Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

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Conciliation: Race discrimination

When his volunteer work didn’t lead to a paying position, a man from an Asian background made a complaint of race discrimination..

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After doing a training course in information technology, a man from an Asian background went to a non-government organisation for work experience. However he felt he didn’t get much opportunity to gain a wider range of skills, and when he applied for permanent positions that came up, he wasn’t successful.

The man made a complaint of race discrimination. He said that a staff member had told him that he would never get anywhere in the organisation as the senior management only wanted to employ ‘Australians’.

Both parties approached conciliation positively. The organisation’s representative listened to the man’s concerns, and explained that once a position is advertised they received a large number of applications. They thought he had been conscientious in his volunteer work but in each case there had been someone with better skills for the job. 

The representative said that they had interviewed the staff member who the complainant said had told him that the organisation wouldn’t employ him and he denied saying it. In view of this there wasn’t much more that the organisation could do apart from reiterate to all staff that race discrimination wouldn’t be tolerated. 

The man was pleased that the organisation had listened to him and explained the situation. He said he felt that making the complaint would jeopardise his chances for any further positions, but the organisation encouraged him to apply again - although there were no guarantees. This resolved the complaint.

What does the law say about race discrimination?

It is generally against the law in NSW to treat you unfairly or harass you because of:
  • your race, colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background

  • the race, colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background of any of your relatives, friends, associates or work colleagues.

More information on Race discrimination

​​​​Back to February 2017 - Equal Time Newsletter​​​​​​

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