​​​Equal Time 

The Equal Time e-newsletter includes information about recent conciliation cases, our community engagement activities, updates about our services and stakeholder news.

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Read the June 2020 issue of Equal Time newsletter

From this edition of Equal Time

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We are well and truly halfway through 2020, a year that will go down in history as the year that brought immense challenges as well as opportunities for change. 2020 has also thrown into sharp relief the important work that we do at Anti-Discrimination NSW, as we spent the first half of the year responding to a rise in race-related complaints and enquiries due to the pandemic.

In June, the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the ongoing injustices, racism and over-policing faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – experiences also shared by Black communities and communities of colour in Australia. The time for change is now and important discussions about racism are being had in the media, on the internet, social media, at family dinners and social events across NSW, the country and around the world.

These conversations are important in achieving our goal of eliminating discrimination because the more people talk about racism and other forms of discrimination and its impacts, the better. Countering racism and influencing change requires a whole community approach.  

As the anti-discrimination authority of NSW, we play an important role in raising awareness about racism. We do this daily through our enquiries service, community engagement, information sessions and external communications. There is still a lot of work to be done but, with the dedication of my team, I am positive about the continuing progress that we can achieve.

In February this year an Inquiry into the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Complaint Handling) Bill 2020 was introduced with proposed changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act – changes that have the potential to disrupt progress that we have already made in NSW.

As many of you will know, I addressed the Parliamentary Committee as part of the inquiry’s public hearings earlier this month. I expressed my concerns about the majority of the proposed changes to the Act, which, in my view, “are misconceived, serve no purpose, would inhibit the work of Anti-Discrimination NSW, be contrary to the public interest, have no demonstrated need or benefit and could well undermine the protections appropriately governed by the Anti-Discrimination Act.” You can read my opening statement here.

On a more positive note, we celebrated Refugee Week in June – an opportunity to welcome and recognise the important contribution that refugees have made and continue to make in Australia. I hope that you enjoy this month’s edition of Equal Time, which we have dedicated to Refugee Week’s 2020 theme, the Year of Welcome.

Thank you again for taking the time to read our e-newsletter, your support has never been more important. We will continue to monitor advice from the NSW Government and health authorities about the easing of restrictions, and will update you of any changes to our service via our website and social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Stay positive, safe and healthy.

Annabelle Bennett AC SC, President, Anti-Discrimination NSW 

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