African Heritage as a Condition of Employment

Looking on seek at jobs etc and came across a government primary school role that stated the following as a Condition of Employment.

This role is identified as available for African heritage applicants only. Confirmation of your African heritage may be requested.

Just intrigued to know if I'm the only jobseeker out there, feeling like race is an obstacle in the job market before I even get to the interview.

I don't think it's right for race to be a Condition of Employment. Language, i get it. But race? This just feels like blatant positive discrimination aka discrimination.

It's hard enough to find a job, now my heritage can either get me a job, or close the door in my face.

How do others feel about it? Thoughts?

Link below should work
Check out this job on SEEK: Transitions and Cultural Safety Officer - North-east African from Flemington Primary School -

Btw to anyone wanting popcorn, I've got a few from a recent half price promo, we can share 😁

***Update ***

Although my intention was to genuinely get others opinions, i have noticed that the job ad has now been removed off multiple platforms including Seek. Does make one wonder why.

Poll Options

  • 348
    Ok with me
  • 277
    Not ok at all
  • 37
    Don't care


  • +28

    /grabs popcorn bought on sale

    • +3

      Got a link to the deal?

    • -2

      Looking to be heading that way 🍿🍿

      Escalating from lack of confirmation bias sought from here… - "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

      • +4

        In the interest of trying to have an open discussion, do you have an opinion to share or just here for the 🍿?

      Spicy Popcorn and Peanuts (Guguru and Epa) Recipe

      • Flavours look yum but wouldn't the peanuts all sit at the bottom of the popcorn? peanuts are best, just plain boiled where you get to suck all the salty water outa the shell. 🤤 Somehow this sounds dirty to me lol.

  • +8

    Link to the ad or this is a pointless post.

    • +50

      Ad for an acting role to play Nelson Mandela.

      • +24


        I did a quick google search and it's probably this


        Victorian African Communities Action Plan (VACAP) initiatives - currently open:

        1. African Communities Board and Governance Program.
          Applications for the 2020 African Communities Board and Governance Program are now open and close on 6 March 2020. The Program offers training for African community leaders seeking to advance their board careers.
          The program consists of two streams:
          • Foundations of Directorship (25 places)
          • Company Directors Course (20 places)
          The Victorian Government has partnered with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) which will deliver the program.
          Find out more and apply.

        2. School Community Liaison Officers:
          School Community Liaison Officers will provide tailored support and improve educational outcomes for students of African heritage enrolled in Victorian schools.

        Applications for roles in 5 schools are now open and job advertisements can be accessed via (search by the job number) and (search by the job number).

        Eight School Community Liaison Officers will be employed to work with school communities with high populations of African young people in Western Melbourne, Barwon, Hume Moreland, North Eastern Melbourne and Southern Melbourne.

        Each School Community Liaison Officer will be located at a host school, but also work in partnership with neighbouring schools that have high populations of African young people.

        ▪︎Debney Meadows Primary School – 1186048 (close 23 February but late applications will be accepted up to a week after – please contact Rachel Rasmussen on (03) 9376 1570 to discuss late applications)
        ▪︎Narre Warren South P-12 College – 1186081 (close 23 February but late applications will be accepted up to a week after – please contact Monique Guerin on (03) 9704 3383 to discuss late applications)
        ▪︎Lyndale Secondary College – 1186200 (close 24 February but late applications will be accepted up to a week after – please contact Pam Robinson on (03) 9795 2366 to discuss late applications)
        ▪︎Truganina P-9 College – 1186279 (close 29 February but late applications will be accepted up to a week after – please contact Lisa Foster on (03) 9368 9800 to discuss late applications)
        ▪︎Northern Bay P-12 College – 1186788 (close 2 March but late applications will be accepted up to a week after – please contact Scott Diamond on (03) 5245 3500 to discuss late applications)

        The School Community Liaison Officers for Hume Central Secondary College, Charles La Trobe P-12 College and Fitzroy Primary School will be advertised shortly on and school

        **These roles are identified as available for African heritage applicants only. Confirmation of your African heritage may be requested.

        1. Senior Project Officer – Victorian African Communities:
          The role of Senior Project Officer – Victorian African Communities has also been advertised via the Job and Skills Exchange Victoria and is accessible to current Victorian Public Service staff via

        The Senior Project Officer will be responsible for overseeing delivery of the VACAP education initiatives. The advertisement highly encourages candidates of African heritage to apply.

        VACAP Implementation Committee
        The Victorian African Communities Action Plan Implementation Committee has been working collaboratively with the Department of Education and Training (DET), Department of Job, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in consultation with relevant community professionals to develop the implementation models for the Education and Training, Employment and Health and Wellbeing priority areas of the Victorian African Communities Action Plan.
        The implementation of the Action Plan is being coordinated and managed by the Multicultural Affairs Division in the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
        Further opportunities and updates will be announced over the coming months.

        For more information contact the VACAP Team at
        [email protected]

        • No but it looks something like that. Anyone know how to link an add from the seek ap?

          • @cookie2: All good, figured it out. Will link it into the post.

        • Wow never knew we could only interact with one another if we were the same ethicity. I'll have to rethink some friendships as well as the entire premise of Australia.

      • +1

        Didn't matter for Anne Boleyn?

    • It's only pointless without the link, if you think the post is ultimately about a particular job ad. And that i can't help you with, but to satify your need, i have added the link.

      • +3

        No, you have to back up your claims. People post stuff all the time and it's their interpretation of something they have read.

      • +18

        Nah… not really. The ad gives context to why that attribute is relevant to the role. In this case it seems appropriate to the role. If I was hiring an accountant or someone to clean my pool and specified that I wanted someone of African heritage that would be potentially questionable.

    • +47

      Is this response the reason i feel like race can't be discussed? So quick to respond in a smart arse way that I would hope wouldn't be the way you converse face to face. If you're not here for a legitimate and open discussion then start your own post.

      In answer to your question, I think race may play a part with the role, but I don't think race should be a Condition of Employment…do you?

    • +28

      Outstanding work…You managed to find a job…

      Sarcasm, "what about"-ism, and a snarky unhelpful response. Comments like yours are tedious.

      For an example of an informative, civil and measured response, scroll down and look for user "fossilfuel"'s reply who links to relevant laws and acts around exceptions in discrimination. Actual discussion is possible without slapping people down and pushing some childish warrior of justice position at every turn.

      • +8

        You said it better than me. I love a good discussion, a debate, something that helps me question, broaden and change my views. Agreed re the informative responses.

  • +3

    And to your question of how I feel?

    I feel many employers discriminate against some races. I don't feel it is very often Anglo or white people who are the victims of this discrimination.
    Do you feel differently?

    • +28

      I agree completely. But just because t happens, doesn't mean it's right. And i definitely don't think it's right for it to be obvious and stated like it's ok.

    • +9

      This also discriminates against Aboriginals, etc? Very Eurocentric views there.

  • +51

    Well if you're going to teach a bunch of refugees or young black people, it's important to know their language (this is a bonus) and culture. Who better than one of their own?
    I'm not saying any teacher regardless of race can't do the job but sometimes it's better to accommodate the kids.

    • +5

      It might actually be insulting to hire a non native for the prescribed role.

      • +8

        Oh gosh. Yeah you definitely want an AFrican person for that job. It will probably require a lot of talking to parents, community leaders and giving principals an idea how to manage these kids. West Melbourne is known for quite a lot of gang issues so having something the kids can look up to and relate to might be a great idea.

        • +1

          It would be a Justin Trudeau fail even back in 2001. Given we are now in 2021.

          • +7

            @SF3: I understand that blackface is a terrible way to depict a black person and for what it represents but in those times, people genuinely wanted to look like a black person while they performed something from African or Carribean music. They were not intending to insult or offend. It was just a bit of dress up. I'm not gonna say that Tredaeu (i hate this name) had malicious intent.

            • @Orico: All these mights and maybes and I get it. But this removes options for a select group of people entirely. They'll get the person they want in the end, but let it be through interviews and a recruitment process where people can show their merit, which ofcourse may include their background.

              • +1

                @cookie2: I disagree. I've applied for a job that I was can strongly say I was a good candidate for but for the fact it ended up that they were looking for someone from a specific background- given the role was for working with CALD background people they were looking for someone from a specific background to ensure their team had a diverse range of backgrounds.

                I have a CALD background and have a lot of experience working with those communities, but I was not from the one they were looking for. I would have much rather they explicitly said what background they were looking for so I wouldn't have wasted my time applying for the role. I'm not bummed out I didn't get the role- I understand why they would look for someone with the background they went with- I'm bummed they wasted my time and hope for a role I was never going to get but otherwise would be perfect for.

                • @kanmen: That's annoying. They should've been upfront with what they wanted eg highly desired background/language/lived experience. Then you could've decided if it was worth trying for the job when you didn't have all the traits they wanted.

                  • +7

                    @cookie2: So you're fine with them only picking a candidate with the desired background/language/lived experience, you think they should advertise that they want it, but if they write that it's limited to such people it's not right?

                    It feels like you answered your first post with this post.

                  • +6


                    They'll get the person they want in the end, but let it be through interviews and a recruitment process

                    But then you said

                    They should've been upfront with what they wanted eg highly desired background/language/lived experience.
                    Then you could've decided if it was worth trying for the job when you didn't have all the traits they wanted

                    You want your cake and eat it?

                    • -1

                      @Ughhh: I want clear indications in jobs of what their requirements are. I believe in transperancy. But I don't think race should be a condition of employment. Trying to cherry pick my words isn't going to change that, and if you don't understand yet then i think you're just being argumentative because you don't agree. And you don't have to agree.

                      • +2

                        @cookie2: You don't even understand your own arguments and the point kanmen was making.

                      • +1

                        @cookie2: I don't think you quite understood the job description. By African heritage they don't mean someone who is black, but who understands what it's like growing up in Africa. Likely it would be difficult for someone who is Aboriginal to get the job as well and open to a white person who has lived in Ethiopia.

    • +8

      I was expecting it to have a language component to the job advert, but it didn't. See those all the time, and most of the time it makes sense too. Just the race condition. I wouldn't have thought anything of it, if it had said a language requirement, but it just feels wrong to have a race requirement. Or a heritage requirement to be exact.

      • +52

        Work closely with key staff across settings to understand local needs, support students from migrant and refugee backgrounds

        Build on established links with African community organisations to access community guidance and knowledge and identify opportunities to build relationships with other community-based organisations to support the continuum of engagement between settings.

        This is a support position for vulnerable groups. They need someone who is relatable, influential and approachable. Your inability to understand this shows you're not a good fit.

        • -21

          You're inability to understand that this isn't about me, is an indication that you don't enjoy open conversation. Why the need to try and make it personal?

          • +23


            that this isn't about me

            It's about the people who need the support from a qualified person who is relatable and can truly understand their situation, it's not something you can learn from uni. So you're right, it's not about you.
            You're viewing it like it's a regular job which is not….

            Would it be discriminatory for a female rape victim to not want to talk to a male police?

          • +10

            @cookie2: You couldn't surmise why they are after a specific cultural heritage from the job itself? Ughhh copied text from the ad.

            You really couldn't put 2+2 together?

            • -4

              @ThithLord: I never asked EHY they wanted it or asked for clarification around the legality of it either. My post is to gauge peoples OPINION on it as a general idea of omitting races as a condition of employment. The ad doesn't state x looking for lived experience, highly desirable people who identify with xxx," this is different to me. But it's ok that it isn't to others. I'm not here to change others opinions, just to ponder on for my own PD and intrigue.

          • +7

            @cookie2: *Your.

            Second strike for the job. No African heritage. Bad English grammar.

            • -4

              @munecito: Maybe English isn't my first language. Maybe it was late and I was tired. Maybe you understand the point and ozbargain communication isn't a grammatical exercise requiring perfection. The things people focus on and say online and anonymously, would unlikely be said face to face. Why? Because it's rude and does nothing good.

              • -2

                @cookie2: Intrigued by the negs. Seems an unoffensive statement but please share .

              • @cookie2: English isn't my first language either.

                I would say that to your face if I'm reading something you redacted. I can't say it to your face in conversation as it is impossible for me to see your spelling spoken words.

                As a matter of fact. With English not being my first language, I always make sure to tell people to please correct any speaking mistakes that I make.

                I don't care about people being polite. I prefer to be corrected so I stop making the same mistakes.

  • +31

    We all started from Africa didn't we, so try your luck and say every human has an African heritage .

    If the employer believes in Human evolution may be they will say yes !

    • Yes, that is somewhat correct with caveat that there was common ancestor from which few branches of hominids evolved but that ancestor looked neither like current europeans nor like current black africans. Same as humans have common ancestor with apes but you don't hear claims that humans have chimpanzee heritage.

    • Would be pretty funny if the interview devolved into debating the out-of-Africa theory with the interviewer

  • +8

    It makes sense to find the right person for the right job.

    Let's assume that this job requires the workers to have cultural understanding and language skills that are native to the clients and/or customers they interact with.

    OP, do you have these skills?

    • +4

      Nope, not at all. My husband's been trying to teach me creole for over 10 years! (Disclaimer i am not a language person). But this isn't about ME. it's about whether or not this is right imo. It just feels wrong to me. What about someone that has studied African studies? what about the person that has a genuine knowledge and community links through social work, teaching, youthwork, personal life etc? I was not suited to the job, but what about others that may have been?

      • +7

        Why worry about something that doesn't affect you?

        • -2

          I guess because I care. Not that I'm saying you don't. I guess you'd say I'm an empath. Do you seriously not worry about things that don't impact you but may impact others? Or worry about what it says about society?

          • @cookie2: If you worry about so many things, you'll never be able to have a good sleep. Let it go, let it go… otherwise you'll be the grumpy old man or lady who's the busybody and wants to chime in on everything.

            Remember you're looking at it from your point of view only and what you think how it may impact others may or may not be true or to that extent.

          • +12

            @cookie2: Because kids and people in general don't want some white person to tell them about themselves when they can have someone from their own community - someone more reletable.

            You also managed to find the one job in Victoria that is requesting someone of African heritage!

            • +2

              @Hardlyworkin: Would people feel the same if it was another background? Lets say chinese or indian? I'm not sure, truely. And i understand your point and agree, but isn't that the same with most people being more comfortable with their own race?

          • +2

            @cookie2: Didn't you say stereotyping people based on race wasn't racist? Don't think you'd be a good fit when the role is about diversity.

            • @Autonomic: The role isn't about diversity, i don't want the job and I don't know what you're talking about re stereotyping etc.

              • @cookie2:

                stereotyping is not racist. It's just making assumptions based on personal previous experience and knowledge.

                • @Autonomic: I had a feeling you may have found an ozb comment somewhere but figured you wouldn't mind providing clarity. Stand by my words and don't need to defend my position on that matter. I think I've been very clear. I feel like we need to discuss the difference between a conversation and an argument. I'm here for one and not the other.
                  Which are you here for?

                  • +1

                    @cookie2: If you're going to say something racist then expect to be called out for it.

          • @cookie2: Why not volunteer your time freely with this vulnerable community then? Do that over three years so you can fully engage and understand the barriers and challenges they face and be able to assist.

            But you won’t because this is just another BS post written in bad faith.

        • +5

          Why worry about something that's happening in another culture to yours? Why worry about laws that don't apply to you? Heck! Why worry about what's happening in the rest of the world. Telling someone to not worry about something that doesn't apply to them is THE worst and most irrelevant argument one could come up with.

        • +1

          Employment conditional on ethnicity affects everyone.

          For example, I see you have a Jewish name. Imagine a time and place when a Jewish person was not permitted to do certain work in their own country… Oh wait, we rightly put a stop to that.

      • +14

        It's not the same as having lived experience of being African. That lived experience is what they're looking for that ensures that the role goes to the most suitable person. You can't have lived experience by proxy.

        • Agree re lived experience being valuable and holding a large amount of weight. But it's still wrong to me that it's a condition of employment that someone must have a particular ethnic background.

          • +7

            @cookie2: Then that's your privilege in not understanding why it's important. Numerous people have explained why it's necessary in the comments on this post. Perhaps you've never had the struggle of trying to feel heard or understood by someone else culturally and linguistically.

            • @kanmen: Again assume my life experience and struggles. I would hope less assumptions would be made but oh well, it must work to the narrative. Nice P word use.

              • +3

                @cookie2: In other places in this post you've talked about having uncomfortable conversations like this and feeling discomfort on conversations around race. Perhaps this is one of those times where you should look at your own discomfort and see where that is coming from, especially at being called out for your obvious privilege? Like I've said, numerous people have explained why it is necessary for this role to have this prerequisite and for whatever reason you seem to not grasp this. It might be worth considering why you seem to think people like yourself have a special right or advantage or entitlement to this role and why you think it is so wrong that for a job on cultural safety to ask for people from that relevant culture to apply.

                I genuinely can't think of any other reason but either your own class, race, age, gender, background, education, socio-economic status or entitlement perhaps mixed with a lack of cultural and emotional intelligence as a reason for why you can't understand what people are saying. I ask that you reflect on the other perspectives shared in this thread and why there seems to be a blockage in your understanding of those perspectives.

        • It's not the same as having lived experience of being African.

          But what if you've really studied the African people.
          You know, like head shapes and whatnot

      • +4

        I am a social worker by trade and don’t find this offensive. Engagement with the community is part of the job. Chucking in random white 20-something me because I’ve had the privilege of being awarded every other job ahead of a Person of Colour is just gross. Although I did study with some people who were racist towards other Asian Peoples and didn’t have any grasp of racism (hint:also your crummy definition), none of those people became social workers. Also, calling yourself an empath after this post and subsequent comments is a bit of a joke. We’re talking about vulnerable kids and families and you’re worried old mate whitey hasn’t been given a fair crack.

    • +2

      If that is the case they are using race as a proxy for certain skills/knowledge, this is 1 racist 2 ineffective as there may be applicants that have the skills/knowledge and don't apply due to not meeting the proxy (racial) requirement and applicants that lack the skills/knowledge and do apply because they meet the proxy (racial) requirement. Just advertise the required skills/knowledge requirements.

  • +17

    /* racist hat on */

    Wonder if I posted an add like this, how quickly will they take it down:

    These roles are identified as available for European heritage applicants only. Confirmation of your European heritage may be requested.

    /* racist hat off */

    • -17

      Maybe give an example of when white race was used as slaves first before putting your racist hat on!!

      • +22

        Not sure if you're trolling but the word slave literally comes from "Slavic" who are white.

      • +9


        Maybe give an example of when white race was used as slaves

        Ok… here

      • +14

        Maybe give an example of when white race was used as slaves

        Are you serious?

        Have you ever studied history?

      • +4

        Jan Ruff-O'Herne, 93, stands in the front garden of her beautiful stone house in Adelaide.

        But there were dark days that have shaped her life too.

        As a young woman, she was imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II, along with her family and many other Dutch civilians in what was then the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

        But worse was to come. One day Japanese troops came to make a selection, dragging 10 terrified women and girls from their families to life as forced sex slaves in a military-run brothel.

      • +8

        Do you literally believe all black people are descendants of slaves, and all white people are descendants of slavers?

        Seriously, you need to educate yourself, this is racism

      • +4

        Eastern European women in sex slavery are a current example. It is not hard to find plenty of historic examples either.

      • No I'm Spartacus!

      • +2

        Pretty sure the Romans had white slaves

      • Do a bit of history homework on the Songhai empire. They basically invented commercial slavery as an export and it was critical to their empire… Guess what? They were African.

        Thats not to say Europeans didn't exploit that, although "white" people, for all their perceived faults, ultimately abolished slavery.

        Africans commercialise slavery of Africans
        Whites abolish it

      • Oh my.

        What has our education system devolved into if this clown doesn't even know that the word slavery literally comes from the name "Slavic" - a white race.