Whether international students returning to Australia face the challenge of racism

Racism faced by international students

Anti-racism campaign (One Love Australia). Image: Takver from Australia / CC BY-SA
Anti-racism campaign (One Love Australia). Image: Takver from Australia / CC BY-SA

Story Topic and Angle

Australia has always been a diverse country. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was introduced to restrict non-white immigration to Australia and to deport illegal immigrants from the country. This act was considered openly racist. It was until 1973 that the Whitlam government announced that it was abandoning the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 and replacing it with new policies that encouraged Australia’s cultural diversity.

While the end of the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 symbolised the end of an overt form of racism, racism still exists in the daily lives of non-white people, particularly in the international student community. According to statistics based on The Migration data, there will be approximately 567,947 international students studying in Australia by January 2023.

The University of Western Sydney interviewed 12,512 respondents about racism between 2001 and 2008, and one-fifth of respondents from overseas said they had experienced racism. And another survey in 2006 interviewed 4,000 students at the University about the types of racism they had experienced. 19% of respondents said they had experienced verbal racism. 52% had experienced racist jokes, 63% had experienced racism in the media, 65% had experienced abusive racism and 51% had experienced offensive gestures.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, racism has become even more serious. Investigations show that COVID-19 has led to a surge in racism. In February 2020, the Commission received more allegations of racism than at any time in the last 12 months. Whereas previously many international students were trapped in their home countries due to border restrictions, with the liberalisation of borders in various countries, a large number of international students are returning to Australia.

I wanted to create a feature article that would provide an in-depth report on the experiences of racism faced by international students returning to Australia.

News value

Timeliness: This issue has always been a problem in society.

Proximity: The events being discussed take place in the context of Australia.

Human interest: This core of the story is encouraging the international student community to share their experiences of racism.

Publication and target audience

The preferred publishing site for this news article is ABC News. ABC News is a well-known Australian news website with high popularity. Therefore publishing the news on ABC News will attract more readers’ attention. And ABC News has already published several articles about minority groups in Australia that are suffering from racism.

The target audience for this story is the international student community and the general public. The topic of the news is the racism faced by the international student community, which resonated more with this group because of similar experiences. For the broader public, the story hopes that the wider community will become aware of this phenomenon that still exists in society.

Sources of information

Online source


Multimedia, Hypertext & Interactivity

  • Use the hyperlinks to add more relevant related information
  • Use relevant images, and youtube videos
  • Audio or video of the interview
  • Embedded twitter post

  • Create social media sharing links below the post to increase interactivity


About Jiying Di 2 Articles
Students from Master of media practice

1 Comment

  1. It is a quite newsworthy topic with timeliness, proximity and universality that racism increasingly happens to international students because of COVID-19 in Australia. Also, you did a good job of providing accurate data about racism. For the angle, I think you can additionally consider why COVID-19 leads racism to occur more frequently, how racism influences international students and what impacts they suffer to be more comprehensive. The sources of reasons and consequences about racism on stakeholders from other organizations’ reports might need to be incorporated. The interviewees are better to be chosen from different schools in different ages that the evidence will be more cogent. Embedded links will be more effective and convenient to view if set as opening a new page.

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