2016 Australian Reconciliation Barometer shows racism on the rise

The Reconciliation Barometer is a biennial, national research study, conducted by Reconciliation Australia since 2008. The Barometer measures attitudes and perceptions towards reconciliation, and maps our progress towards the five dimensions of reconciliation.  The 2016 Barometer is out now.

In 2016 the Barometer surveyed 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and 2277 Australians in the general community across all states and territories. This is the largest sample size the Barometer has ever surveyed.

The 2016 Barometer tells us that since 2014 an increasing number of Australians are proud of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and believe these cultures are important to Australia’s identity as a nation. Almost all Australians continue to view the relationship between each other as important and many believe that it is possible that all Australians can be united.

The Barometer findings reveal that the majority of Australians maintain positive attitudes towards reconciliation. However, disappointingly, there is significant evidence that these positive attitudes have yet to translate into improved behaviours across a wide range of sectors in Australian society, including the workplace, law-enforcement agencies, and the education and community sectors.

Key Findings:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are reporting more experiences of racial prejudice compared to the general Australian community, and compared to  2014.    

Almost half (46%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians experienced at least one form of racial prejudice in the 6 months prior to the survey, with verbal abuse the most common form of prejudice experienced (37%).  

One in five (18%) Australians in the general community experienced at least one form of racial prejudice in the 6 months prior to the survey.

In 2014, 39% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians experienced at least one form of racial prejudice in the 6 months prior to the survey.  

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