Benchmarking study reveals benefits of cultural diversity programs

27 June 2014

A benchmarking University of Melbourne survey carried out by a Deakin University researcher and funded by VicHealth as part of a trial community intervention has found that one in five primary and high school students said they were targets of racism at school on a daily basis.

Yet the prevalence of racism may be much higher, with far more school students reporting witnessing racism directed at someone else every day. And more than two-thirds of students said they saw another student being teased because of their cultural background at least once a month.

Findings from the benchmarking survey of 264 young people aged eight to 17-years-old will be presented by lead researcher and child racism expert Dr Naomi Priest from The University of Melbourne and Deakin University's Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at the Lowitja Institute racism and child health symposium in Melbourne today.

To view the study and media release click here

News facts
  • A third (33.2%) of students reported direct experiences of racism at school at least every month, mostly perpetrated by other students.
  • The most common racist experience was being told they do not belong in Australia, followed by being left out of play or group work, being spat on, pushed or hit and less commonly, being excluded by a teacher. It was far more common for primary school students to witness and experience racism than secondary students.
  • Results point to need for effective school-based interventions to prevent race-based discrimination. 

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
03 9246 8221/0422 005 485

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27th June 2014