Maori/Pacific Warden James Smith meets with Youth while on patrol in Melbourne’s Werribee suburb | ABC

MELBOURNE – A number of Pasifika youth around Melbourne have shared their experiences, thoughts and opinions of racial profiling and recorded them on a CD titled “I Am Not My Skin”.

The CD will be launched next week on June 5th.  The free event is open to all.

Pacific Islanders make up less than 1% of the total population of Australia.  However, Pacific Island youth make up 14% of the population in juvenile detention.

Pasifika youth have spoken out and identified racial profiling at school and in the community as an issue that they face.  It is plausible that this could be a contributing factor to the over representation of Pasifika youth in detention.

PR contact Morwenna Petaia says Women’s Health West Melbourne held a series of workshops for Pacific Island women as part of their ‘Our community, Our rights’ program.

“After learning about Human Rights, discrimination, activisim, legal rights and a range of other topics, a group of these women decided they wanted to address the issue of racial profiling towards Pacific Youth in Melbourne.”

She explains the project’s official logo.

“The ‘I am not my skin’ design features hands to show the skin we all have.  They are shaped in a flower as flowers are a big part of the Pacific.  The colour purple is to show that when we are racially profiled we are made to feel as though we are aliens with purple skin, not a human being.  The yellow heart signifies the love and respect that we hope everyone will feel as a result of this project.”


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