What is the impact of racism?

Racism has a significant impact both on the individuals who experience it and the wider community. Research shows that there are significant links between experiences of racism and discrimination and poor physical and mental health, reduced productivity and reduced life expectancy.

Further, it is well-recognised that racism presents barriers to social and economic participation which can in turn cause social exclusion and entrench disadvantage, sometimes for generations.

This is what Australians told us about how they feel about racism:

It makes me feel like I am lower than everyone else, an intruder who is not part of this society.

It offends me, angers me, frustrates me, but most of all it saddens me.

Dirty. As a white Aussie who speaks English as a first language I am not the recipient of direct racism but I deplore its effects on our society and get sick and tired of seeing friends and peers, who do experience racism, struggle.

It reduces us all. We are all made less, and our cohesiveness is lessened by it.

I'm a proud Australian but it does make me cringe. We can do better.

Racism deprives the Australian community of the opportunity to fully celebrate and embrace cultural diversity as an asset to this nation.

Racism can make people feel uncomfortable or unsafe and that they are not welcomed or accepted. It also portrays Australia in a negative way to the rest of the world.

Many in our indigenous population live as though they're in a third world country. The racism gap is widest for them. Australia could be so rich in shared culture, so we all miss out.

It harbours mistrust. It incites hatred. It stops the word 'community' in its tracks.

For more information, take a look at:

Why is racism a problem?

Beyond Blue – the Invisible Discriminator

VicHealth research

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