Students Against Racism (SAR) is a Tasmanian group of young people from refugee or migrant backgrounds who deliver workshops to educate people about the impact of racism. The project runs alongside the Youth Migrant Education Program at TasTAFE in partnership with A Fairer World, a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in human rights education. This project is really a community collaboration which relies on the expertise of leading members as well as the input and experience of each individual involved. It is a wide-reaching and flexible group which encourages members to pitch in when and where they can.
SAR was started in 2008 by a small group of culturally and linguistically diverse students, with the help and guidance of SAR project coordinator and EAL teacher Gini Ennals, at Hobart College. They realised that most of the racism that they and their family were experiencing was as a result of ignorance and misinformation in the Tasmanian community. Rather than fight back and create a further divide within the community, the students decided that they would share their journeys and stories about the impact of racism on their day-to-day lives and in doing so, connect and educate the greater community. SAR operates on the idea that having an honest, face-to-face conversation about racism, connecting and sharing stories as a community can change our community for the better.
SAR has now delivered workshops to over 13 200 people in schools, universities, TAFE classes, workplaces, conferences and community groups across Tasmania and on the mainland. Since 2015, SAR has also presented workshops as a part of the Tasmanian Police Recruit Training course. The group won the 2015 Australian Human Rights ‘Racism - It Stops With Me’ award as well as a number of other human rights awards. Over 320 young people from countries including Sudan, Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Bhutan, Burma, Ethiopia, Egypt, Eritrea, China, Thailand, Iran, Pakistan, India, Chile, Poland, Italy, Vietnam, Uganda, Burundi, Kuwait and Timor, have joined the SAR group and trained as presenters.
We believe that in diversity lies strength and by sharing stories and addressing misconceptions, we can build a stronger, more welcoming and supportive community.