Criminal record checking is a common part of employment now in Australia. Some jobs require exclusion of people with particular criminal histories but many employers request a criminal record check as a routine form of general risk management.
Aboriginal people are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system for a range of reasons – including historic levels of disadvantage – and are therefore disproportionately likely to be negatively affected by criminal record checking when seeking employment. At the same time, productive and rewarding employment, as well as engagement in governance roles, are vital aspects of Aboriginal people's participation, contribution and engagement across all parts of the Australian community.
This panel will examine the use of criminal record checks in Victoria and their impact on Aboriginal people. It will outline current research, including advocacy for spent convictions and anti-discrimination legislation in Victoria, to align this issue with other Australian jurisdictions.