Verbal abuse towards someone on the basis of their race or religion may be considered racial or religious discrimination if it occurs in an area of public life covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic). Such behaviour may also be considered vilification under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic).
Vilification is behaviour that incites or encourages hatred of, serious contempt for, revulsion or severe ridicule of another person or group of people on the grounds of their race or religion. This behaviour doesn’t need to occur in a particular area of public life to be unlawful under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic), so a volunteer may be covered by this Act if they vilify someone in any public context, for example, where it may be heard or seen by someone else.
If you need more information, please contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Enquiry Line: 1300 292 153
Telephone: 1300 891 848
Fax: 1300 891 858
TTY: 1300 289 621