Insights from Quadrant

Making work in
the Dept. of Grievance

The bureaucrat’s greatest art is generating further work and extending the empire. All do it, but perhaps none with such aplomb as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), whose very existence depends on a steady flow of complaints about this slight or that. The table detailing last year’s complaints can be viewed via this link (see Appendix 1: Complaints data) and the numbers hardly depict a state beset by eruptive bigotry, general beastliness and burning crosses, which might explain VEOHRC’s latest gambit to keep its grievance packagers occupied and employed.

Here’s a taste of its current appeal to keep the work coming, the staff expanding and sob stories of intolerance on tap:

Reducing Racism is a new project that engages Victoria’s African and Muslim communities to help them understand their rights and how to exercise them and make it easier for them to report racism.

Our consultations with members of African and Muslim communities have revealed several recurring themes:

  • Racism is a significant issue
  • There are barriers preventing people from connecting with us
  • People don’t know enough about their rights and how to find help

We’ve worked alongside the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) to promote the pilot of a new community reporting tool that makes it easier for culturally and linguistically diverse groups – particularly members of African and Muslim communities – to make reports about racism and discrimination to the Commission.

Build it, as they say, and they will come.

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