The main outcomes of this project will be the holding of a national symposium to focus on the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of children and young people from minority backgrounds, with a focus on those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. Communication materials, such as fact sheets and user guides for research products, on this issue will also be developed.
The focus of this research activity will be the knowledge exchange of findings from the school-based component of LEAD (Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity) program, including:
- Survey findings from primary and secondary school students regarding their experiences of discrimination, attitudes towards diversity, and the impact of both experiences and attitudes on their emotional health
- Qualitative focus group data with primary and secondary school students regarding their experiences of discrimination and attitudes towards diversity
- School audit tools and teacher surveys.
Addressing racism and promoting diversity among children and young people is a priority, with exposure to racism linked with poor health, education and social outcomes throughout life. Childhood and adolescence is also a critical period during which attitudes and beliefs regarding diversity and prejudice are formed.
Further objectives of holding the symposium and developing communication materials are to:
- Initiate a national discussion by raising awareness and advance understandings of the impact of racism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing across policy, practice, research and community contexts
- Contribute to research evidence on the impact of racism on health and advance this emergent field internationally
- Promote the uptake and utilisation of research tools to measure experiences of racism and attitudes towards diversity as a means of more rigorous assessment of enabling environments.
Related reources and links
- Symposium 26–27 June 2014: Racism and the health and wellbeing of children and youth: Understanding impacts, finding solutions (including the symposium statement)
- Mental health impacts of Racism and attitudes to diversity in Victorian schools: A summary of survey findings PDF 1.9MB
- Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal Communities (The Lowitja Institute)
- Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal Communities (VicHealth)
- The Impact of Racism on Indigenous Health in australia and Aotearoa: Towards a Research Agenda