New research reveals how the marriage equality debate damaged LGBT Australians’ mental health

Although Australia has now achieved marriage equality, the topics of sexuality and gender identity continue to spark heated – and often discriminatory – public debates.

Most recently, the issues of religious freedoms and anti-discrimination laws, the Safe Schools program, and gay conversion therapy have dominated public and political discourse.

New research has suggested that such divisive debates have the potential to harm the mental health of LGBT people. These findings come from our nationwide study conducted during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in 2017.

Read more here.


How research is helping to reduce prejudice between people online

The internet often gets a bad rap, and for good reason. Social media use can contribute to poorer mental health in teens. It can also be used to manipulate users’ emotions, and to disseminate misinformation and click bait to sway public opinion.

Despite this, research demonstrates that, when used appropriately, the internet can be a powerful source for social good. When individuals from different groups interact positively and cooperatively online, society may change for the better.

Read more here.


“Tackle racism in schools”: Dr White interviewed by Crikey 

After a recent symposium organised by the Lowitja Institute on racism and health, Dr Fiona White had a chance to talk to Crikey about her prejudice-reduction research.

Fiona’s recent Dual Identity E-Contact (DIEC) project, which has been empirically shown to improve intergroup relations in both the short- and long-term (click here and here more information), garnered a lot of interest as it can allow teachers and schools to reduce prejudice and discrimination via the curricula.

The full article can be found by clicking here. 


Casual racism: what is it and what can we do about it?

What is casual racism and what can we do about it? 
The SUPIR Lab invites you to join the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, on Thursday 16 October from 5pm to 6pm at the Australian Human Rights Commission for a RightsTalk about casual racism.

“We all know that racism can take an ugly form. But what about those situations where low-level prejudice and discrimination occur?” asks Dr Soutphommasane.

“Does it matter if someone doesn’t intend to cause offence or hurt? And what effect may casual racism have on community relations?”

Dr Soutphommasane will be joined by RightsTalk panel members Hakan Harman, who is the chief executive officer at Multicultural NSW; Mariam Veiszadeh, who is a lawyer, community activist and founder of the Islamophobia Register; and His Excellency Noel White, Ambassador of Ireland.

The panel discussion will be available on YouTube, via a link posted on

Mr Harman was appointed chief executive of Multicultural NSW in January 2014 and has since led the development of a new vision for cultural diversity in NSW.
Immediately prior to taking up his post as Ireland’s Ambassador to Australia, Mr White was the Director of Press and Information at Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ms Veiszadeh has established herself as one of most energetic and resourceful young leaders of the Australian Muslim community. Her advocacy has attracted the support of senior politicians, journalists, decision makers and other Australians who have become strong supporters of the rights of Muslims living in Australia. 
Register here for this free event.