A large number of south-west residents believe racism is rife in the community, a survey conducted by The Standard reveals.
It's something Robbie Lowe has known all his life and he is glad it is finally being acknowledged.
"I'm just glad people are starting to acknowledge it," Mr Lowe said.
He said he suffered racism growing up in Warrnambool on a regular basis and every week on the footy field.
Mr Lowe said it was extremely hurtful and at times he wanted to retaliate.
But he didn't.
"My grandfather had a saying 'say nothing, do nothing' and that was the motto I lived by," Mr Lowe said.
He said his children and grandchildren were victims of racism but he hoped future generations wouldn't experience it.
"I would like to see all negativity towards Indigenous people cease," he said.
"My ancestors went through it and my generation is similar. I hope my great grandchildren don't go through the same thing."
More than 250 people completed a survey in which The Standard asked whether racism was an issue in the south-west.
More than half of the respondents - 66 per cent - said it was.
"Casual racism is rampant throughout the south-west," wrote one person.
"A conservative, old-fashioned mentality still rules in this and other country areas. People are afraid of anything or anyone different from themselves and don't embrace change," wrote another.
One person who completed the survey said they had lived all over the world and believed racism was an issue in the south-west.
"I'm subject to racism most days just because I'm from a different country," the person wrote.
A number of people also expressed disappointment that residents with Asian heritage were subjected to racism.
In addition to that, 91 per cent of respondents said they had been a victim of racism on the sporting field.
"I have seen it regularly at footy matches," wrote one person. "Many Aboriginal players are treated as players not people - more likely to be victims of hate speech and booing at games," wrote another.
Another person said there had been a number of cases of racism reported in the AFL. However, they said there would be thousands more that went unreported.
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