Anti-Racism and Cultural Inclusion Workshop

About the Workshop

This workshop builds skills and practices to increase cultural inclusion and reduce racism. It looks at what local governments and their employees can do across three spheres of influence: service delivery, council spaces and places and councils as employers of choice. The workshop has a strong lived experience and component, both from the facilitators who will share their own stories and in the presentation of interviews with people of colour who are diverse council stakeholders. 

In response to the growing sector needs to be culturally responsive, LGPro’s anti-racism and cross-cultural experts have developed a workshop that will provide tailored and impactful training to those working in local government.

Understand key concepts and cultural inclusion vocabulary
Understand the impacts of racism on people of colour and First Nations people
Analyse how council structures, policies and actions may exclude and disadvantage people of colour and First Nations people
Build skills in cultural inclusion and anti-racism practice 
Generate actions that can support your council to increase cultural inclusion as a workplace and in your communities

This Anti-Racism and Cultural Inclusion workshop focuses on allyship in the workplace- the changes employees and workplaces as institutions can make to challenge racism and improve inclusion for people of colour, including First Nations people. This workshop is predominantly designed to help employees who have not personally experienced racism learn and reflect on the experiences of discrimination and exclusion that people of colour (employees and community members) have experienced.

To ensure the workshop's effectiveness, it is currently in pilot and will be available from the second half of this year.

Until then, we invite you to learn more about the program on this page and to register your expression of interest to stay notified of when this workshop will be available to book in-house for your staff.

The Prevalence of Racism

Sadly, racism is a common experience in Australia.
The most up-to-date research tells us that:
• 52% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced racism in the past 6 months. 17% reported physical violence (Australian Reconciliation Barometer 2020)
• 32% of those born in a non-English speaking country experienced racism in the last 12 months (Mapping Social Cohesion Report, 2020)
• 18% of Australians experienced racism in the last 12 months (Mapping Social Cohesion Report, 2020)

The Cost and Impact of Racism

Racism is hugely destructive both for the individuals, families and communities who experience racism and for workplaces, institutions and society in general.

Impact on the individual
• Victorian adults who frequently experience racism are almost five times more likely than those who do not experience racism to have poor mental health. (VicHealth Report, 2018)
• Victorian adults who frequently experience racism are 2.5 times more likely than those who do not experience racism to have poor physical health (VicHealth Report, 2018).
• Racism limits opportunities to access resources such as housing, health care and education
• Racism leads to unemployment, poor career advancement relative to skills and qualifications and overrepresentation in low-end jobs and poverty
• Intergenerational disadvantage 

Impacts on society
• As a result of racial discrimination, Australia loses more than three per cent of its GDP annually
• That translates to around $37 billion per annum in terms of our total economy
• 70% of workers exposed to racism take time off work as a result
• Racism affects overall workplace morale and productivity
• Links to violence and large scale community conflicts (Cronulla riots, Bendigo “no mosque campaign)
• Undermines social cohesion, neighbourliness and community participation

Your Facilitators

Shankar Kasynathan

Shankar works as a national campaign lead for the world’s largest human rights organisation: Amnesty International. He is also a Commissioner with  the Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and is a non-executive director of the Migrant Workers Centre. Previously Shankar has worked as a sessional academic at Deakin, Monash and Charles Darwin universities and has developed community engagement & advocacy programs for Oxfam and the National Heart Foundation. He has been an adviser to local, state and territory governments as well as Members of Cabinet, about diversity & social inclusion strategies. He has been invited to present work at conferences in the UK, Ireland and Switzerland, and has worked extensively across Australia with aboriginal and refugee communities. 

Maria Dimopoulos

Maria a is nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of diversity, gender equality and the law.  She is an outstanding communicator and facilitator and possesses an extraordinary ability to captivate her audience.  She has had extensive experience in policy formulation for the Government sector, research for social planning and in community education.

Maria’s collaborative approach to working across sectors and within diverse immigrant communities has made significant contributions to the design and delivery of violence prevention strategies that recognise the complex dynamics of violence against different groups of women, including those who are newly-arrived, from well-established communities, in precarious employment, or from visible minority groups.

Maria is a recipient of Member (AM) of the Order of Australia and an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. Her roles have included Special Advisor, Multicultural Communities, for the Department of Justice and Community Safety and Deputy Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She is also a Board member of the Coronial Council of Victoria, Reconciliation Victoria, the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, the National Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity and Chairperson of Safe and Equal.



  • The Australian Dream: the story of AFL legend Adam Goodes (there are two Adam Goodes documentaries, this is the one he participated in).
  • The School that Tried to End Racism: a fascinating documentary set in an Australian primary school. Three one hour episodes, currently available on ABC
  • The Rabbit Proof Fence: an Australian drama based on a true story, the Rabbit Proof Fence explores themes around the stolen generation.
  • “You can’t ask that” episodes: while all the episodes of this series are fascinating and hilarious, if you want insight into experiences of racism in Australia, these episodes are for you:


  • Dark Emu, Bruce Pasco
  • Mullimbimby, Melissa Lucashenko
  • The Happiest Refugee: My Journey from Tragedy to Comedy, Anh Do
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

First Nations Music

  • Archie Roach
  • AB Original
  • Baker Boy
  • Thelma Plum

Council Guides and Resources

  • VicHealth's Local Government Health Promotion Toolkit: modules on cultural inclusion and First Nations inclusion. Currently only available to Victorian Local Governments by emailing: [email protected]
  • The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission's Racism Reporting Tool: this is an important resources to help us, as a community, better understand the prevalence and effects of racism. To report a racist incident click here.
  • The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission's Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool helps to assess workplace practice. The tool can be used by management to assess the extent to which the organisation is inclusive, working to increase staff diversity and reduce discrimination within the workplace. You can access it here.

Registrations are OPEN

October 27th at LGPro Docklands - Register Here

Course Details


Duration: Half day with morning tea
Time: 9:30am to 12:30pm
Price: $310 (inc. GST) for non-members / $235 (inc. GST) for LGPro members 

Pricing is valid until June 30, 2023. Prices will increase by 2% on 1 July, 2023

Member prices are valid for the following individual LGPro Memberships:  LGPro Fellow, Professional & Young Professional Members


More Information

For further information email [email protected] or phone (03) 9268 6400

This workshop can also be held in-house. Please email [email protected] for further information.

Register online below

Cancellation Policy: LGPro is a member, not for profit association and all money generated is used to develop quality professional development activities and services. Our events and programs are budgeted on a minimum number of attendees so providing us with sufficient notice regarding non-attendance is imperative to the success of all our events. Where a substitute delegate cannot be appointed, the following will apply for any cancellations:

7+ business days prior the workshop: full refund and/or transfer available
6 business daysprior the workshop: no refund available, however substitute participants are welcome.
A substitute delegate is encouraged to attend in place of a cancellation.

All cancellations and substitutes must be received in writing by LGPro.
* Transfers to the next available program intake are subject to any applicable fee increases.

LGPro's full cancellation policy.