Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) Conference 2014

This year’s annual SASP conference, held in the Nation’s Capital, provided an exciting opportunity for The SUPIR Lab to discuss research, share ideas, and engage in constructive debates with the wider social psychological community. Well done to doctoral students, Eileen Chu and Stefano Verrelli, who presented their research alongside the lab’s chief investigator, Dr. Fiona White.
Eileen’s talk, titled ‘Not just a minority: The implications of bi-cultural identification for Asian-Australians’, presented a study that challenged the notion that Asian ethnic-minorities simply identify with one cultural identity. While Stefano’s talk, titled ‘Addressing intergroup contact from both sides: Promoting intergroup harmony between Anglo-European and Asian university students’, presented a couple of studies that evaluated two different indirect contact strategies amongst a sample of university students.

However, the highlight of this year’s conference was the undoubtedly the key-note address delivered by the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr. Tim Soutphommasane. The full speech can be found by clicking here. Dr Soutphommasane is an advocate for cultural diversity and has been a driving force for combating racism in Australia. His work, therefore, is strongly related to our research into social identity, prejudice, discrimination, and more importantly, promoting positive social change. We were also lucky enough to meet and chat with the Commissioner. 

Well done team!


Stefano Verrelli awarded the Dick Thompson Prize for Social Psychology

Congratulations to Stefano who was awarded the Dick Thompson Prize for the Best Honours’ Empirical Thesis in the area of Social Psychology for 2013. His thesis titled “Advancing the Imagined Contact paradigm amongst both majority and minority group members“, empirically evaluated a novel modification of the Imagined Contact paradigm amongst a sample of Anglo/European and Asian university students. Stefano was also awarded the prestigious University Medal for his outstanding academic results during his undergraduate studies. A full list of the School of Psychology’s 2013 prize winners can be found by clicking here.

Well done Stefano! 

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.


Symposium: Racism and the health and wellbeing of children and youth – Understanding impacts, finding solutions.

The Lowitja Institute has announced that it will be holding a symposium on racism and child and youth health between the 26-27 of June in Melbourne. All are welcome to attend.

This symposium aims to create discussion and action across policy, practice, research and community contexts to:

  • Raise awareness and advance understanding of how racism continues to adversely affect the lives of children and youth;
  • Develop long term strategies to prevent racism and support those children and young people impacted by its negative effects.

More program details and registration will be available in early May. For more information click here or please contact Hannah Reich.


Lauren Harvey awarded the Dick Thompson Prize for Social Psychology

Congratulations to Lauren who was awarded the Dick Thompson Prize for the Best Honours’ Empirical Thesis in the area of Social Psychology for 2012. Her thesis – titled “Promoting intergroup harmony: An integration of vicarious e-contact with cognitive recategorisation“, evaluated the effectiveness of a novel prejudice-reduction strategy amongst Anglo/European and Asian university students. Well done Lauren!