Racism and child and youth health: The public health crisis we can no longer ignore



Racism as a fundamental cause of health and health inequalities is increasingly recognised as a major public health crisis, echoing what First Nations peoples have been saying since colonisation. There is growing empirical evidence of the multiple ways in which racism impacts health and wellbeing for children and young people. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to racism’s harms. Intergroup attitudes, beliefs and behaviours are established in childhood, making this a priority time for action. This presentation will include hearing from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and multicultural young people about their experiences of racism and their proposed anti-racism actions.



Professor Naomi Priest is a lifecourse and social epidemiologist. She is the Group Leader of Social-Biological Research at the Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, co-located at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Professor Priest also holds an honorary position at the School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.

Professor Priest has extensive experience in qualitative, mixed methods, and large-scale quantitative analysis, as well as in the conduct of collaborative research and policy and practice implementation related to child and adolescent health and health inequalities. Her research program is focused on examining how social forces and social exposures become biologically embedded and embodied, and on understanding and addressing inequalities in health and development. Much of this work focuses on social determinants of health and health inequalities in mental health and cardiovascular disease for Aboriginal and children and adolescents from ethnic minorities.

Kate Doery is a Research Officer in the Social-Biology Research Group at the Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, co-located at MCRI. Kate holds an honorary position in the Centre for Community Child Health, MCRI. She completed her Masters of Culture Health and Medicine with the Australian National University in 2017. Kate is an emerging researcher in health and social science with a specific focus on the social and cultural determinants of health and the impact they have on the lives of children and young people from Indigenous and ethnic minority backgrounds. Kate’s current research focuses on exploring young people’s experiences of racism and discrimination, effects of these experiences, and on co-designing anti-racism strategies.

Alexandra Lee is a PhD candidate (Sociology) and research assistant at Deakin University. She is a ‘youth researcher’ with the Centre for Multicultural Youth’s (CMY) Explore program which promotes youth participation and leadership in research, and is also affiliated with the Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS). Her research interests include youth futures, race and racism, embodiment, and youth participation.

Krushnadevsinh (Kano) Ravalji is an award-winning youth and multiculturalism advocate, who empowers young people from multicultural backgrounds to find their voice and have confidence to be themselves.  Kano is actively engaged in the community and regularly advises on policy to ensure it is culturally appropriate and inclusive of young people’s needs. He hopes to share his lived experience to encourage others to join him in creating a more diverse and inclusive world.

Comments are closed.

Previous post Next post