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Participants wanted: Study on caste discrimination in Australia

Macquarie University study seeks South Asian experiences of caste and caste discrimination for National Anti-Racism Framework community consultations

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If you are of South Asian background and have experience of caste discrimination in Australia, then a Macquarie University study would like you to participate in a group discussion.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) is undertaking consultation and engagement across multicultural and ethnic communities in Australia.

Seventeen multicultural community consultations across Australia including in remote, regional, and metropolitan areas will focus on:

  • LGBTQIA+ people and communities
  • women
  • people with disabilities
  • people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds older people
  • young people (18-25)
  • people and communities of faith
  • people from new and emerging communities
  • people from communities with caste systems.

The findings will feed into the development of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Anti-Racism Framework. The Framework will form a central reference point for anti-racism action by government, NGOs, business, communities, and others.

FECCA has engaged the Periyar Ambedkar Thoughts Circle of Australia (PATCA) to conduct community consultations with people from communities with caste systems. PATCA is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to combating caste discrimination in Australia and promoting social inclusivity. Drawing inspiration from Indian social reformers Periyar and Ambedkar, PATCA engages in policy, legal, and political advocacy. It aims to shed light on the plight of the caste-oppressed communities in Australia, striving to secure their rights and dignity.

Participants of South Asian background (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji) are sought for a group consultation to share their experiences of caste discrimination in Australia.

Participants could include international students, temporary residents, and Australian citizens.

The group consultation will be facilitated by Associate Professor Selvaraj Velayutham, Macquarie School of Social Sciences at Macquarie University.

The aim of this research is to understand:

  • How caste identities and hierarchies are negotiated in Australia
  • Encounters and experiences of caste discrimination in Australia
  • Spaces and places where caste discrimination is taking place
  • Ways in which caste discrimination is managed

The group consultation will take place on campus at Macquarie University in April.  It will run for 1.5 hours.

All participants will receive refreshments and a $40 gift voucher.

With your permission, the group discussion will be audio recorded in digital format. To protect your identity, the recording will not include your name. The discussion will be transcribed and the information we gather will be de-identified and submitted as a report to the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia by Associate Professor Selvaraj Velayutham.

Participation in the study is entirely voluntary. You are not obliged to participate in all stages, and if you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time without having to give a reason and without consequence.

If you are interested in participating in this group consultation, please contact:

Associate Professor Selvaraj Velayutham

Mobile: 0423 133 986 Email: Selvaraj.velayutham@mq.edu.au

For more information about the community consultation, visit:

https://fecca.org.au/resources/national-antiracism-framework-multicultural-community-consultations/ 

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