This inquiry was established in 1988 following a series of well organised attacks against church and community leaders, as well as complaints from Indigenous people and ethnic community groups.
Despite intimidation and the fear of retaliation, almost 1,000 people came forward to give evidence.
The inquiry found racist violence against Indigenous Australians was endemic, nation-wide and severe, with racist attitudes and practices ingrained in many institutions. Racist violence on the basis of ethnicity, while not as extreme as in other countries, was also a serious concern.
A key recommendation of the Inquiry’s report was the need for legal protection against racial hatred. In 1995 the Racial Discrimination Act was amended to make racial vilification against the law.
The inquiry was chaired by the then Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, Irene Moss. The co-hearing commissioner was Ron Castan QC.
This report was also known as Parliamentary paper no. 100, 1991. ISBN 0644138912 : 0644138912 (pbk.)
Part of the Policy History Collection.