26 September 2023

Committee collecting stories of racism

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The Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education and Community Inclusion is calling for public submissions to inform its inquiry into racial vilification in the Territory.

Chair of the Committee, Michael Pettersson MLA said the Committee intends to investigate the prevalence of incidents of vilification and threats of physical violence based on racial, linguistic, ethnic or religious background, and status as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

Mr Pettersson said the Committee would also investigate the mechanisms for reporting such incidents.

“We want to hear from as many interested people and organisations as possible about their experiences and observations of racial vilification, and whether the reporting mechanisms are effective and accessible,” Mr Pettersson said.

“The Committee wishes to support participation in the inquiry by affected individuals and groups by providing options such as confidential submissions, interpreter services, taking evidence in camera, holding documents in confidence where it considers it appropriate to do so, holding hearings online where appropriate, and making the hearings family friendly.”

The Committee’s Terms of Reference for the investigation will see it examining the social and legal context in which racial vilification occurs; the effectiveness of existing reporting mechanisms; the adequacy of the existing legal frameworks; as well as the value of establishing, and possible content of, an anti-racism strategy for the ACT.

Mr Pettersson said submissions for the inquiry would be open until 31 January next year.

Further information on how to have a say can be accessed at this PS News link.

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