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 What is radicalisation

In this section you can find out about what radicalisation is, how people radicalise, radicalisation online and what to do if you are concerned someone you know is radicalising.

We have also developed resources to download.

Radicalisation awareness information kit

This kit has been produced to raise awareness and help all Australians understand the radicalisation process and how to respond if they are concerned about someone they know. The kit includes five information sheets and a detailed booklet to advise on radicalisation and how to help:

To request a hard copy of any of the above resources please contact


Radicalisation happens when a person's thinking and behaviour become significantly different from how most of the members of their society and community view social issues and participate politically. Only small numbers of people radicalise and they can be from a diverse range of ethnic, national, political and religious groups.

As a person radicalises they may begin to seek to change significantly the nature of society and government. However, if someone decides that using fear, terror or violence is justified to achieve ideological, political or social change—this is violent extremism.

This is not the same as someone just expressing their point of view. Everyone in Australia has the right to express their beliefs and group interests openly. As a democratic society, Australia protects the rights of all law-abiding people, including those who belong to minority political, religious and ethnic groups.

However, it becomes a concern to everybody, including families, communities and law enforcement, if a person begins to advocate or use violence to achieve a political, religious or ideological goal.

Exactly what influences individuals to go down a path of using or supporting violence to seek change can be difficult to determine, but there can be a number of factors. The radicalisation to violence process is unique to each person who undergoes it, and in most cases will not cause serious harm. In exceptional circumstances, however, the decisions made by a person radicalising can result in a serious and lethal act of violent extremism.

Those who radicalise and display threatening behaviour, incite hatred or promote the use of violence for their cause require some form of intervention. This may come from family, religious or community leaders, or law enforcement.

Communities play a vital role in assisting people to move away from violent extremism and intervening to stop acts of violence before they are committed

You can learn more about the radicalisation process and radicalisation online.

If you are concerned somebody you know may be radicalising, see the page on what you can do.