Discrimination law roadshow extends its reach

Discrimination law roadshow extends its reach

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

John, a housing worker, found that whenever he applied for housing on behalf of an Indigenous client it never seemed to progress. He thought it was discrimination but how could he prove it?

Melanie Schleiger, our Equality Law program manager, and Senior Lawyer Aimee Cooper are well equipped to tackle the grey areas that arise in determining unlawful discrimination.

The program’s Discrimination Law roadshow has been touring the state over the past 18 months informing organisations on the subject.

Senior Lawyer Aimee Cooper
Senior Lawyer Aimee Cooper

To date, more than 380 people from 17 metropolitan and regional areas have attended. The vast majority came with little or no knowledge of discrimination law and left saying they would be able to advise clients about options if an issue arose.

The focus of the participants attending the Melbourne session last week encompassed migrant assistance, disability, education, health, government, aged care, housing, legal, Indigenous and family needs from both metropolitan and regional areas.

‘The aim is to give you a better sense of what might be discrimination so you can help your clients get assistance,’ Melanie told them.

What they learnt

Participants learned about ‘attributes’ that the law protects such as carer status, disability, race, employment activity and religious belief.

They examined areas where discrimination is unlawful, such as the provision of services, employment and education, and examples of unlawful behaviour and the importance of choosing the right jurisdiction to have a complaint heard.

How it helps others

Speaking afterwards, Rachel Miers, executive manager of the John Pierce Centre, said the deaf community experienced discrimination daily.

Communicating through an Auslan interpreter, she said she found the workshop ‘helpful and very clear’.

Nenita Drough, of the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, an umbrella organisation for more than 25 cultural and community groups, was attending with colleagues in order to be able to provide information on dealing with discrimination.

When people come, we will be able to prepare them and explain what they might be able to do,’ she said. ‘When people are aware, they can cope or handle their situation a bit better.’

More information 

We have information about discrimination and victimisation and where you can get help.

You can also call us on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, for free information about the law and how we can help you. 

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