The Challenge

Counteracting Racism

"The history of our country is based on so much lies and racial policies that have suppressed my people... We’ve had to put up with a lot of racism unfortunately" - Adam Goodes

Key Facts


of Aboriginal people experience racism "often"

1 in 5

School children experience racism everyday.


of Australians have little or no knowledge of Indigenous history or culture

What is the challenge?

Recent research in Australia found that the annual economic cost of racism in contributing to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological disorder is more than 3% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product. Through our experience, racism is a constant in the lives of Indigenous Australians and it has effects across a number of social welfare indicators.

It is regularly acknowledged as being a key part of Australia’s history, which led to Indigenous Australia’s historical experiences, including but not limited to; cultural disconnection, forced child-removal, forced land acquisition and attempted genocide however we are also aware of how racism and discrimination continues to negatively affect Indigenous Australians to this day.

Institutional or systemic racism is not necessarily overt or intentional but occurs when the dominant views and practices of an institution ignore or exclude the expectations and beliefs of some of its clients Australian Human Rights Commission, National Anti-Racism Strategy

It is rarely acknowledged that racism continues to be a major factor in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in contemporary Australia.  This continues to be a driving reason behind what many Aboriginal-led organisations, including NASCA, do across Australia.

NASCA acknowledges that racism goes well beyond name-calling, perpetuating stereotypes, prejudiced media reports or race-driven violence. We know that it can permeate daily life through the exclusion of certain voices, paternalistic policies, denial of cultural rights and an unjust division of power and resources. It has also been found that racism is a major reason why Aboriginal people may not have equal access to essential services for employment, education, housing and medical care as well as unfair treatment in the media and legal systems. The by-products of racism in all its forms has also been associated with mental health issues, poor quality of life, multi-generational trauma and substance misuse among Indigenous Australians.

NASCA’s Response

A large part of why we do our work is because we are aware that racism directly impacts on the health and wellbeing of the young people we work with and their communities and unsurprisingly this ultimately limits their opportunities to reach their full potential. Whilst we know that the eradication of racism extends beyond the reach of NASCA, we know that building on the self-worth and pride in one’s Aboriginality can limit the effects of racism experienced by young people.


NASCA also knows that promoting positive images of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prosperity looks like combats racism and its effects.  NASCA reinforces positive notions of Aboriginality and pride in ones heritage within the learning experiences of our young people which means they are more likely to achieve academically and therefore go onto be successful after school.

NASCA’s governance is 100% Aboriginal and we see this as a necessary point of difference as we are working across communities where we consider these perspectives and leadership to be vital across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific issues.  We also actively advocate for movements that promote Indigenous-led solutions across the broader Australian community and we see this as being key to the progression of Australia as a nation.

Donate today and change a future

Help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders stay strong in their culture and identity.