What can you do?

Many people want to stand against racism but aren’t sure how.

Watch VicHealth’s video on how everyone can play a role in preventing racism

We’ve all been a bystander at one time or another. It can be uncomfortable. Often people don’t respond because they don’t want to be a target of abuse themselves.

Standing up to racism can be a powerful sign of support. It can also make the perpetrator think twice about their actions.

When responding, always assess the situation and never put yourself at risk. Your actions don’t need to involve confrontation.

If you see racist behaviour in public, you could….

Say something icon

Say something if it feels safe. It could be as simple as saying “Why don’t you just leave him/her alone?”

If it doesn’t feel safe to say something, you could….


Think about how you can support the target of the abuse. Go and sit or stand next to them and check if they’re ok.

Tell someone icon

Tell someone responsible such as the driver if it’s happening on a bus or tram or a security guard if it’s happening at a club or venue.

Call the police

Call the police on 000 if you think that you or somebody else may be in danger.

You might also be interested in:

Western Sydney University’s Bystander Anti-Racism Project and anti-racism resources

VicHealth’s program on bystander action to prevent race-based discrimination

If you see racist material online, you could….

Report it

Report it. Most social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube) can deal with offensive content.
Make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission, to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner or to police.

Say something icon

Say something. Go to the Anti-Hate website to check out messages you can post in response to “haters” online.

If you see racism directed towards a classmate, colleague or team-mate, you could….

Say something icon

Say something. There are many ways you can respond to prejudice in any situation.

Let them know

Tell them that they can complain. The Australian Human Rights Commission can investigate and resolve complaints of race discrimination. The complaints process is free and confidential.

Tell someone icon

Suggest they talk to someone. Most schools, workplaces and sports clubs will have a policy for dealing with bullying and harassment, including racism.


Bystanders (doc)

Bystanders (pdf)