Teacher Notes

Part A: About the Act

Discrimination can take many forms; race, gender, religion, sexuality, age, social class etc.  Do you think some forms of discrimination can be more damaging than others?  Why?

In an effort to prevent racial discrimination, the Australian Government has passed a law to prevent it in Australia.  The Racial Discrimination Act was passed in 1975 and all people living in Australia have a responsibility to obey this law.

When the Act is breached a victim is able to lodge a complaint and, where appropriate, a process of conciliation between the victim and offender is begun to resolve the issue.

Read the following information about the Act carefully.  It will help you to complete a quiz.

The Racial Discrimination Act aims to make sure all people are treated equally regardless of their race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin and are not discriminated against in workplaces, schools, shops, sporting events, and other public forums.
 
The Act also prohibits public racial vilification. Racial vilification means offending, insulting, humiliating or intimidating someone because of their race, colour, or national or ethnic origin.
 
There are some circumstances where racial hatred or discrimination do not breach the Act if they are 'done reasonably and in good faith'.

Check your understanding of this law by completing the following quiz.  Don't worry if you get an answer wrong, you'll be told why so you can learn more about this important law.

Please note: the Racial Discrimination Act is a complex law and each case must be assessed on its particular merits.  This quiz uses hypothetical scenarios and indicates the likely conclusions only.