Commission classes at Huntingdale Primary School
On 12 June this year, Commission Community Education Officers Mike Harte and Stephen Goodall conducted training sessions in three classes of about 20 students at Huntingdale Primary School.
Mike said he was impressed with the students’ sense of community awareness and knowledge about human rights issues.
“A lot of thought went into the students’ questions and responses regarding discrimination and equal opportunity.
“The students had a real sense of what was fair and unfair, not just at a school level but at a national and international level as well,” he said.
Students in the three classes will be participating in the Commission’s annual Aboriginal Calendar Artwork competition with the theme Discrimination is no joke!
A winner and runners up will be selected after the closing date for the competition on 30 August 2017.
The winner will get their design on the Commission’s 2018 Aboriginal Calendar. Runners up will also have their designs published in various Commission publications.
Commissioner meets Cyril Jackson Intensive English Centre stars
Acting Commissioner Dr John Byrne was a guest at the Cyril Jackson Intensive English Centre Presentation Ceremony on 16 June 2017.
Dr Byrne congratulated this year’s winner, Anna Koska, who came to Australia six months ago from Hungary.
“Considering the short amount of time Ms Koska has been in Australia, being awarded Dux was an incredible achievement and I wish her well in her future endeavours,” he said.
Dr Byrne said he was impressed with the achievements of students at the centre, many of whom come from refugee backgrounds and have faced great adversity in their young lifetimes.
“English as a second language is difficult to learn, so to become proficient enough to study in mainstream English speaking schools and universities on top of facing difficult issues outside of study is exceptional,” he said.
A past graduate of the centre, July Maw, also gave an inspiring speech at the event.
He spoke about his journey from the Intensive English Centre to university and how he has attained his dream of becoming a secondary school maths teacher.
Pilbara Regional Visit
The Commission was in the Pilbara from 19 to 23 June providing community outreach to the people of Karratha, Port Hedland and Roebourne.
In Karratha Community Education Officers did two and a half days of training with North Regional TAFE, which included Equal Opportunity Essentials for Managers and Supervisors as well as Equity and Grievance Officer Training.
The Equal Opportunity Essentials for Managers and Supervisors class was also open to the public in Port Hedland and attended by principals from primary and secondary schools, TAFE officers, staff from the Department of Transport and staff from Pilbara Ports.
Community Education Officer Stephen Goodall said the course was a good starting point for understanding how the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 applied to workplaces.
“Employment is consistently the area most people complain about discrimination occurring.
“It is wonderful to see workplaces being proactive by sending managers and supervisors along to these classes to become more aware of how to stop discrimination from happening in the workplace,” he said.
The Officers also conducted rights based training sessions at Roebourne Prison for prisoners and staff, as well as community outreach meetings at the Roebourne Community Legal Centre and the Cultural Centre.
Stephen said travelling to regional centres for community outreach and training was vital as it gave Commission Officers a better sense of local issues.
“Sometimes regional areas can get a sense of out of sight out of mind.
“These visits hopefully reassure people in the regions that we are aware of the issues and we are willing to deal with them,” he said.
Out in the community for NAIDOC Week
The Equal Opportunity Commission held two community outreach stalls for NAIDOC Week this year.
On Monday 3 July 2017 the Commission attended the Mirrabooka NAIDOC Event at the Herb Graham Recreational Centre and on Thursday 6 July we were at Ashfield Reserve for the NAIDOC Family Day.
Acting WA Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Dr John Byrne said it they were both important events for the Commission.
“The Aboriginal community unfortunately still suffers greatly from discrimination especially in employment and goods and services,” he said.
He said having a presence at NAIDOC Week events showed the Aboriginal community they were protected by the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (the Act) and that the Commission was there to help.
“People put up with discrimination because they are unsure about what they can do about it or who can help them,” Dr Byrne said.
“Sometimes all it takes is chat with someone who knows about the Act and the Commission complaints process to help make a decision about how to proceed,” he said.
If you feel you have been discriminated against please call our enquiries line on 9216 3900 from 9am to 4pm.
What's coming up
The Commission’s Training Calendar from February to June 2017 is now available. You can register for all Commission courses on the Community Education page
July 19 Fair go for your clients
July 25 Introduction to Equal Opportunity Law
Please contact us on 9216 3900 if you are interested in organisation specific training or for a rights based session for your clients or community members.