Make anti-racism education a compulsory part of Victorian school curriculum

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Public reaction in the last week has made it clear that systemic racism and privilege is widely misunderstood and/or ignored as an issue of the past in Australia.

I remember learning about Australian history at school in a largely Eurocentric manner while paying tokenistic lip service to Aboriginal history.

I and people of colour close to me have also experienced racism at school which was poorly handled by teachers and school staff. 

The reality is that racism still exists today – in schools, in workplaces, in media, in politics.  

To address this issue, it is vital that we introduce structured, mandated coursework in schools to train school students, teachers and staff to recognise and address racism in their daily lives. We have an opportunity to make racism a thing of the past. We cannot simply hope that future generations learn about these complex issues on their own accord.

Currently, Victoria has a Report Racism hotline and various ‘Bully Stoppers’ resources which specifically addresses racist bullying. Although intercultural training and workshops are available to students and teachers, these are not mandated.  

We ask the Victorian Premier and Minister of Education to introduce mandatory anti-racism training for school students, teachers and staff using contemporary examples of which there are many. This will be an invaluable step towards fostering socially conscious young people in the future and eliminating racism completely.