1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Aug 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/11/2003   
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Development of Anti-Racism Strategy for WA

The ABS has been working closely with State Government for several years in order to improve the ethnic and indigenous identification in administrative systems.

As part of this process the ABS held a series of seminars in 2000 in conjunction with The Office of Multicultural Interests. The aim of these seminars was to standardise the recording and reporting of ethnicity and multiculturalism across state government departments and agencies in WA. The ideals are encapsulated in Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) (cat. no.1249.0).

The ABS furthered this close relationship when Dr Leela de Mel, Executive Director, Office of Multicultural Interests addressed members of the Social Statistics Consultative Group (SSCG) on April 8, 2003. Dr de Mel spoke on the development of the State Governments’ Anti-Racism Strategy for Western Australia, due to be launched later in 2004.

The Premier and Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, the Hon Dr Geoff Gallop is leading the development of the Strategy as Chairperson of the Anti-Racism Steering Committee.

The vision for the Strategy is to create an inclusive and harmonious Western Australia where all its members are treated equitably and fairly and reach their full potential with dignity and respect.

The Charter of Multiculturalism for Western Australia, released by the Premier for public comment, and the Statement of Commitment to a New and Just Relationship Between the Government of Western Australia and Aboriginal Western Australians, will provide the basis upon which the Strategy will be developed.

Challenges associated with developing this Strategy include:

  • the difficulties in defining racism
  • a lack of data on racism.

A question on ethnicity was asked for the first time in the 2001 Census and this information is currently available in census products and publications.

The ABS does not collect data on racism but offers a wide range of publications that address ethnicity, multiculturalism, and language and cultural diversity.

Related publications include Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity (cat. no. 1289.0), Older People, Australia: A Social Report (cat.no. 4109.0) and the Indigenous Social Survey (cat. no. 4714.0).