3 July 2020

Black Lives Matter: Psychologists take a stand against racism.

The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and the Australian Psychological Society (APS) have brought together six of Australia’s peak psychology organisations to take a firm stance against racism in any form.

In a position statement released today, psychologists are standing together to call out and combat racism in the profession, the discipline and communities across Australia.

APS President Ros Knight said experience of racism in any form can have significant impacts on mental health and wellbeing.

“Evidence shows that racism acts as a barrier to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living thriving lives. It has a destructive impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ education, health, mental health and wellbeing, well beyond its immediate impact.
“Racism in our country is completely undermining all efforts to close the gap in health and other outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.”

AIPA Co-Chair Ms Tania Dalton noted that the global Black Lives Matter movement has led to a refocus on black deaths in custody closer to home.

“The similarities between how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, and African American, Black American and Native American peoples in the US, are treated by the justice system and law enforcement are obvious”.
“Tragically, more than 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have died in custody since the end of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody in 1991.
“That is more than 400 of our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our cousins and our friends. This has to stop, and it has to stop now.”

The peak psychology bodies have reaffirmed their commitment to action, and called on others to join.

For more information on AIPA

For more information on the APS

For more information on CBPATSISP

For media enquiries and interview requests, please contact Phiona Lovett at phiona.lovett@uwa.edu.au

If you or someone you know needs help or support, you can contact your local Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation or

  • Lifeline: 131 114
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
  • Beyondblue 1300 22 46 36
  • Q Life 1800 18 45 27,
  • Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling 1800 01 10 46
  • The National Indigenous Critical Response Service 1800 80 58 01