Once again accusations of racism are plaguing Australia in light of another appalling attack on Brisbane public transport earlier this month. It is just one of many similar attacks which have been spread across social media, not only in Queensland but nationwide.
Australia’s Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, believes that despite pockets of racism, “we are a fundamentally fair and decent society.” In comparison, a study conducted by Diversity Council of Australia has found that a massive 90 percent of Australians believe racism to still be an issue in the workplace.
The Challenging Racism Project reported that over 11 percent of Australians have experienced racial based exclusion in the workplace. Findings also showed that racist behaviours were found to be more prevalent in certain industries, with construction and mining taking a lot of the heat.
Workers in the Construction and Mining industries are often perceived as being racist, but some industry insiders oppose this view, believing that the stigma attached to these industries only applies to a minority.
Tom Scash, Director of Construction Hunter, has spent more than 10 years in the construction industry, and has found that in his experience; “the majority of workers are not focused on the race of the person working beside them. They respect any worker of any race that is willing to roll up their sleeves and pull their weight”.
“The idea of Australian mateship is still alive and well in the construction industry. The tone on worksites is not one of discrimination but rather frustration. Workers are frustrated that there are a lot of highly skilled local candidates being overlooked, and left struggling to find work, while companies are hiring from overseas”.
Tom has witnessed workplace racism firsthand, but believes there is an “overall increase in acceptance of racial diversity moving forward”.
Tom Scash and his team are on a mission to provide job opportunities, news and practical tools for Australia’s construction, mining and resources professionals. For more information and available jobs, project listings and latest industry news, visit Construction Hunter.
by Isabella Cunningham and Sarah Frendo