Australia

Majority of young Australians say racism is prevalent at social and sporting events

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A new national survey has found more than 50 per cent of respondents, aged between 11 and 19-years-old, believe Australia has a culture of racism.

Ninety per cent of students aged between 11 and 19 say they know a friend or family member who has been the target of racism at Australian sporting events, according to a new national survey.

The study, by World Vision, asked 800 students about their experiences with discrimination and found half of the respondents believed there was a strong culture of racism in Australia. 

Sporting events were identified as the worst location for racism, while public transport and shopping centres were close behind.

"Sometimes you get like occasional looks at you or sometimes like whispering behind your back and you just feel really bad, because you feel like you're different and people feel like you're different from them," year 10 student Tiana told SBS News.

Mayra Jamall, who is a year seven coordinator at Hume Central Secondary College in Melbourne's northwest, where 45 per cent of residents speak a language other than language, said she knows of friends who have felt unwelcome playing sport because of their race.

"Just looks, some offhand comments when things get a little bit heated or nasty within the game," she said of their experiences.

Swans star Adam Goodes was forced to leave the game because of racism.
Swans star Adam Goodes was forced to leave the game because of racism.
AAP

She said the students were "young and vulnerable" who were likely to be extremely affected by racism.

More than half of the respondents also said they strongly believed the Australian government should be doing more to put an end to racism.

"I think people need to be more aware about the issues and people need to know how to stand up for other people," year 11 student Charlotte said.

"I've been in situations where I've seen racism and I haven't been able to stand up for other people and I think that's important to teach."

World Vision's youth engagement leader Will Meznar said racism has become worse over the past year, according to their survey.

"Young people are experiencing racism at rates that are pretty unacceptable," he said.

"Australian young people need to feel safe wherever they are, whatever their background, whatever their skin colour and there is more we can actually be doing to help them with that."

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