Although she has Chinese heritage, Pearl Tan freely admits to being racist against Asians – especially when they conform to stereotypes like bad driving. Born and bred in Australia, Pearl reckons her home town of Perth has grown more racist over the years. She became frustrated with a lack of opportunities for Asian actors in Australia, so she started her own production company to create stories to normalise minorities.
Sachin Joab plays Ajay Kapoor on Neighbours. He grew up in Australia and experienced bullying as a child because of his Indian heritage. Sachin feels Australian TV is too white and ethnic minority actors are cast in stereotyped roles. Neighbours is one of the first gigs he's landed where he hasn't been asked to put on an Indian accent. He experienced a small backlash from fans when he was part of the first non-European family on the show.
Dr Fiona Barlow is a social psychologist passionate about understanding prejudice and discrimination. She says the nature of racism has changed over the past century - overtly racist statements used to be the norm, but now society expects people to be more egalitarian and accepting. Dr Barlow is a lecturer and post-doctoral fellow at the University of Queensland.
"Nathan" picked up racist and sexist attitudes from 'bogan' childhood friends and admits abusing people of different races in the past. Now a 'reformed racist,' "Nathan" is one of 20 bloggers for The Anti-Bogan website, exposing racism by republishing racist comments made on sites like Facebook and Twitter. "Nathan" has requested anonymity because of several death threats as a result of the website’s content.
Behan Ahmed was born in Eritrea, which borders Ethiopia and Sudan. When his town was bombed during the civil war he fled to a refugee camp in Sudan. He admits to having had racist feelings in the past. He sought refuge in Australia as a 24 year old and now chairs the African Think Tank in Melbourne.