Statement by the Secretary concerning racial vilification

Statement by NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar concerning racial vilification.

Statement by the Secretary, Department of Education concerning racial vilification:

On 3 March 2021, a teacher at Cronulla High School engaged in conduct and made comments during a Year 12 Business Studies class which the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has found constituted racial vilification under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, in the decision Wolf v Secretary, Department of Education [2023] NSWCATAD 202.

The NSW Department of Education (the Department) acknowledges and accepts the finding of racial vilification made in that decision.

Racial vilification is the inciting of hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person (or group of persons) on the ground of race. The teacher’s comments to students showed serious contempt and severe ridicule towards Indian people, and his conduct in the classroom objectively incited, urged or encouraged the students there to participate in the serious contempt and severe ridicule of Indian people, on the grounds of their race. These comments and the teacher’s conduct in the classroom at Cronulla High School were unlawful, inappropriate, offensive and should never have occurred.

The Department regrets the teacher’s conduct and comments, and acknowledges the harm caused to the student affected, who was present when the racial vilification occurred. The Department has apologised to the student.

The Department acknowledges the courage that students demonstrate when they raise concerns about racism, and encourages all students to raise such concerns with their school and with the Department.

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