identity, racism & belongingidentity, racism & belonging

The following audio and video interviews present learner experiences of racism, labelling and stereotyping in educational environments. Loneliness, isolation and lack of comprehension are described in the following stories as the result of these experiences. While discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, descent or ethnic or national origin is illegal in Australia, racism is common, with three out of four Indigenous people experiencing racism in their daily lives (ANTaR). ‘Racism is destructive. It disempowers people by devaluing their identity. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society. It is the opposite of the democratic principle of equality and the right of all people to be treated fairly’ (Racism. No way.). The stories and strategies in this section present a window on racism, identity and belonging and suggest ways to build more inclusive learning environments.

Racism. no way
ANTaR Racism makes me sick campaign

  • What the learners say
  • What the trainers say


HeleanaHeleana is a trainee teacher and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning. She previously worked in the areas of land management and eco-cultural tourism. She has completed the Certificates II and III in Spoken and Written English and is completing her final units in a tertiary preparation course concurrently with her teaching studies.  

Heleana talks about racism

Heleana talks about shame job business


JoelJoel is a work-based apprentice at a regional university campus. He is currently enrolled in Certificate III in Business and is working in an office environment. He has previously completed Certificate III in Music and Certificate in Commercial Cookery

Joel talks about racism

Joel talks about racism 2

Joel talks about relating to teachers

Joel talks about acceptance & acknowledgement

Joel talks about identity and skin colour

Joel talks about reversing racism

Joel talks about the stereotyping of students


AngeleeAngelee is a work-based apprentice. She is currently enrolled in Certificate III in Business and is working in an office environment.

Angelee talks about racism at school


MaritaNardene is the current Vice-Chancellors Indigenous Career Cadet at Charles Darwin University. She is studying a Bachelor of Commerce specialising in marketing. She previously completed a Certificate IV in Marketing and a Certificate IV in Community Services.

Nardene talks about her early experiences of racism in the school setting


BarryBarry is a VET trainer in Indigenous Education Work. He delivers training in the workplace in an Indigenous community.  

Barry talks about identity and culture and their impact on work and training




Strategies for trainers:

Acknowledge learners’ cultural backgrounds and identity, in group settings and individually

Acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which you are working

Break down stereotypes by finding out facts

Reflect on your own language and teaching practices and change those that, even unwittingly, may reinforce racist attitudes, stereotypes or labels

Speak out against racism

Establish learning and teaching environments that encourage respect for difference

See the ANTaR Racism makes me sick campaign at for ideas about speaking up against racism and ideas for doing something positive against racism