Authors, writers, journalists, editors, artists and supporters oppose the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act


Title Page_Submission to the Exposure DraftOn 25th March 2014, the Government Party Room approved reforms to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.  These changes, according to the Government’s media release “will strengthen the Act’s protections against racism, while at the same time removing provisions which unreasonably limit freedom of speech.”

The Government has allowed for slightly over a month for community consultations.  Submissions can be made until 30 April 2014 at

The Human Rights Law Centre has released an Information Paper to help individuals and organisations provide feedback to the Federal Government on its proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.  According to HRLC Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, “the Government is refusing to make submissions publicly available as would normally happen with any proper consultation. The consultation process should be transparent. We’ve invited people who are making submissions to send us a copy of their submission so they can be collected and made available on our website for the public to view.”

The editors and board members of Peril are part of the 175 Australian authors, writers, journalists, editors, publishers, directors, artists, filmmakers, academics and supporters (as seen below) who have made a submission to the Exposure Draft of The Attorney-General’s Proposed Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 2013.

We gratefully thank and acknowledge authors Alice Pung and Dr Anita Heiss for compiling this submission in protest of these changes.

As stated in the document:

We have never felt our freedom of speech threatened by the current Racial
Discrimination Act 1975. We firmly oppose the proposed amendments to the Act. We submit that we will endeavour to do all we can in our respective fields to ensure that Australia does not become a country that condones ‘bigotry’ – unsubstantiated and untrue racist comments and discourse that incite hatred towards others.

For the full submission, please see: 2014-04-14 Submission to the Attorney-General

(**Peril has permission to distribute the template of our submission to the Exposure Draft of the proposed Racial Discrimination Act changes to anyone interested. Email us: for a copy if you want to submit to the Attorney-General’s office before April 30th)

We, the undersigned authors, writers, journalists, editors, publishers, directors, artists, filmmakers, academics and supporters lend our support to this submission and urge the Government not to proceed with the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975:

1. Dr Anita Heiss (author)

2. Ms Alice Pung (author)

3. Meredith Curnow (publisher, Knopf, Vintage)

4. Janet Hutchinson (editor)

5. David Whish-Wilson (author)

6. Kerry Kilner (academic)

7. Bruce Pascoe (author)

8. Susan Johnson (author)

9. Donna McDonald (author)

10. Dr Evelyn Juers (author and publisher)

11. Angela Savage (author)

12. Bianca Nogrady (author and journalist)

13. Alison Lyssa (author)

14. Bronwyn Mehan (publisher)

15. Michelle de Kretser (author)

16. Dr Debra Adelaide (author and academic)

17. Dr Jared Thomas (author)

18. Sheryl Gwyther (author)

19. Fiona Katauskas (cartoonist)

20. Melissa Lucashenko (Walkley award-winning writer and novelist, Brisbane)

21. Professor Terri-ann White (Publisher, UWA Publishing)

22. Dr Mireille Juchau (author)

23. Tara Wynne (literary agent)

24. Dr Amanda Curtin (author)

25. Justine Larbalestier (author)

26. Krissy Kneen (author)

27. Rosie Scott (author)

28. Kristina Olsson (author)

29. Catherine Hill (editor, Random House Australia)

30. Alison Urquhart (publisher)

31. Sam Twyford-Moore (Director, Emerging Writer’s Festival)

32. Hoa Pham (author and psychologist)

33. Dr Moni Lai Storz (Founder and Artistic Director of the Australasian Chinese Theatre and Film Company, playwright, poet & novelist)

34. Julie Bail (writer)

35. Jenny Valentish (author)

36. Emily Maguire (author)

37. Margaret Mayhew (academic and artist)

38. Clare Forster (literary agent and former book publisher)

39. Kate Callingham (General Manager, Emerging Writers’ Festival)

40. André Dao (Editor-in-Chief, Right Now).

41. Dr Thomas Cho (author)

42. Sara Foster (author)

43. Chris Womersley (author)

44. Kim Scott (author)

45. Paul Macgregor (Convenor, Melbourne Chinese Studies Group)

46. Eugenia Raskopoulos (artist)

47. Dr Merlinda Bobis (writer and Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong)

48. Inez Baranay (writer)

49. Ailsa Piper (writer)

50. Barbara Brooks (author)

51. Foong Ling Kong (editor and publisher)

52. Professor Alberto Gomes (academic)

53. Dr Sophie Couchman (Honorary Research Fellow, La Trobe University)

54. Linda Jaivin (author and translator)

55. Linda Funnell (editor)

56. Dr Caroline Lenette (Lecturer, Griffith University)

57. Andy Quan (author)

58. Annette Shun Wah (writer, broadcaster, producer)

59. Kerry Reed-Gilbert (Chairperson, First Nations Australia Writers [FNAWN])

60. Ms Belinda Collins (author)

61. Dmetri Kakmi (author and editor)

62. Kim Falconer (author)

63. Elisabeth Storrs (author)

64. Samantha Trenoweth (author)

65. Alexandra Nahlous (editor)

66. Airlie Lawson (author)

67. Kelly Lefever (writer)

68. Alex Miller (author)

69. Carmel Bird (writer)

70. Sally Rippin (author)

71. Nick Feik (Editor, The Monthly)

72. Imogen Kandel (Senior Publicist, Black Inc.)

73. Saskia Beudel (author)

74. Arnold Zable (author and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne)

75. Jenna Williams (Community Worker and co-founder of the 100 Story Building)

76. Jessica Tran (co-founder, 100 Story Building)

77. Lachlann Carter (co-founder, 100 Story Building)

78. Chester Eagle (writer and publisher, Trojan Press)

79. Bruno Lettieri (convenor of Rotunda in the West, Victoria University)

80. Sulari Gentill (author)

81. Hariklia Heristanidis (author)

82. Professor James Arvanitakis (academic)

83. Dr Jessica White (author)

84. Maxine Beneba Clarke (writer)

85. Dianne Blacklock (author)

86. Ms Lian Low (Prose Editor, Peril – Asian Australian arts and culture magazine) on behalf of our editors and board members

87. Julien Leyre, (translator)

88. P.M. Newton (author)

89. Katherine Howell (author)

90. Miro Bilbrough (filmmaker)

91. Jessie Cole (author)

92. Joanne Burns (author)

93. Michelle Cahill (Poet and Essayist, Editor, Mascara Literary Review)

94. Loma Bridge (editor and author)

95. John Newton (writer and journalist)

96. Phillipa McGuinness (publisher)

97. Jane Novak (Text Publishing)

98. Dr Michelle Dicinoski (writer)

99. Professor Nicholas Jose (author)

100. Mona Zahra Attamimi (writer)

101. Hop Dac Nguyen (author and editor)

102. Paul Mitchell (writer)

103. Dr Adam Aitken (Lecturer)

104. Anne Deveson AO (writer, broadcaster and filmmaker)

105. Meredith Jaffé (editor)

106. Pamela Hewitt (accredited editor)

107. Greg Baum (journalist and writer)

108. Jacob Tolo (curator)

109. Keren Lavelle (writer and editor)

110. L. Elaine Miller (writer and editor)

111. Chi Vu (writer)

112. Amra Pajalic (author)

113. Rani Pramesti (actor and theatre maker)

114. Suneeta Peres da Costa (author)

115. David Nyuol Vincent (author and refugee advocate)

116. Sally Rippin (author and illustrator)

117. Maria Tumarkin (author)

118. Rowena Lennox (writer and editor)

119. Jenevieve Chang (performer, storyteller)

120. Kirsty Murray (author)

121. Randa Abdel Fattah (author and lawyer)

122. Hanifa Deen (author and journalist)

123. Donna Ward (writer and editor)

124. Fran Bryson (literary agent and author)

125. Ali Gumillya Baker (artist and educator)

126. Roberta Ivers (editor and author)

127. Anne Deveson please (author)

128. Lyn White (children’s book editor, EAL teacher)

129. Natalie Harkin (Academic, Poet, Narungga)

130. Hoang Tran Nguyen (artist)

131. Eva Cox AO (writer)

132. Dr Annabel Smith (author)

133. Karin Petersen-Schaefer (author)

134. Dr Kathryn Heyman (author)

135. Domenico de Pieri

136. Stefano de Pieri (writer)

137. Donata Carrazza (writer)

138. Amrita Dasvarma, Activist and Community Worker

139. Paddy O’Reilly (author)

140. Ivor Indyk (Giramondo Publishing Company, UWS Writing & Society Research Centre)

141. Fiona McGregor (writer and artist)

Allen & Unwin writers:

142. Kylie Ladd

143. Rebecca Starford

144. Meredith Burgmann

145. Jane Gleeson-White

146. Paul Livingston

147. Lenny Bartulin

148. Sofie Laguna

Lisa Heidke

Allen & Unwin and Murdoch Books staff:

149. Jane Palfreyman (Publisher, A&U)

150. Annette Barlow (Publisher, A&U)

151. Alexandra Christie (Publishing Coordinator, Murdoch Books)

152. Rebecca Slater (Publishing Coordinator, A&U)

153. Miranda van Asch (International Agencies Director, A&U)

154. Siobhan Cantrill (Senior Editor, A&U)

155. Lillian Kovats (National Account Manager, A&U)

156. Kathryn Knight (Editor, A&U)

157. Eva Mills (Publisher, A&U)

158. Nadia Junaideen (Rights and International Sales Associate, A&U)

159. Lizzy Walton (Publisher, A&U)

160. Angela Handley (Senior Editor, A&U)

161. Erica Wagner (Publisher, A&U)

162. Lara Wallace (Publicist, A&U)

163. Belinda Lee (Editor, A&U)

164. Deb Stevens (Account Manager, A&U)

165. Rebecca Kaiser (Editorial Manager, A&U)

166. Karen Williams (Marketing Director, A&U)

167. Michelle Ashman (Account Manager, A&U)

168. Clare Bolton (Bloomsbury and International Agencies Manager, A&U)

169. Sophie Pusz (National Account Coordinator, A&U)

170. Andy Palmer (Publicity Director, A&U)

171. Matt Hoy (Sales Director, Murdoch Books)

172. Henrietta Ashton (Publishing Coordinator, A&U)

173. Louise Cornege (Publicity Manager, A&U)

174. Angela Namoi (Rights and International Sales Director, A&U)

175. Wenona Byrne (Rights and International Sales Manager, A&U)

Media Contacts:

Rosie Scott:

Arnold Zable:

Pam Newton:

Or if you would like to contact any of the supporters in Appendix A for media or publicity, please email them directly through their agents, universities, publishers etc.

Author: Lian Low

Lian Low is a writer, editor and spoken word artist. She’s currently at large in Peril‘s outer orbit. Previously editor-in-chief (2010-2014) , prose editor (2009-2014) and on Peril‘s Board until 2016. Find her on and Twitter @Lian__Low