Anti-Discrimination NSW launches new referendum resilience resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Published 28 June 2023

The State’s anti-discrimination authority, Anti-Discrimination NSW (ADNSW), today launched a new resource to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people report discrimination and protect their mental health during The Voice referendum debate.

The new guide – 6 ways to look after yourself and mob during The Voice referendum debate – was developed in collaboration with Lifeline’s 13YARN and features Indigenous artwork and illustrations.

President of ADNSW Helen McKenzie said The Voice referendum had opened up debate in Australia and at times generated hurtful and discriminatory discussions.

Front cover of pocket guide with text reading "6 ways to look after yourselft and your mob during the voice referendum debate"

“Whilst respectful conversations are to be encouraged, we have unfortunately seen a spurt of racism, misinformation and confronting commentary directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Some comments are hurtful – other comments or behaviour may be against the law.

“In NSW, race discrimination and racial vilification are against the law,” Ms McKenzie added.

The new guide suggests six ways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to look after themselves and mob during The Voice referendum debate:

  1. Create safe boundaries
  2. Use your voice to report discrimination or vilification
  3. Look out for others
  4. Get outdoors
  5. Mute the noise on social media, and
  6. Reach out if you are feeling worried or no good.

Individuals who experience race discrimination or racial vilification can contact Anti-Discrimination NSW on 1800 670 812 for free confidential information about their rights and how to make a complaint. Callers can ask to speak to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff member and have a yarn about their discrimination enquiry.

People who are feeling worried or no good are encouraged to connect with 13YARN on 13 92 76 and talk with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporter.

Last updated:

28 Jun 2023

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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