beyondblue have launched an Australian-first campaign that shows the devastating psychological effect that subtle racism has on Indigenous Australians.
Invisible Discriminator was released this month as new research shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still face widespread racism from other Australians.
A survey of 1,000 non-Indigenous Australians showed nearly half (42%) believe Indigenous Australians are given unfair advantages by government, more than a third (37%) believe Indigenous Australians are sometimes a bit lazy and almost one third (31%) believe Indigenous Australians should behave more like ‘other Australians’.
The survey also found many Australians think it’s acceptable to discriminate, with one in five admitting they would move away if an Indigenous Australian sat nearby and one in 10 saying they would tell a joke in the pub about an Indigenous Australian. Many more people say that, while they wouldn’t do these things, they do not see them as discriminatory.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said many people harbour unconscious bias, and the Invisible Discriminator character in the ads represents the voice inside the heads of some non-Indigenous Australians.
“Unfortunately, many people don’t realise when they are discriminating against Indigenous people and therefore, don’t understand the profound effect it has on how they feel about themselves. This can be very damaging to their mental health,” she said.
“This campaign challenges everyone to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and ask how they would feel if they were treated with suspicion, laughed at and avoided.
“The best way to reduce harm caused by subtle racism is to stop it, and if you see it happening, call it."