Jewish Authors Claim Australia is a Land of Bigots

221 years on we remain a land of bigots

Tory Shepherd, Health Reporter: The Advertiser | March 25, 2009,22606,25247299-5006301,00.html

MORE than 200 years after Europeans arrived, Aboriginal people face discrimination in public places and institutions, Flinders University researchers have found.

And the distress racism causes affects Aboriginal health.

The authors of In Our Own Backyard said it appeared racism was alive and well, with more than nine in ten Aboriginal people experiencing bias, abuse and violence, and two thirds experiencing it often.

They also found twice as many Aboriginal people were teetotallers, compared to non-Aborigines, while three times as many smoked. Most Aboriginal people surveyed felt society did not look after disadvantaged people.

One woman, Amy, said racism made her feel physically ill.

“. . . it’s like a shockwave you know, you have the ripple effect . . . a week later and it’s still playing on your mind . . . I just feel sick in the guts or you might throw up,” she said.

Professor Fran Baum said the research team was shocked by the “persistent and relentless racism that Aboriginal people in Adelaide face in their everyday lives”.

“They’re things like being verbally abused, being called names, going to a shop and feeling they were being ignored,” she said.

Another researcher, Dr Anna Ziersch, said people experienced racism in a range of settings and it could lead to them avoiding the doctor, education, or other institutions. “A huge proportion talked about being frustrated, being angry,” she said.

“People who experience racism regularly have poor mental health. They talked about the stress of racism . . . a sense of hopelessness.”

The researchers said “closing the gap” between indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy, which is 17 years, would be impossible if racism was not addressed.

They suggest a range of policies, including making indigenous culture more accessible to the mainstream, teaching more Aboriginal history and encouraging more Aboriginal-controlled organisations.

Aboriginal health-care worker Simon Peisley, who took part in the study, said people needed to work together and acknowledge Aboriginal people as the first people in Australia.

Racism must be tackled to help indigenous health: study

Larine Statham: The Independent Weekly | March 26, 2009 ...

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