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Anti-Racism and Indigenous Australians


  • Yin Paradies

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Melbourne Center for the Study of Health and Society, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University
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  • My thanks to Drs Jack Glaser, Nap Hosang, Emma Kowal, and Anne Pedersen for their insightful comments on earlier versions of this document, to an anonymous reviewer for an extensive and valuable review, and to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and Australian-American Fullbright Commission for providing financial support. The author is also funded by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Training Scholarship for Indigenous Health Research (No. 193321) and by a Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health scholarship.

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Yin Paradies, Menzies School of Health Research, P.O. Box 41096, Casuarina NT 0811 [e-mail:].


Indigenous Australians constitute approximately 2.4% of the Australian population and suffer from disadvantage across a range of social, economic, and health indicators compared to other Australians, including exposure to racism across all domains of contemporary Australian society. However, there has been relatively little research conducted on anti-racism in relation to Indigenous Australians. This article begins with an overview of theoretical issues pertinent to the empirical study and public policy of anti-racism. Empirical findings, from social psychology, on effective approaches to anti-racism at the cognitive, individual, interpersonal, and societal level as well as for the targets of racism are detailed with a particular focus on Indigenous Australians. Recommendations for improving and expanding institutional and legal policies to implement these approaches in relation to education and child-rearing, public service, law enforcement and media, as well as monitoring racism and promoting anti-racism in civil society, are then presented. To conclude, strategies for engendering political will to combat racism in the current neoliberal capitalist climate are explored.