Symposium: Racism and the health and wellbeing of children and youth – Understanding impacts, finding solutions

Presented by the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, funded by the Lowitja Institute.

The symposium was held at the University of Melbourne on 27 June with approximately 100 participants from a range of sectors including academia, community organisations, state and federal governmental departments and major non-government organisations and service providers.

As facilitated by Professor Kerry Arabena during the final symposium session, we have been continuing to develop a symposium statement in close collaboration with advocacy advisors at UNICEF. Thank you to all who have provided feedback and comments on the draft statement. This statement is intended to form the basis for advocacy work to call for action to tackle racism as a key issue influencing the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Australia.

Facilitated by Professor Kerry Arabena during the final symposium session, content and recommendations of a symposium statement were developed by participants. Following the symposium the statement was drafted and circulated to all participants. Thank you to all who provided feedback and comments on the draft statement. This statement is intended to form the basis for advocacy work to call for action to tackle racism as a key issue influencing the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Australia.

Download the Symposium Statement PDF [178kB]

There has been considerable media interest in the research findings released during the symposium, both on the day and following the event. Croakey have provided a detailed summary of the symposium on their website, and a number of interviews have been conducted by major newspapers, ABC News Radio, ABC Radio National, National Indigenous TV News, SBS News Radio and Syn Radio. An opinion piece by Dr Naomi Priest was also published in The Age.

Symposium PowerPoint presentations are now available please find them in the program below.

26–27 June 2014, The University of Melbourne

This symposium aimed to create discussion and action across policy, practice, research and community contexts to:

  • raise awareness and advance understanding of how racism continues to adversely affect the lives of children and youth
  • develop long term strategies to prevent racism and support those children and young people impacted by its negative effects.

If you attended the symposium, please complete the symposium survey to provide us feedback about they symposium and assist us in planning future events.

Final program

Download the final program PDF [513kB]

Day 1: 26 June 2014

19.30Welcome dinner
Charcoal Lane, 136 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Day 2: 27 June 2014: Symposium

Level 2, 234 Queensberry St, The University of Melbourne (map)

08.30Coffee/tea and registration

09.00–
09.30

Welcome to Country by Aunty Di Kerr, opening comments from Ms Pat Anderson (Chairperson of the Lowitja Institute) and from the symposium organisers
09.30–
11.15
Understanding the impacts: Pathways between racism and child and youth health and wellbeing (oral presentations)

Topics/speakers include:

  • How do maternal and contextual experiences of racism and discrimination impact on children’s health? A longitudinal examination of possible pathways using the UK Millennium Cohort Study
    Dr Laia Becares (Manchester University, UK) Presentation
  • Racism and Health in the United States: Socio-Psychobiological Pathways of Embodiment
    Dr David Chae (University of Maryland, USA) Presentation
  • Discrimination and Substance Use: A Test with Adolescents in Hawaii
    Ms Rebecca Knight (University of Hawaii, USA) Presentation
  • Racism and its contribution to health inequalities in Aboriginal Australia
    Dr Carrington Shepherd
    (Telethon Institute of Child Health Research) Presentation

11.15–
11.30

Morning tea

11.30–
13.15

Developing solutions: Anti-racism and pro-diversity interventions (oral presentations)

Topics/speakers include:

  • Anti-racism theory and practice with children and youth: learnings from recent Australian community-based studies
    Dr Naomi Priest (The University of Melbourne/Deakin University) Presentation
  • Theory-driven experimental field studies can produce twelve months of sustained intergroup bias reduction
    Associate Professor Fiona White (The University of Sydney) Presentation
  • Nandiri Mariwari – Bangawarra Gumada (Seeing Hate –Strengthening Spirit): Resiliency against Racism
    Dr Gawaian Bodkin Andrews (Macquarie University) Presentation
  • Developing a behavioural model of racism and school attendance: Policy implications for Indigenous children and youth
    Dr Nicholas Biddle
    (Australian National University) Presentation

13.15–
14.00

Lunch and Poster Presentation Showcase

14.00–
16.00

Break-out discussion groups on policy, practice and research solutions

Sessions include:

  • Children in Immigration Detention (facilitated by UNICEF)
  • National Anti-racism Strategy and schools (facilitated by the Australian Human Rights Commission)
  • Over-representation of Indigenous children in out of home care (facilitated by UNICEF)
  • Youth forum (presented by Centre for Multicultural Youth)
16.00–
17.00
Feedback from groups/conclusions/where to from here?
Facilitated by Professor Kerry Arabena

For more information please contact Hannah Reich, e: hsreich@unimelb.edu.au

Related resources

 

Created: 01 May 2014 - Updated: 15 July 2014