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Anti-Aboriginal racism rife in the Australian Community

Categories: Corruption, Discrimination/Racism, Education, Equality of opportunity, Genocide, Human Rights, Hypocrisy, Law Enforcement, Police, Respect, Tertiary

by: Bakchos
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The National Tertiary Education Union (“NTEU”) has released the findings from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander member survey I’m Not Racist But … Report on Cultural Respect, Racial Discrimination, Lateral Violence and related Policy at Australia’s Universities’. The survey findings indicate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic and general/professional staff continue to experience racial discrimination and a general lack of cultural respect in Australian universities.

Following the numerous anecdotal reports and informal discussions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, the 2010 NTEU National Council determined that research be undertaken to ascertain the level of cultural respect, racial discrimination and lateral violence within Australia’s higher education sector, particularly how these issues impacts upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic and professional/general staff members.

Racial discrimination is defined under Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Australia is a party:

The term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclu-sion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

In February 2011 in a separate, but perhaps more influential report, researchers from the University of Western Sydney (“UWS”) released the findings from a long-term survey on racism and discrimination in Australian society. The findings from the Anti-Racism Research Project showed an undercurrent of prejudice directed towards people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Although racist and prejudiced views were found through the UWS survey to be in the minority, racism and discrimination should be challenged in all manifestations and wherever it exists.

The UWS Anti-Racism Research project found:

*Most Australians recognise that racism is a problem in society.

*Too many Australians (41%) have a narrow view of who belongs in Australia.

*About one-in-ten Australians have very problematic views on diversity and on ethnic difference. They believe that some races are naturally inferior or superior, and they believe in the need to keep groups separated. These separatists and supremacists are a destructive minority.

The NTEU report

The NTEU report found that More than 70 per cent of those surveyed had experienced direct discrimination and racist attitudes in the workplace, and more than half had experienced “lateral violence” at the hands of indigenous colleagues, yet less than 20 per cent said their employer had taken positive action to address the issues.

Lateral violence has been defined in US research as the harmful and undermining practices that members of oppressed groups can engaged in against each other as a result of marginalisation”.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald Jillian Miller, Chair of the National Tertiary Education Union Indigenous Policy Committee commented that:

The figures and accompanying comments make sobering reading… the issue [racism] could only be addressed when vice-chancellors are proactive to foster better workplace relations… The[y] need to show leadership by condemning and speaking out against racism and discrimination in their institutions…Their involvement with indigenous employees is really important. Where vice-chancellors meet with indigenous employees, and know about their issues and ask for feedback, it’s less likely to occur

Steve Larkin, chair of the Federal Government’s Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (“HEAC”), and a professor at Charles Darwin University commenting on the NTEU report commented that:

Universities are a place where you have people with high intellects and you do make the assumption that people who possess those sort of intellectual qualities or capabilities would be anti-racist, that they would have a philosophical position that any form of discrimination is unnecessary and unwarranted. But it’s not surprising in that they’re a workforce like others and they’re drawn largely from the Australian population and there’s been a history of this.

Findings from the NTEU survey:

Racial Discrimination in Australian society

*98.2% of survey respondents agree that racial discrimination exists in Australian society.

*95.3% of survey respondents agree that racial discrimination is widespread in Australian society.

*93.1% of survey respondents and their families have experienced racial discrimination in their daily lives, and

*93.0% of survey respondents agree that racial discrimination is a problem that should be addressed by the Australian Government.

Cultural Respect in the Workplace

*79.5% of survey respondents stated they have been treated less respectfully in the workplace as a result of others perceptions of their culture and/or cultural obligations.

*67.9% of survey respondents have been treated less respectfully by their colleagues in the workplace as a result of perceptions of culture and/or cultural obligations.

*17.3% of survey respondents stated that action was taken by their employer to address issues of cultural respect in the workplace.

*Of this, 21.8% of respondents stated that their employer took positive action to address issues of cultural respect and cultural obligations, and

*25.4% of respondents stated that the actions of their employ¬ers were successful in addressing issues of cultural respect and cultural obligations.

Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

*71.5% of survey respondents have experienced direct racial dis¬crimination and racist attitudes in the workplace.

*55.3% of survey respondents have experienced racial discrimina¬tion and racist attitudes at the hands of their colleagues in the workplace.

*15.3% of survey respondents stated that attempts were made by their employer to address issues of racial discrimination and racist attitudes in the workplace.

What respondents to the NTEU survey reported

Each comment below is from a different respondent, as such, they do not form a continuous narrative.

Derogatory comments made by a non-Aboriginal staff member to me and about Aboriginal people. Was not supported for promotion because other non-Aboriginal people would find it difficult to deal with an Aboriginal person in a leadership position. Ignored and isolated by [name removed in report ]and other professional and academic staff because I spoke out against racism…

I working as [identifying detail removed], at a university and have done so for the past three months. I have three mainstream degrees [identifying detail removed] and the assumption it seems is that I cannot be an intelligent Aboriginal person and have these qualifications. In my short time here I have endured constant issues around the management of myself from my supervisor who has stated to other staff in my presence that I will have numerous managers by these staff who have little or no qualifications and who are not by the way employed at the university I work at. I have had to go the union to sort out what is clearly stated on my job description [identifying detail removed]. I feel that this is not only implied racial discrimination but vilification, harassment and bullying wrapped up and fed on ignorance and ethnocentric ideology…

I think for all groups who don’t fit the ‘norm’, we are always experiencing low-level racial discrimination. This extends to non-direct communications (e.g. reading comments to blogs dealing with ‘Indigenous issues’ – and sometimes even when they don’t; throw-away comments in social and professional contexts, which includes what is experienced in teaching non-Indigenous students; few sustainable policies in universities that contribute to changes in patterns of racial thinking etc). The extent of harmful ignorance is just mind-blowing. Of course there are specific, more tangible events that have occurred, too numerous to recount here. However daily, seemingly mundane situations, serve as a constant reminder of the effect of the lack of real education for non-Indigenous peoples to address their limited understandings – which in turn drive discriminatory actions. It’s insidious…

On the issue of anti-aboriginal bias by Australian Police respondents to the NTEU survey reported:

The police always watch my husband (even though his is a school teacher) when we are out…

My 16yr old son was given a $400 bike for Xmas. Two ladies made him go with them to the police station because they said he stole their bike. He didn’t, I had to take a phone call from the police to confirm details of the bike…

My sons are regularly stopped by police for no reason…

Having police follow my kids in the street

Targeted by police & security personnel when out socialising

Profiled by police…

It is worth remembering that each of the respondents to the NTEU survey is an employee of an Australian University. Many respondents are academic staff and hold higher degrees. If this type of racism is what even the brightest of our people (Indigenous Australians) are being subjected to by mainstream Australia, what chance do the rest of us have?

It really is time that Australia grew-up and stopped pretending that, as a nation, it is anything other than one built on land stolen from others. As such, Australia is an illegitimate nation, built on theft, corruption and a denial of history. Until Australia faces up to these realities and addresses the kind of racism that has been exposed in the NTEU survey it should not be rewarded by the world community by being given a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.




  1. No matter how many reports are written or how erudite the arguments, unless and until our so called political leaders stand-up to be counted on the issue of ant-Aboriginal in the Australian community, nothing, I repeat nothing will change. The findings of the NTEU survey are shocking, but unsurprising. As you say in your post – if even Aboriginal Australia’s best and beigest are subject to this type of racism, what chance the rest?

  2. Racism, it’s rife in the Australian community, in what passes for the Academy in Australia and in Australia’s police services. What hope does this country have to move beyond this 19th Century concept it has of itself, its place in the ‘sun’ and its attitude towards those Australians who are not of Anglo stock if our political leaders won’t say no to racism. In fact if our leaders won’t stand and be counted on the issue of racism I’m with Bakchos Glass in believing that Australia does not deserve a place at the UNSC table.

  3. Once racism or any form of corruption for that matter enters the Academy it gains acceptance within the wider community. That is why corruption in Australia’s police services, in the Australian Public Service and within the community generally is accepted without comment by the general public. The problem with racism in Australia is compounded by the fact that the media here is concentrated in the hands of two companies, both of which have shown over the years an anti-Aboriginal bias. I’m yet to see an Australian political leader with the guts to speak out against racism which further reinforces its acceptance within the community.

  4. Tom Payne says:

    Well hello there again you black cunt,

    You have certainly caused some problems now, EY have called in their lawyers to try and get to the bottom of your allegations against my good friends [named ACT Dept of Treasury employee] and [named former Ernst & Young director]. What a waste of money. All you black cunts can do is cause trouble. Yes, you know who I am we worked together at Ernst & Young Canberra, put your mind to it you will remember – you were useless then and your still useless now.

    I’ll let you into a secret, everyone at Ernst & Young, the ACT Government and the Australian Federal Police want to see you dead. You should a white man have to waste money getting legal advice because of the useless, meaningless accusations of a dumb black cunt? You people would still be hitting each other over the head with clubs if it wasn’t for us.

    Even if Tanya Taylor did tinge your application, who really cares, no one cares about you black cunts. Well some nigger in the New York office might, but they are only there because of positive discrimination, really they cant write, read, count or spell so what use are they in an accounting firm?

    More to the point why don’t you go and crawl back into the maggot infested cunt of the gin who dropped you all those years ago. Wish we could still have nigger hunts in Australia, you would be the first to go, believe me on that. Don’t worry coon, I have you in my sights, cross hairs and all. Bang, bang you die and so does the slant-eyed would be nigger from Korea.

    The role of a coon, nigger, boong or what ever word you chose is to like the anus of us good Christian white folks, why do you think that we should be spending money on legal fees because of you? Shit I’ll be going home to dream up ways of putting an end to you and the troubles you are causing me and mine. My family always comes first and especially first in the face of a bumb nigger cunt like you.

    By the way I know where your slap bitch friend lives, I have mates in the AFP, they hate your coon arse as well. We’ll get you – don’t expect to see Christmas (which is for white Christians) you fucking coon cunt.

    • Bakchos says:

      Dear Mr Payne,

      I was going to respond in detail, but as it’s nearly Christmas (which, as a Jew, I do not observe anyway) and responding to your pueile points would disturb my feng shui I have decided that no matter what I say, I could not possibly deride, humilate or denigrate you anymore than you have yourself.


  5. Has anybody read the comment that Tom Payne left directly on the Blak and Black Blog? It’s disgusting, racist and puerile. He claims to be an employee or former employee of EY, not sure about this, though he does offer some specifics. If there was ever any proof needed that Australia is a racist country, this is it. I have taken the liberty of sending his comments, on his behalf, directly to EY.

  6. Bill Wheatley I read the comments from Tom Payne, not really good are they? yep he has proven the point, Australia is a racist country.

    • Broken Glass says:

      No its not. How can a country be racist? No country is racist nor could it be but some people who live in a country may be racist. To assume all people who live in a country are racist has no foundation, especially in Australia, because the place is full of wogs who are as dumb as the aboes and you. You fucking cunt.

  7. Just look at todays post for all the proof that you need! Australia you really disgust me sometimes.

  8. Yes another university study telling us what we already know. We need action, not more paper!

  9. Sally Glass we need more boffen’s paper like we need another NT Interetion. We need action and we need it NOW! Rember always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

  10. Wellsaid Sally Glass no more paper, just action! yep Mick Glass always, always will be, Aboriginal land. Fucken remember that!

  11. No paper just action, no bull shit just justice. bloody white academic fuckwits, had enough oif that – the time for words has passed, now its time for action.

  12. Mahmud Ahsan via Facebook says:

    More bullshit paper. As others say, how about some action.

  13. What is the use of another report or survey telling us what we already know, Australia is a racist country. Let’s see some action from the government. Leadership would be a good start, followed by justice and accountability. In a few years Australia would be a different and better place. Hey Julia why not give it a go!

  14. Marie yes what use is another report, we need as you said leadership from our politicians, accountability from the community and justice, not more power.

  15. Fuck another report, let’s see some action!

  16. Let’s have some action instead of the environmental vandalism that comes from useless reports that no one reads or cares about.

  17. I agree with what everyone else has said here, it’s time for action not more spilt ink on paper.

  18. Yes Niles an old friend indeed.

  19. It sure is, how about some accountability from whitie and justice for the blackfellas of this country.

  20. I guess the re-birth of this post comes on the back of the Tom Payne comment?!!!

  21. Mahmud Ahsan via Facebook says:

    Tom Payne, just proves that a man can live without a brain!

  22. Perhaps now would be a good time to have some movement on this issue as well. BTW Tom Payne you are a brainless git!

  23. Tom Payne you have some serious issues!

  24. Tom Payne you’re a useless, racist, bigot and you demonstrate for the world to see what type of person Ernst and Young are happy to call staff!

  25. Tom Payne here, and Tom Paine above, huuummmm, seems like someone at E&Y has been playing games with sounds and words. Rather creative for an accountant, don’t you think!

  26. Yes Phillipa Coe the two Tom’s have very different out looks on life.

  27. Yes guys 2 x Tom 2 x opinions. One good Tom, one racist Tom!

  28. Something needs to be done about Tom Payne, who ever he is.

  29. Tom Payne, you are a dick-head.

  30. dizze says:

    Aborigunals are racist about Australians.
    If you are white you are sneerd AT OR INTIMINATED.

    • Watershedd says:

      @dizze, racism runs in all directions, I agree. However, as a white Australian myself, I cannot say I have ever been sneered at or intimidated by an Aborigine. I been offered a beer by one, had the grateful thanks of another complete stranger for providing a lift and have generally felt nothing but courtesy in response to any of my interactions. Sometimes indigenous Australians are guarded in their responses, but none have been overtly abusive to me, in my work or in my daily life. If they are aggressive to you, perhaps you need to take a look at the initial approach that you make to them.

      When everyone in this country is treated with the same respect and courtesy, regardless of race, colour, creed or association, then there’ll be no need for discussions such as this blog provides. Treating with respect includes making reparations for the ongoing impact of past harms.

  1. […] other post on which Tom Payne has left an abusive comment is Anti-Aboriginal racism rife in the Australian community. This post points out how Australian police treat Indigenous Australians with suspicion. The post […]

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