Stop. Think. Respect.

Reconciliation Australia has congratulated Beyond Blue on its new national anti-discrimination campaign Stop. Think. Respect.

“We not only fully support Beyond Blue’s new campaign - Stop. Think. Respect. -  but encourage others to do so, in order to bring to the public arena the impact that the scourge of racism has on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said Dr Tom Calma, AO, the Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.

“By highlighting the impact of racism on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will, we hope, encourage all Australians to ‘check’ their behaviour.”

The advertisement shows how people’s subtle actions in how they treat people can have a major impact on others lives.

Beyond Blue’s key message that racism in any form, whether it be subtle or casual, does have a direct impact upon the lives of First Australians and should not be ignored.

Racial discrimination has a compounding effect on mental health.  
In a recent study conducted by the Lowitja Institute, an overwhelming majority (97 percent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people surveyed experienced racism multiple times.

Dr Calma says it’s for this reason that maintaining the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) in its existing form currently ensures all Australians are protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, descent or ethnic origin.
“We believe that any changes to the RDA that weaken protection from racial vilification would pave the way to a less reconciled, just and equitable Australia.

“At Reconciliation Australia we know that racism undermines efforts to create fair and inclusive communities, breaks down relationships and erodes trust.

“Racism also perpetuates inequalities and can directly, or indirectly, exclude people from accessing opportunities and reaching their full potential.

“We believe that stronger relationships, built on shared knowledge and respect, are central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people controlling their life choices and fully participating in the economic and social opportunities enjoyed by the wider community, which is their fundamental right.

“We aspire to enable all Australians to contribute to reconciliation and to breakdown stereotypes and discrimination and therefore commend Beyond Blue on their new campaign.”