Position Statement on RacismVoice Science™
Australia is a nation comprised of linguistic and cultural diversity.
This gives our country a rich identity.
At Voice Science we are alert to the ongoing presence of racism and xenophobia globally.
Racism, as defined by the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) refers to
“any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”
In our services to a culturally diverse caseload we work with “strong determination to make the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the protection of victims thereof, a high priority (UN)” in all that we do.
The delicate subject of language and identity is a topic we hope Australia explores more. We are doing our bit to educate and build the universal realisation of the view that:
Voice Science strives to advocate and affirm and give voice to all clients irrespective of their identity.
We apply a zero tolerance approach to racism.
- Underhand remarks
- Comments around strong accents
- Racially discriminatory remarks
We’ll always speak up for everyone’s right to recognition, justice, access and opportunity.
We know the research and health related impacts of racism on health. “Racism is associated with poorer mental health including depression, anxiety, psychological stress and other outcomes… [it is] also associated with poorer physical health (Paradies, Ben, Denson et al., 2015).”
A lot of our services deal in the space of linguistic diversity. As such, our work for English pronunciation training and communication operates on the following cricital principles of advocacy:
- No accent is superior to another
- The gift of a first language has a right to be affirmed
- Research into multi-lingualism reflects strengths that surpass monolingualism
- Your right to opportunity should not be confined to how good your English pronunciation is
- Advocacy for linguistic and cultural diversity is still needed in Australia and it is our responsibility as speech pathologists to also add to debate and discussion on this topic.
We’ll address racism in any form that we encounter and use our leadership and advocacy where any client, patient, staff member or future client is subject to acts of racism. Our staff are kept up to date in culturally responsive training.
“Racism is more than just words, beliefs and actions. It includes all the barriers that prevent people from enjoying dignity and equality because of their race.”
It is our mission at Voice Science to help fight these barriers in our community.
We hope you join us in your advocacy for everyone’s right to a life of worth, respect and equal access.
Sarah Lobegeiger de Rodriguez
Chief Speech Pathologist & Director
1st of June, 2020
Racial Discrimination Fact Sheet – Australian Human Rights Commission
What is Racism – www.humanrights.gov.au