melbourne has a reputation as a city that welcomes cultural diversity. When patrons of certain racial backgrounds are refused entry into nightclubs, pubs and bars it is offensive and distressing to the individuals concerned. It also damages the reputation of the entertainment and hospitality industries.

The Commission has been working with Yarra City Council on a campaign to address this race discrimination and is now expanding this to other councils.  

Tell us about your experiences

We want to hear about your stories and experiences so if you have had an experience of racism that you would like to share, you can:

  • email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • call the Commission’s Enquiry Line on 1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583. 

Get involved

Would you like to see this campaign happen in your neighbourhood? Let us know or ask your local council to get involved.

We have decals and flyers for your club, pub or bar. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will send you what you need to get started. Alternatively, you can download the flyer below. A sample of the decal is also attached below.

Background 

Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, it is against the law for business owners, their staff and agents to discriminate in the provision of goods and services on the basis of characteristics such as race.

In 2011 the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and Yarra City Council  received a number of formal and informal complaints about discrimination by nightclubs in inner Melbourne. These complaints have been made by patrons who allege that they have been refused entry by security guards because of their race. In some instances, they were explicitly told that their race was the basis for the refusal.

In response, the Commission worked with Yarra City Council on a campaign to address race discrimination in local nightclubs, pubs and bars.

Find out more 

For more information about the Commission’s research into race discrimination, visit our race discrimination pages.

Commission news

Subscribe to our e-bulletin for updates on the Commission’s work and related issues.

Discrimination

Read through more information about discrimination based on race or racial and religious vilification in Victoria. 

Related projects

Other related Commission projects include:

HRW2017 Logo Stacked
Lodge a complaint with us
Chat live with us now
Subscribe to our eBulletin