New report lays foundations for Australia’s first National Anti-Racism Framework

by Race Discrimination Commissioner, Chin Tan | 08 December 2022
The Australian Human Rights Commission has published a new report that provides an evidence base and vital next steps for developing a coordinated, national approach to combatting racism in Australia.

Urgent, collective action is needed to combat racism throughout this country. We need to treat racism as a scourge in much the same way we commit to addressing child abuse and family violence.

This scoping report is the next step in developing a long-term framework to guide actions on anti-racism and equality by government, NGOs, business, communities, and others.  A national anti-racism framework will provide strategies and specific actions to tackle racism in its interpersonal, institutional, and systemic forms,

This report provides an initial evidence-based summary of what the Commission heard about a national anti-racism framework from consultations and submissions from communities, sector organisations, government, scholars, and expert knowledge holders to date.

The Commission undertook more than 100 consultations and received 164 public submissions nationwide.  

From this, 3 key themes and 3 sector specific priority areas were identified, as well as overarching principles to guide this work.  

We heard about the need to understand racism as a complex, intersectional phenomenon that reaches far beyond ‘race’ and as an all-encompassing force perpetuated across many sites of power by institutions and structures. 

This includes, as a threshold, acknowledging and respecting the experiences of First Nations peoples. When we hold this as a baseline for anti-racism action, we recognise the colonial foundations of Australia, their past and present impacts, and the immense value in drawing upon the unique strengths and leadership of First Nations peoples and communities.

The key themes and priority areas were: 

  1. Data
  2. Education
  3. Cultural safety
  4. Media regulation and standards
  5. Justice
  6. Legal protections

The report also highlights some of the existing good practice anti-racism solutions being undertaken across the nation, and outlines a process solution to progress existing anti-racism work in Australia. 

The Commission is pleased that the recent commitment of Australian Government funding to the Commission to lead a National Anti-Racism Strategy will allow us to progress a framework.  

For those interested, we invite you to keep an eye out for future consultation notices or other opportunities to be part of this project.  

We strongly encourage you to share the report across your networks and welcome your feedback at:

We thank you for your ongoing support and interest in the work we do and for helping spread the important message about committing to anti-racism.

Chin Tan
Race Discrimination Commissioner