Positive Discrimination in Australia

In order to understand the argument for positive discrimination, we need to analyse how it works, and one of the countries that has used it effectively to redress their racial power imbalance is America

Positive discrimination played a large part in the modern day development of America.

America had a highly educated and a disproportionately unrepresented population of black people still feeling the residual effects of slavery, despite the rise of the civil rights movement in the 60s.

All those in power were white.

All those who represented the black communities in government were white.

All those who were supporting the black communities were white.

All those servicing the black communities were white.

Black people had no representation, and no influence.

Positive discrimination was considered to be one of the better solutions to resolve this imbalance.

Positive discrimination was aimed at management positions and positions of influence. In this sense, it meant that if two candidates applied for a job, both with equal qualification, both with equal potential and ability to do the job, then the job should be awarded to the black candidate if there was a white majority at that level in the organisation.

The result was that black people were shoehorned into positions of authority and influence, forcing the institutions to tolerate, work with, and finally accept the black powerbrokers into mainstream politics at all levels.

The programme was not without difficulty as it challenged traditional methods of employment and threatened the white powerbase.

It also meant that, if not correctly applied, black candidates were been selected into positions for which they were not qualified. This then undermined the programme as replacing talent for colour.

The black community became disillusioned with the programme because they wanted to be treated as equals and not as a special case. They wanted to be able to look their colleagues in the eyes and say that they got to their position on merit and not on favour, or worse still, charity.

However for all its failings, and for all its critics, it worked to begin to redress the balance of power. It allowed your children to have strong black role models in positions of power.

Before that point children could only aspire to be church ministers, pop stars and sports people if they wished to be in positions of influence.

The singing and dancing days are not over in the US, but they are now balanced by influential politicians, civil rights workers, poets, civic leaders, academics…oh yes, and a President.

So what can Australia learn from this example?

Australia is a black country, although you would not think it to look around.

It was originally populated by a black indigenous people who have been unceremoniously swept aside. Relegated to infertile lands they have been overlooked by mainstream Australia, and actively oppressed by governments on both sides of the house.

The indigenous people of Australia have no effective representation that is taken seriously in Canberra, or any settler-dominated city.

Indigenous people have plenty in their communities who aim to do well for their people, however the cries and needs of their communities are falling upon the ears of a white government, representing a predominately white settler nation.

Testament to this is the fact that it was only in 2010 that Australia got its first indigenous representative in parliament*.

This balance needs to be redressed in Australia.

The black communities need more voices in positions of real power, to represent their interests at all levels of our communities.

As the black population of Australia rises, more black representation is required. This is no longer just an indigenous problem, this is a problem for all black communities.

Who are the black people that represent our communities?

Who are the black faces that children will look towards for inspiration, mentorship and leadership?

Who are our black power brokers?

The Black Caucus believes in equal opportunity, and we believe in getting ahead on proven ability and merit.

However it is difficult to rise up and be treated equally when white settlers have their foot on your neck.

White Australia has to be placed in a position where they can learn that talent, representation and power does not just come in shades of white.

White Australia needs to be actively encouraged to recognise the abilities of everyone in Australia.

The time has come for Australia to redress the power imbalance. All communities need equal representation, and the talking heads on our televisions should not just be white.

Positive discrimination is a proven method of redressing the balance of representation though out all walks of Australian life, from law enforcement to council representatives from local politics to CEOs, and from the media to international politics.

Australia can learn from the mistakes of this programme in the US and not fall into the technical compliance of South Africa.

Positive discrimination when, implemented correctly, will make Australia a stronger and more inclusive nation.

It will provide opportunities for the disenfranchised and role models for the youth. It will give people a sense of pride, not only in their community, but in a country that supports their community.

Once the balance has been redressed, once white Australia has been re-educated, and once all non white communities are proportionately represented in all walks of life, the programme should be removed.

In an ideal Australia, positions should be achieved on merit regardless of skin colour. This is not an ideal Australia, but with the right programmes and commitments, we can achieve all great things, and create a stronger, united Australia.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indigenous_Australian_politicians


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The Victoria ICT for Women Gala dinner

This week, The Black Caucus was represented at the Victoria ICT for Women Gala dinner (www.vicictforwomen.com.au/), which was held at the Windsor Hotel, Parliament, Melbourne.

The evening which began at 18.30, provided www.vicictforwomen.com.au/ with the opportunity to showcase the great works that they carry out to advance women through the ranks within IT.

Our table consisted of people from IBM, Boeing, G4S and KPMG, while the other tables also represented the more forward thinking organisations in Melbourne.

Entertainment was from a life coach who provided us with a summary of her philosophies without giving away any secrets from her book.

The evening was designed as a network opportunity and many of the guests took advantage of the vast array of people from different areas of the Melbourne IT world.

The room reflected the diversity of the Melbourne IT scene, and the enthusiasm of those who champion the development of women in IT.

Carriages at 21.45.

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Quarterly brunch report

The Black Caucus met on Sunday 23rd March at 12.30 for our quarterly brunch.

The brunch was held at the Woolshed pub in the Docklands and was well attended.

The idea of the event was to provide a forum within which people could discuss the topics of today and yesterday.

The conversations varied from Manus Island to the Ukraine; from reparations being sought in the Caribbean to modern day slavery; and from racism against individuals to racism against nations.

The conversations were full and frank, however the rules of the debate provided individuals with a safe environment to express their own views, or even to play devil’s advocate, without fear of recrimination or judgement.

This month we were honoured to have the eminent black civil rights activist Roy Sawh join our debate. Roy was instrumental in the black civil rights movements, making his mark from the early 60’s in the UK during the migration of West Indians to London.

Roy Sawh fought for the rights of all minority groups, and has remained vigilant to the erosion of civil liberties well into his 80’s.

The event ended promptly at 14.00 hours and some individuals went on for a late lunch together.

The next event is scheduled for the 22nd June at a venue to be announced.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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VMC Premier’s Gala dinner

On Sunday 15th March, members of the Black Caucus attended the Premier’s Gala dinner, organised by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

The event signified the beginning of the Cultural Diversity Week which runs between the 15th and 23rd of March 2014.


The dinner event was held at the Palladium at Crown, and hosted a number of different multicultural community groups, over 150 tables.

The event was well attended by colourful and diverse members of the Victorian multicultural community, and this was reflected in the music and entertainment for the evening.

The proceedings were opened by a welcome to country by Aunty Carolyn Briggs, also known as Aunty Faye, with other speeches by the some distinguished guests.

The evening was peppered with everything from a Scottish pipe band to African women’s tribal dancing, from Polynesian dancing to Italian comedians.

VMC menu

Guests were invited to have a photo opportunity with the Premier and the leader of the state opposition. Some community members were more than enthusiastic in taking advantage of the distinguished guests.

The food was superb, and the wait staff were professional, attentive and welcoming.

The evening was rounded off nicely with music from an energetic African band that fired up the dance floor and had us sweating into our tuxedos and ball gowns, making more work for the dry cleaners during the week.

A very pleasant night was had by all with carriages just before midnight.

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Turn off online tracking

Do you get the feeling you are being watched…online?

If an online commercial service is free, like online newspapers, Facebook, Twitter etc, then you are not the customer…you are the product.

Many online services make money selling who you are and where you go, to third parties and advertisers.

When you are logged in, some services can track almost everything that you do online.

When you ‘like’, ‘share’ , or even access content, you can be tracked, even if you are not logged in.

If that bothers you, then there are a few simple steps that you can take.

Browser extensions like https://Disconnect.me allow you to visualise the amazing number of sites that are tracking you and block them. (Do Not use on Internet Explorer).

A similar extension called https://Ghostery.com can be used on a smartphone.

Look for the HTTPS:// in the address bar as this indicates that you are on a secure site.

You can install a browser extension called https://eff.org/https-everywhere that forces sites to use secure https:// connection.

Do not use the options to use your login from one application to log into another. Keep your logins separate and reduce the tracking links that you make online.

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Quarterly brunch

Are you looking for stimulating debate?

 Are you looking for an intellectual conversation on the issues of today?

Are you looking for a forum to discuss today’s issues from a black perspective?

Who are the intellectuals in your community?

Join us for brunch at:

 Woolshed Pub, Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Vic 3008

Sunday 23rd March 2014

12.30 to 14.00

Let us have a conversation

 Colour Brain

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The Black Caucus – Australia

Hello, and welcome to the Black Caucus–Australia website.

The purpose of the Black Caucus is to be a voice for Black people, by Black people on all topics, both abroad and in Australia.

The Black Caucus is a not for profit organisation designed as a social commentator to speak on political issues, academic debate, and news.

The Black Caucus–Australia is not only limited to the advance of black people in Australia. We comment on how the events around the world will impact on Black people in Australia.

Black Caucus also functions as a ‘think tank’, and as such does not focus on membership, but on the editorial contributions made by our community.

Please check this BlackCaucus.com.au website for updates that may affect you.

Also please check out our Facebook page for more day to day commentary on issues that not only affect Black people directly, but all culture as a global community.

Find us at Facebook: The Black Caucus or click the link facebook.com/TheBlackCaucus

You can find us on Twitter at @BlackCaucusAus.

Join our professional network and our discussion group on LinkedIn: Black Caucus au.linkedin.com/pub/black-caucus/82/524/914/

You can also email us at Info@BlackCaucus.com.au.

Thank you for joining us. We hope to see more of you in your organisation.

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