An active bystander is someone who says or does something when they witness concerning or harmful behaviour. Find out ways you can take action.

Take a stand against racism

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in reports of racism and discrimination in Australia and globally.  

RMIT has zero tolerance for racism. If you have you have experienced racism, discrimination or any kind of concerning behaviour, on or off campus, support is available

We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for our diverse community where everyone feels safe and respected. To do this, we need your help.  

Standing up to racism isn’t always easy, but it’s the right thing to do. By planning ahead, you’re more likely to feel confident about challenging racism if you witness it. 

Please take a minute to make your bystander intervention plan.  

Why is it important to be an active bystander? 

We all have a responsibility to stand up to racism, because racism only thrives if we don’t act. People who are targeted by racist behaviour may feel uncomfortable or unsafe to respond. That’s why it is even more important that bystanders actively stand against racism.

There are lots of ways you can be an active bystander, including recording and reporting the incident, intervening or supporting the target of the behaviour. Learn more about how to intervene.

Calling out inappropriate behaviour

If you witness harmful or concerning behaviour, it’s normal to be nervous about calling it out.

We know that doing nothing does harm. Speaking up doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it doesn’t have to end in an argument or fight. Even if you aren’t sure whether someone is being intentionally harmful or inappropriate or a bit careless, there are things you can do to encourage those around you to rethink their behaviour and comments. After all, if something seems a little off to you, chances are others are feeling the same way.

Simple and effective ways to call out disrespect


If you have experienced concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour, on or off campus, support is available. Contact Safer Community (students) or HR Assist (staff) to discuss your concerns and options. 
The Australia Human Rights Commission also investigates complaints of racism, discrimination and breaches of human rights. Their service is free, impartial and informal.