05 June 2014

The Vice Chancellors of the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide, CEO of TAFESA, Premier Jay Weatherill and students at the signing on of the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign. All three South Australian universities and TAFESA will be working together to make a stand against racism and raise awareness of systemic barriers to racial equality.

The Premier Jay Weatherill is hosting the three South Australian universities and TAFESA as they make a public stand against racism.  

The Vice Chancellors of the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide along with the CEO of TAFESA will sign on to the Australian Human Rights Commission national anti-racism campaign Racism: It Stops with Me in a special ceremony today at 12 noon at the Watarru Room in Old Parliament House.

Speaking on behalf of the signatories, UniSA’s Professor David Lloyd said universities and TAFE played a pivotal role in preventing racism.

“We educate the next generations of industry and business leaders and workers, of teachers, doctors and health professionals, lawyers and indeed politicians, so we are in the box seat to teach students that racial equality is not only a core value of civil societies, but a great advantage,” UniSA Vice Chancellor Prof Lloyd says.

“It is while you are engaged in tertiary education that you learn to challenge ideas and analyse patterns of thinking.

“For many students, university is also their first immersion into a more socio-economically and culturally diverse community, which presents their greatest opportunity to understand and learn more about racial and social equality.”

Premier Jay Weatherill says the united front presented by TAFESA and the universities is a great start for South Australia.

“Our diverse local community gives us greater breadth and depth and a much stronger capacity to engage in the global economy with confidence,” he says.  

“In making this public stand against racism by being part of this national campaign, the universities and TAFESA are joining the State Government in sending a clear message that we’ll do all we can to eliminate racism and embrace diversity.”

Welcoming the move from South Australia’s tertiary educators, Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane says universities and colleges of advanced education are in a unique position to lead the way in communicating the message of tolerance and understanding.

“The task of fighting prejudice and discrimination remains one of education - it is about informing people about racism's harms, alerting people to what they can do to respond, and reminding people that hatred diminishes all of us,” Dr Soutphommasane says.

“True to its heritage as a multicultural state, South Australia has led the way in its commitment to the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign.

“It gives all of us in the field of human rights enormous heart to know we can count on your solidarity.”

News editors please note: Vice Chancellors Professors David Lloyd, Warren Bebbington and Michael Barber and TAFESA CEO Jeff Gunningham will be available for comment.

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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