ACOSS Statement Reconciliation Week 2024: Now more than ever, we must speak up against racism

As National Reconciliation Week 2024 comes to an end, ACOSS recommits to do all we can to support First Nations Self-Determination and Justice and to deliver on First Nations communities’ calls for Voice, Treaty and Truth. We reaffirm our Statement of Solidarity.

ACOSS commits to speak up against racism in all its forms and stands together with First Nations peoples and all communities affected by discrimination. We stand in solidarity with all who speak to the truth of racism within our communities, including our human rights advocates and journalists.

We support the views expressed this week by Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Giridharan Sivaraman:

“Racism remains a reality in Australian society. The legacy of Australia’s settler colonial history is ongoing, and First Nations Australians in particular continue to experience its effects through international impacts and the persistence of racial bias within systems and institutions.

“The experiences of First Nations people must be centred in conversations about racism in Australia…

“If we are to challenge racism in Australia, media organisations must be free to call out racism, and media executives must support when they do so.”

Racism in our country is real. We must speak to the truth about our history and our present, as one of Australia’s leading journalists, Laura Tingle, has done. We must do all we can to speak up against acts and words that may fuel racism and commit in our various roles to promote social cohesion, justice and human rights.

We welcome the call this week for an Australian Human Rights Act, which would place non-discrimination and anti-racism as a core human right alongside the promotion and protection of all human rights. We are pleased to see that the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights recommend that an Australian Human Rights Act include the promotion and protection of economic and social rights.

CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie AO

/Public Release. View in full here.