Call it Out: A First Nations racism register developed to expose the truth about racism in Australia

Last Updated on 30/03/2022 by National Justice Project

From Monday 21 March, First Nations Peoples will be able to report experiences of interpersonal and institutional racism with a national online reporting tool named Call it Out, Australia’s first Indigenous-led racism register for First Nations Peoples.

Developed by the Jumbunna Institute for Education and Research (Jumbunna Research) in collaboration with the National Justice Project, Call it Out is an independent, Indigenous-led alternative to traditional and onerous complaints and legal processes for reporting experiences of racism.

Jumbunna Research and the National Justice Project designed Call it Out to help First Nations Peoples and their allies tell the true story of racism in Australia.

First Nations Peoples will be able to report their experiences of racism securely via Call It Out’s simple online reporting tool, which will gather evidence to assist First Nations leaders, organisations and advocates in generating support and resources for addressing racism and discrimination.

Anyone who witnesses racism against First Nations Peoples can also access the online reporting tool to make a report.

Director of Jumbunna Research, Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt OA, said that, by enabling First Nations people to share their lived experiences, Call it Out will allow us as First Nations Peoples to drive the recognition and action that is required to confront the reality of racism in all its forms.

“First Nations Peoples experience of racism and discrimination is deeply rooted in the history of the invasion of this country, but the true extent of what First Nations Peoples experience day-to-day is still largely unseen and unheard by the Australian public,” Behrendt said.

“As long as individuals, systems and the media ignore and minimise the impact of racism, we will continue to fail in our efforts as a community – and as a nation – to achieve First Nations healing, equality, justice and self-determination.”

Professor Chris Cunneen from Jumbunna Research said Call it Out provides a new approach to reporting racism in Australia.

Call it Out is a reporting system for racism against First Nations people that is long overdue,” Cunneen said. “All the evidence shows that interpersonal, online and systemic racism is a problem in all parts of Australia but there has previously never been any way to comprehensively record these incidents.”

Jumbunna Research will analyse and convert the reports received into a comprehensive annual report on racism toward First Nations Peoples to help identify problems areas, monitor perpetrator patterns, and explore targeted measures and appropriate investment in Indigenous-led activities that counter racism and discrimination.

CEO of the National Justice Project George Newhouse said his team was proud to be part of the initiative.

“We’re honoured to work alongside Jumbunna Research on this innovative project,” he said. “In 2022, the true story of racism in Australia is still hidden and downplayed by governments and institutions – but we hope that the stories reported through Call it Out will make the colonial legacy of racism harder to ignore.”

Founder of Islamophobia Register Australia, a project that inspired Call it Out, and CEO of Media Diversity Australia, Mariam Veiszadeh, has commended the initiative.

“While it’s a sad reality that there is a desperate need for its existence, I am pleased to lend my support to the establishment of Call it Out,” Veiszadeh said. “The Australian Muslim community has always felt an enormous affinity with First Nations communities. The collection of data detailing the incidents of racism and discrimination toward First Nations Peoples is vital in helping to equip advocates and policy makers alike with a better sense of the depth and breadth of the issues they are trying to tackle. As we know, what gets measured, gets actioned.”

Call It Out is launching and available to use on Monday 21 March 2022 to coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Jumbunna Research will release its first Call it Out annual report in 2023.

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