Report racism: preventing prejudice-based crime

Report Racism, Australia's first ever third-party reporting mechanism for the Aboriginal community, was launched by the Commission in partnership with Victoria Police and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. 

Trial

During 2014 and 2015, the 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 have 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 Kate Lahiff on (03) 9032 3425 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Download a copy of the Report Racism trial: Outcomes report

Making a report

You can still Report Racism online at www.reportracism.com.au, by calling the Commission on 1300 292 15 or by visiting a Reporting Place.

Contact

If you would like further information about Report Racism, please contact Kate Lahiff on (03) 9032 3425, visit Report Racism or follow us on Facebook.

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