40 years of the Racial Discrimination Act

40 years of the Racial Discrimination ActIn the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane looks at the role of Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation – and why society still needs section...
Sunday 1 February 2015
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Australia's hate speech laws

Any new “movement” for reforming Australia’s laws against racist hate speech is far more limited than Mr. Sassoon suggests. The prime minister has recently ruled out revisiting the issue. This reflects the overwhelming public support for retaining...
Tuesday 27 January 2015
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Discussions on Indigenous matters don't fall foul of the Racial...

There have been numerous articles in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy seeking to revive debate about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. What I find troubling is that those who seek to revisit this debate too often rely on issues...
Monday 26 January 2015
Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

Charlie Hebdo V 18C: no contest

Charlie Hebdo would have risked being censored by the courts, but self-censorship is the reality of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Monday 19 January 2015
Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner

Committing a crime does not mean forfeiting all human rights for the future

There has been considerable public interest in some recent findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission that the Australian Government is in breach of our human rights obligations. While, as President of the Commission, I seldom comment on...
Wednesday 14 January 2015
Professor Gillian Triggs, President

Engage with us, says Commissioner Gooda

It has been just over twelve months since Australia elected Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. It’s been a time of great expectations, anxieties and stress for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australians.During the 2013 election campaign, Prime Minister...
Monday 8 December 2014
Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

Beware of cover for making bigotry respectable

Islam isn't a race. It's a religion. Therefore, abusing Muslims isn't racist. The real racism is that we're not allowed to criticise Islam.This is the logic of many who are expressing hostility towards Muslims and Islam. Many have written to me...
Friday 21 November 2014
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Applaud men who learn from their mistakes

I have been Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for the past seven years. It is a job that takes me from 200 metres under the sea in a submarine, to the United Nations in New York, to spending time...
Wednesday 19 November 2014
Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner

You’re not a killjoy calling out racism

THE historian John Hirst has described Australia as a democracy of manners — we treat one another as social equals.We are certainly informal and familiar in how we interact. We sit in the front seat with a taxi driver, we rarely refer to people as “...
Thursday 13 November 2014
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Walk in Another's Shoes? Reflections on Empathy, Power and Privilege

The idea of the recent Harmony Walk is based on a simple proposition: that people, from all backgrounds, can walk in solidarity. It's a simple proposition, yet a challenging task. Because solidarity requires compassion. Before we can walk with...
Wednesday 12 November 2014
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

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