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Why Are We Afraid of Being Called Racist?


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How can we have constructive conversations about racism when everyone is so defensive? Are laws enough to tackle racism? And what’s the deal with identity politics? This panel will explore definitions of racism, looking not just at overt examples but also implicit bias and systemic racism, with examples from Australian history.


Beverley Wang

Beverley Wang is the ABC’s National Culture Correspondent. As culture correspondent, Beverley merges years of experience in journalism and media with a deep knowledge of pop culture to share analysis across multiple platforms on the national broadcaster. She hosts the pop culture podcast Stop Ever... Read more

Luke Pearson

Luke Pearson is the founder of Indigenous media organisation IndigenousX. He is an editor, writer, consultant and public speaker.

Helen Ngo

Helen Ngo is Lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University. She completed her PhD at Stony Brook University (USA), specialising in phenomenology, critical philosophy of race and feminist philosophy. Her research explores the phenomenological and existential dimensions of racism, and the relation... Read more

Oishee Alam

Oishee Alam is a sociologist of race and religion, with a research and teaching focus on racism and anti-racism, Islamophobia, racialisation, nationalism, secularism and whiteness. As a Research Fellow at the Challenging Racism Project at Western Sydney University, she is working to increase underst... Read more


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176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.