Equal Employment Opportunities in the Workplace
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) broadly refers to workplaces being free of discrimination and harassment. When you are on placement or working in any form of medical service, you will be required to be non-discriminatory in your practice. This will cover a range of areas that includes race, religion, age, gender and sexuality. Your workplace will have professional standards that address these responsibilities, but even in your everyday life, all Australians are subject to legislation that protects them from discrimination.
Don't forget the Acts aren't only your responsibility -
Legislation against discrimination includes:
- Age Discrimination Act 2004
- Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Racial Discrimination Act 1975
- Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Further information: Human Rights Commission - A guide to Australia's anti-discrimination laws
Racism and Health
The key form of discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is racism. International literature acknowledges that "racism is a fundamental social determinant of health" (Durey 2010,87).
How do you think racism affects health?
Types of racism
In a discussion paper on The Impact of Racism on Indigenous Health in Australia, Parides, Harris and Anderson (2008, 4) define three types of racism:
- Internalised racism: Acceptance of attitudes, beliefs or ideologies by members of stigmatised ethnic/ racial groups about the inferiority of one's own ethnic/racial group (e.g. an Indigenous person believing that Indigenous people are naturally less intelligent than non-Indigenous people).
- Interpersonal racism: Interactions between people that maintain and reproduce avoidable and unfair inequalities across ethnic/racial groups (e.g. experiencing racial abuse).
- Systemic racism: Requirements, conditions, practices, policies or processes that maintain and reproduce avoidable and unfair inequalities across ethnic/racial groups (e.g. Indigenous people experiencing inequitable outcomes in the criminal justice system). This type of racism is also referred to as institutional racism.
In each of the University community focus groups, people were able to recount many examples of all three types of racism in their past and present experiences.
In commenting on the Elder's story, the Chairperson of an Aboriginal Medical Service commented: