When Demand for Racism Exceeds Supply

Australia is not a racist country, Greg Sheridan has declared in a passionate column for the Weekend Australian. This will not be a view shared by the good folk at the Australian Human Rights Commission who are underway with a program to develop something described as a “National Anti-Racism Framework”.

What exactly is “an anti-racism framework”, national or otherwise, you may ask. What will it involve, and why do we need one?

The details, available on the HRC Web site in excruciating bureaucratese, indicate the initiative had its origins back in 2021 when

…the Commission released a proposal for a National Anti-Racism Framework in response to enduring community calls for national action after heightened experiences of racism and racial inequality in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main things I can recall from the early days of the pandemic was YouTube videos of women squabbling over toilet rolls, plus the memories of otherwise mild-mannered men in the queue at Aldi warning me off if I breached the space limit — “a metre and a half, mate”. I don’t recall any racial inequality; we were all equally stuffed. But the HRC was focussed on the bigger picture.

From March 2021 to April 2022, the Commission consulted with the public, peak and community organisations, experts, service providers, human rights agencies, and government at all levels on the scope and vision for a Framework.

The Commission undertook more than 100 consultations in 48 locations around the nation.  164 public submissions were received nationwide, including a significant portion from individuals.

Oh, to be among that elite squad of 100 consultors. Wow, 164 submissions “including a significant portion from individuals”. Democracy in action!

As the culmination of these consultations and submissions, the scoping report identifies key considerations for the principles that should underpin a framework, three cross-cutting themes consistently raised by participants, and three sector-specific priority areas to guide this work moving forward.   

One overarching principle was widespread acknowledgement of the need to centre First Nations experiences, including the experience of colonisation and its ongoing impacts.

Yeah, “colonisation and its ongoing impacts”. That sort of indicates where this is heading. Download the Report here if you are suffering from incurable insomnia. Some highlights:

The Race Discrimination Commissioner acknowledges the emotional labour of those with lived experience of racism who participated in the scoping phase of the National Anti-Racism Framework

The Commission also received feedback that the Framework needs a definition of racism that reflects a nuanced and intersectional understanding of racism and that is community-centric. Participants stressed that understanding racism only through the category of race does not address its breadth and complexity, including the systems and structures of power implicated in its process. The systemic nature of racism must therefore be acknowledged and addressed in the Framework

“Understanding racism only through the category of race does not address its breadth and complexity.” What the hell does that last sentence mean?

Participants also called for enhanced visibility and responses at the intersection of different forms of discrimination. They shared concerns that those who experienced racial discrimination and who were also part of LGBTQIA+ communities, who were refugees, who had precarious visa or citizenship status, and who are people with disability, women, and young people, those from certain religious backgrounds, and those also experiencing caste discrimination, amongst others, need stronger protections in terms of policy, programs, and the law

So, there are degrees of racism? It hurts more if you’re gay or missing a limb or “from certain religious backgrounds?” (I am guessing not Catholic).

Oversight and accountability within the criminal justice system, particularly in relation to the systemic discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was called for by many organisations, service providers, government departments and agencies as well as community members. Many participants also highlighted the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system on people from migrant, refugee, and faith-based backgrounds, particularly through over-policing and an unequal access to justice. Participants advocated for the provision of safe complaints mechanisms, community-centred supports, and services for those caught in the criminal justice system, as well as culturally safe and unhindered legal assistance.

Next time I get pinged for speeding, I’ll be looking forward to a “safe complaints mechanism” and “culturally safe and unhindered legal assistance.”

Participants also strongly advocated for improved accountability of digital media through increased regulation and community-informed standards in relation to online hate.

Yeah, increased regulation of media, that is an ongoing HRC priority. The great Bill Leak, you’ll recall, was regulated into an early grave, and don’t forget how Gillian Triggs was worried about the thoughts you might express around the kitchen table.

An Approach to Market (ATM) currently advertised on the Austender Web site calls for an organisation able to provide for consultations with First Nations community members on this planned “Framework”. The HRC has set aside up to $550,000 for the successful tenderer, so if you feel you have the right stuff for the role get your pitch in before the closing date of September 29, 2023.

According to the tender documents, “The Commission requires a supplier to conduct consultations with First Nations communities across Australia, and collate findings.” Rule yourself out if you cannot demonstrate the

…ability to approach consultations with a human-rights based, intersectional culturally safe, trauma informed and place based (where possible) approach.

“Trauma informed” and “place based” are terms I confess to being completely unable to comprehend. If Quadrant Online readers are able to shed light on their meaning, or that of “intersectional culturally safe”, please enter an answer in the comments thread below. Your insights will  be extremely helpful for fellow readers contemplating competing, seriously or not, for the half-a-million-plus bucks the HRC is so keen to spend.

The Approach to Market also highlights that “The objectives of the consultations are to: ensure the voices of First Nations peoples are centred in national discussions about a National Anti-Racism Framework.”

Crikey! You thought there was only on Voice? Forget it, there are many.

Large as it is, I fail to understand how $550,000 is sufficient to engage with indigenous communities “across Australia”. That’s a lot of territory to cover and a lot of diesel fuel.

Plus, it’s not like you can just walk into an outback town, rock up to the counter at the motel, servo, supermarket or pub and engage in the HRC-approved sort of way with the local indigenous community. 

From the Austender document:

The National Anti-Racism Strategy has been funded by the Federal Government over the next four years.


Walter Waverley is the pseudonym of a Sydney journalist and businessman who prefers anonymity to grief from woke neighbours, friends and clients

27 thoughts on “When Demand for Racism Exceeds Supply

  • Tony Tea says:

    “Walter Waverley is the pseudonym of a Sydney journalist and businessman who prefers anonymity to grief from woke neighbours, friends and clients.”

    Jack Strocci summed it up neatly on Twitter when he replied to a smug tweet about how come it was only YES people putting up signs, but there were no NO signs, by saying YES is an “irresistible opportunity for virtue signalling” but NO “puts a target on your back.”

  • Peter Williamson says:

    The current federal government will be remembered as the worst in Australia’s history. Even Whitlam seems reasonable and rational by comparison. Let’s hope that also becomes one of the shortest.

    Gough didn’t want to destroy our economy with idiotic green fantasies of ‘renewable’ energy and ‘net zero’. Even Jim Cairns didn’t try to create a Ministry of Truth and its mis/disinformation laws to destroy free speech.

    This lot even plans to end the democratic system itself by creating a Politburo of unelected inner-city latte-left comrades of mixed heritage to ram through more socialist laws, either directly in Parliament, or indirectly by flicking it to their fellow travellers in the judiciary.

    Voting them out of office will not be enough. Once the grown ups are back in charge there must be a radical purge. All the left wing apparatus needs to be dismantled. Why, for example, do we have a Federal Department of Education, which spends millions and employs not one teacher or educates a single child? Destroy it root and branch. There will be no electoral consequences- all who would object already hate you and vote Labor anyway.

    Many more examples of Departments ripe for demolition spring to mind. Abolish the lot!

    Defund the ABC (aka the Australian Bolshevik Collective). Paying your enemy a billion dollars per annum to brainwash your friends must be the sine qua non of insanity.

    And the Australian Human Rights Commission must be the very first to get the chop. A sheltered workshop for Australian-hating individuals of colour.

    Abolish it on day one

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to rubbish the government as in politicians for mostly they possess an IQ equivalent to their hat size in the old Imperial measurement’s of about 6 and five eights tops unless it is about getting some perk or the other in a huge amount. It’s the people running the show, the public servants depicted so well in “Yes Minister” who are to blame. A Govt. persuaded me to “unretire” because of my supposed expertise in something and I worked for them until past age 75 but “They” whoever the faceless “They” usually are, discovered that at past age 70 I had not completed a sexual harassment course and therefore should complete one asap and telephoned me with the directions etc. I thanked the trick cyclist or psychologist profusely and enquired if I were to be the harasser or the harasee but in any case please have the comely Misses. “X” and “Y” from dept. “Z” attend the course with me and we three would take it in turns to harass or to be harassed. The ensuing flak took some time to die down but it did thanks to someone at a great height with the same sense of the ridiculous as I and who admired me for filling in the endless government forms asking if I were a Torres Strait Islander or an Aboriginal in the affirmative along with being single, married, widowed, divorced, etc. One has to combat the ridiculous with something more ridiculous and perhaps eventually the message will sink in. Oh, and when asked for yr gender don’t say “surprise me with one, your choice” for that really tenses them up to the point of them taking stress leave for they are a sensitive lot.

    • DougD says:

      Botswana – only one thing wrong. Politicians don’t have perks, The correct term is “entitlements”. Eg our local Greens MHR has been using his federal electorate allowance to fund the campaigns of Greens candidates in the local city council. election. That’s OK, he says. “It’s within my entitlements”. He’s young and has been in Parliament only five minutes. But he knows precisely how far his federal member ntitlements stretch.

  • Ceres says:

    I have no idea and no wish to know what intersectionality or non binary or any of the current fad words mean. I do know that racism and aborigines are the only topics saturating us via media, politicians, corporations and other assorted bods. . What an indictment on the country and what it has become. Rome is burning. Ho hum.

  • padraic says:

    Walter, I can understand your querying the meaning of “place based approach”. It was probably a typo and should read “plant based approach”. The whole thing looks like a “victim” production line to provide material for those in the legal profession suffering unemployment or of an avaricious inclination.

  • Stephen Due says:

    The AHRC is selective regarding the human rights it worries about. During the pandemic, when the rights of millions of Australians were being infringed by our governments – rights such as bodily autonomy, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech – the typical HRC response was (and I quote) “This is not about human rights”. But a few hundred potential complaints about ‘racism’ require costly investigations and much self-righteous posturing.
    Incidentally, what the AHRC calls racism – such as when A calls B a ‘nigger’ – is not actually a matter of human rights. Contrast what used to be called racism – such as when blacks are segregated by law. In so far as racism is an attitude of mind of persons, it is not a matter of human rights.
    I am not personally a fan of human rights as a concept, but since we are now saddled with Human Rights Commissions – an arm of the draconian administrative state – I think it would be useful if they were able to grasp the basic concepts involved in what is supposed to be their area of expertise. Human rights have nothing to do with attiudes or whether somebody is a ‘racist’. On the other hand they have a lot to do with governments confining people to their houses, forcing them to wear masks, and allowing employers to sack people who choose not to take a vaccine (just the start of a long list).

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Intersectionality is some kind of an invention by a US crowd called the Combahee River Collective in 1977 & they’d been meeting since 1974, and really defies logical description.
    The collective consisted of black feminist ‘intelligentsia’, of one persuasion or another, and it’s all basically pure race marxism.
    Their present day ( yes they still exist in sort of upgraded versions infiltrated through the institutions ) US nemesis is James Lindsay, who has written some very good stuff exposing the whole rotten business of so called ‘woke’ ideology. His 2022 book that I have is called “Race Marxism” subtitle ‘the truth about critical race theory’, and the paperback ISBN is 9798795809083.
    It doesn’t surprise me that our charming HRC people are right up to their eyeballs in the stuff….it really is incredible to read just what they’ve all been beavering away at for years, and their sort of ‘off the planet’ thinking…. almost beyond belief in fact.

  • pmprociv says:

    This is just the same old, same old, all over again, Parkinson’s Laws in full swing: the prime goal of any new bureaucracy is to consolidate its own survival and growth, ASAP. As for “consultations and submissions”, naturally these can be only exercises in affirmation bias, for nothing less will do: choose your sources carefully, and avoid ones that won’t line up with your goals.

    Will we ever be free from such idiocy? Certainly not under the Albanese regime.

  • mazziepudding says:

    I’m Australian-Irish, a much maligned race. Any room for my grievances at the HRC?

  • bomber49 says:

    Lately, I’ve been trying to find if there is a link between addiction and compassion, because I suspect that the super compassionate must feed their ever increasing addiction. If I may parody the James Dean classic they are The Compassionate without a Cause, forever unsatisfied with fixing perceived injustices and moving on to the next. As it turns out the empathetic are more prone to addictions like drugs (legal and otherwise) and alcohol, maybe to ease their transferred pain. I just wish the HRC would just get high and leave the world alone.

  • Watchman Williams says:

    Intersectionality is a contrived social concept that, like most of what is called identity politics, has its roots in feminism. It was devised to create and reinforce claims of victim status, gaining advantage to the “victim” thereby.
    Intersectionality claims to identify social structures of privilege and lends support to claims of under-privilege, or victimhood. Typically, intersectionality is used to claim victim status in a range of social “identifiers”, including gender, sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, height, weight, bodily shape and whatever else can be contrived.
    These social identities are deemed to be structurally embedded in society and the source of power in the “privileged” who use this power to oppress the “underprivileged” or “oppressed”.
    The doctrine of intersectionality is used to underpin official discrimination in favour of the “underprivileged” and against the “oppressors”. As a white, male, heterosexual Christian, intersectionality ranks me as a member of the very worst of the oppressor class.

  • Algynon says:

    I have been traumatised by the tortured language in the HRC documents. I have attempted to decrypt some of the terms, but they are beyond the English-language-trained AI algorithms in my PC.
    “Intersectional culturally safe” is indeed a perplexing melange. “Intersectional” is an adjective usually applied to multimodal forms of discrimination. If it is “modifying” the adverbial “culturally”, then it should be in its adverbial form “intersectionally”. Similarly if it is modifying the adjective “safe”.
    It appears that both words are intended to modify the meaning of “safe” which in turn is qualifying the subsequent and distant noun “approach”.
    I can understand Ukrainian troops attempting to finding a “safe approach” in attacking Russian positions in the Donbas. I don’t understand what is meant by a “safe approach” to consultations with those who might have experienced or witnessed discrimination. Are they expecting the victims of discrimination to attack the consultants? Are we expecting those victims of harsh words to be responding indiscriminately with lethal weapons?
    “Trauma informed” is also discombobulating the AI bots. These words appear to be an attempt to clarify further the “approach” required by the consultants. Until the consultants uncover the nature of the trauma for a particular victim, they would be unable to be informed of that trauma, in order to take it into consideration. Are they consulting only with the traumatised? Do we assume that people of a particular identity, or combination of identities, are always traumatised by discrimination?
    If they are not, do the consultants ignore them and move on? This would seem to bias the research.
    The algorithms spent hours puzzling over these and other mysteries. Eventually they came to the words “place based”. In a gesture of defeat, they suggested that the entire HRC documents be “place based” in an incinerator.

  • colin_jory says:


    “Trauma informed” is an innocuous-sounding phrase which actually encapsulates a deadly feminist hate-poison concocted to destroy the fundamental legal rights of any male accused of, or tried for, alleged sexual assault of a woman or a male minor, and it has been powerfully employed against defendants in recent Australian cases. Bettina Arndt has written lucidly against it in in the past. The core contention of feminist “trauma theory” is that a woman who has been sexually assaulted, or a male who was sexually violated as a child, will almost always have an accurate memory of the core criminal acts, but because of trauma might have only confused, contradictory, or demonstrably inaccurate or part-inaccurate recollections of associated circumstances.

    Consider the following direction given to the jury in the Pell jury-trial by Judge Peter Kidd.

    “When you are assessing the evidence, also bear in mind that experience shows the following. One, people may not remember all the details of a sexual offence or may not describe a sexual offence in the same way each time. Two, trauma may affect different people differently, including by affecting how they recall events. Three, it is common for there to be differences in accounts of a sexual offence. For example, people may describe a sexual offence differently at different times to different people or in different contexts. And finally, both truthful and untruthful accounts of a sexual offence may contain differences.” (Record of the Victorian Court of Appeal hearing, George Pell v the Queen, paragraph 76.)

    This is feminist trauma theory; yet Kidd had no option except to promulgate it, since doing so was required of him by the Victorian “Jury Directions Act 2015”, s 54D(2)(c). Indeed, Kidd was quoting verbatim from the Act. Is it any wonder, then, that the jury, after hearing this, took the attitude that the physical impossibilities and absurd improbabilities in the testimony of Pell’s accuser, and the accuser’s on-the-fly alterations to his story when under cross-examination, decided that all that mattered was that the accuser seemed sincere, and that therefore Pell should be deemed guilty regardless of all the contravening evidence? The two-out-of-three majority in the Victorian Appeals Court which rejected Pell’s first appeal was also implicitly invoking “trauma theory” when they contended that it had been the trial-jury’s right to interpret the glaring anomalies in the accuser’s testimony as enhancing, rather than diminishing, his credibility, if the anomalies had seemed to them to be the innocent stumblings of “an honest witness, who readily acknowledged the limits of his recollection” (para. 216; cf. paras. 80, 236).

    Feminist “trauma theory” was also at the very heart of ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold’s vicious denunciations of the ACT police for having questioned Brittany Higgins to test the credibility of her allegations against Bruce Lehrmann, and having recommended that Lehrmann not be charged because Higgins was an unreliable witness. According to Drumgold, two facts had been sufficient of themselves for Lehrman to have been charged. One was Higgins’ testimony that she had drunk a lot, which Drumgold deemed to prove that she had been incapable of giving informed consent to sex; and the other was the fact that Higgins had been discovered asleep and naked, which Drumgold alleged was proof that sex had taken place. Drumgold held that the detailed police questioning of Higgins had therefore been unnecessary – and further, that it been underpinned by “stereotypical” assumptions as to how a genuine rape victim will behave post-rape. The latter contention was, of course, grounded in the above-detailed basic tenets of feminist trauma-theory.

    Not to be forgotten, either, is Bruce Lehrmann’s testimony that the reason given to him by the ACT Legal Aid Office as to why it would not Steven Whybrow as his barrister was that Whybrow would be too “aggressive” in his cross-examining of Higgins; and that the Office told him that it would not fund any other barrister he might nominate unless it received an assurance that the basis of the defence case would be that Higgins was “not a liar but was mistaken about aspects of the version of events”. Had that been the defence’s position a guilty verdict against Lehrmann would virtually have been assured, since a jury would likely have decided that Higgins’ “memory defects” must have resulted from trauma, and that the only likely cause of the trauma was that Lehrmann had raped her.

    So, Walter, that’s the state of justice in this land!

    • Brian Boru says:

      Thanks Colin for your informative comment on the degree to which justice has been subverted.
      I was concerned to read about the provisions of the Victorian “Jury Directions Act 2015″. Please God I shall never be in that position. If I were, I would demand that my defence counsel preemptively mention and attack those provisions in the final address.
      As to the ACT Legal Aid Office, what a misnomer of a name.

    • walter says:

      Thanks Colin, Fascinating, and Depressing, in equal measure.

    • walter says:

      From a lawyer of my acquaintance: “I heard a prominent lawyer say at a senate committee yesterday that court proceedings “re-traumatise” sexual assault victims and are in themselves a form of “abuse.” Interesting comment from an officer sworn to serve the Court.”

  • coggancreek says:

    On whose land am I living?
    On whose land are you living?
    For how long will we be permitted to live where we live?

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