Anti-Discrimination NSW


​Aboriginal woman not 'local' enough for identified position

Conciliation: Race discrimination in employment

​Published: 17 October 2016

An Aboriginal woman was deeply offended when she was told she wasn’t suitable for an Aboriginal-identified position because she wasn’t a local. ​


The complainant was an Aboriginal woman who alleged that a health services provider discriminated against her in the arrangements made for determining who should be offered employment.  

The complainant had previously applied for an Aboriginal-identified position with the employer but had been unsuccessful. The position was to assist in delivering health services in the local Aboriginal community. The same position was then readvertised a few months later and the woman decided to reapply. 

The complainant made contact with the contact person who would also be the manager of the position being recruited, and asked for her previous application to be resubmitted. She said she was told by the contact person that she would be wasting her time in applying for the position as she was not a local and did not have local knowledge. The complainant said this advice was later confirmed by email. 

The complainant said that although she was not born in the local area, she has kinship ties there, including family who currently lived there and whom she had visited on numerous occasions.  She was deeply offended that a non-Aboriginal person had made a judgement about whether or not she would be accepted by the local community without knowledge of her personal circumstances.  

She said this demonstrated ignorance on the part of the convenor about the displacement of Aboriginal people from their traditional lands, and a non-Aboriginal person applying for work delivering health services to other ethnic communities would not have been treated in the same way.  

The complaint was resolved when the complainant accepted a personal apology from the contact person and the employer, and an ex-gratia payment of $2000 in acknowledgement of the complainant’s feelings. ​

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 October 2016 - Equal Time Newsletter​​​​​

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