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Reducing Racism project

Victoria’s rich cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Regardless of where you’re from, what you look like, what you believe or what language you speak, no one should have to endure racism in the place they call home. We have created this hub as a one-stop shop to help people understand and combat racism.


This section provides an overview of our four year Reducing Racism project.

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Reducing Racism project

The Commission was funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to deliver a significant project known as the Reducing Racism project, a multiyear program of work from 2018–2021 to support multicultural communities in understanding and exercising their rights and to make it easier to report racism.

To support the Victorian Government’s overarching Multicultural policy statement – Victorian. And proud of it – the project sought to empower multicultural and multifaith communities to respond to racism in Victoria. Specifically, the Reducing Racism project contributed to:

  • cultural connection – ensuring people can identify with their culture and be proud of their identity
  • genuine equality – helping people understand and exercise their equal rights under the law and live free from discrimination.

The project enabled the Commission to exercise its education and information functions under the:

Phase 1

In Phase 1 of the project (2018–2019), the Commission collaborated with African and Muslim communities in understanding and exercising their rights and developed the community reporting tool (CRT) to increase reporting of racism to the Commission.

The project objectives were:

  • Empower Muslim and African communities experiencing racism, religious discrimination, and racial and religious vilification to exercise their rights and report
  • Improve reporting mechanisms and increase reporting to create an enduring complaints mechanism beyond the life of the project
  • Evaluate the impact and outcomes of the project using a mixed methodology evaluation framework.

Outcomes achieved in Phase 1:

  • Deeper, two-way dialogue, evidenced by ongoing engagement between the Commission and community partners, resulting in an emerging and informed bank of stories illustrating the harm of racism and the benefits of multiculturalism.
  • Delivery of 22 customised education sessions to more than 540 Muslim and/or African leaders and members across Victoria with the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR) and Nelson Mandela Day Australia.
  • The development of co-designed resources on rights and responsibilities and formal structures to address racism, that have been used by partner organisations in their own community education programs.

Phase 2

In Phase 2 of the Reducing Racism project (May 2020–December 2021), the Commission engaged deeply with multicultural and multifaith communities across Victoria to understand the impacts of COVID-19 related.

The project deliverables were:

  • Empower identified, vulnerable communities experiencing racism, religious discrimination, and racial and religious vilification to understand and exercise their rights, including reporting instances of racism, discrimination and vilification.
  • Partner with councils and identified service providers working with multicultural communities to build organisational capacity in using human rights and equal opportunity law to respond to racism under the Equal Opportunity Act and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
  • Increase reporting of racism, discrimination and vilification to the Commission through the development of digital strategies to encourage reporting via the CRT.

Outcomes achieved in Phase 2:

  • The Commission worked closely with local governments and cultural and religious organisations to deliver virtual information sessions to community members across Victoria.
  • 1249 participants across 52 racism information sessions were reached.
  • The Reducing Racism and Human Rights Advocates course was delivered to 144 participants across 11 courses.
  • 98 per cent of participants increased their confidence to identify racism and their knowledge of the Commission’s functions, services and laws.
  • Over 59,000 individuals were reached through the racism social media awareness campaign and content was shared 297 times.
  • Twenty-five organisations now host the CRT on their websites.

Impact report

This report provides an overview of the impact achieved through Phase 2 of the Reducing Racism project deliverables and an outline of the project’s alignment with the Victorian Government’s multicultural policy instruments.

Download our Reducing Racism Phase 2 – Impact Report 2020–2021.

‘Close up’ videos – Jul 2019

The ‘Close Up’ videos are the personal stories of Titan, Barry and Mawa – three young African Victorians, two of whom are Muslim.

They each describe their experiences of racism, the impact these have had on them and their vision for a more inclusive Australia. These videos are part of our Reducing Racism project.

Click here to view these stories


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The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission acknowledges that we work on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We also work remotely and serve communities on the lands of other Traditional Custodians.

We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.