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Racism Symposium 2014

Racism and the health and wellbeing of children and youth – Understanding impacts, finding solutions Symposium, presented by the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health 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.

A symposium statement was developed in close collaboration with advocacy advisors at UNICEF 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.

There was 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.

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. 

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