New and emerging communities reference group

Early in 2015, the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity established the New and Emerging Communities Reference Group.

The purpose of the group is to develop a coordinated and coherent strategy to address racial harassment and systemic discrimination experienced by people who have recently arrived in Western Australia.

Key stakeholders include representatives from the Ethnic Communities Council of WA and relevant state and federal government departments, non government organisations that support new arrivals and educational institutions.


Anecdotal and statistical evidence gathered by the Equal Opportunity Commission has identified that racial discrimination and harassment are serious problems for new and emerging communities in Western Australia.

Race discrimination is consistently one of the most reported ground of complaint.

The group has previously worked on identifying inequality in English language testing requirements as an area which impacts significantly on many from the new and emerging communities in Western Australia.

Anecdotal evidence has been gathered by the EOC and further base research was undertaken to present a paper to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s conference to commemorate 40 years of the Racial Discrimination Act.

The paper sought to get this issue on the national agenda so more thorough research could be undertaken. 

Current Issue –  Public transport concession for ncategories of humanitarian entrants

The New and Emerging Communities Reference Group is currently working to allow those on bridging visas or community detention, concessions to use public transport.