Report gives women, girls a voice
Aboriginal women in some of the State’s most remote locations, including the Pilbara, will have their voice heard by the Federal Government after a visit by social justice commissioner June Oscar.
The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project, launched last year, called for submissions from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, as well as key organisations, to voice their opinion on a range of local issues.
As part of the project, Ms Oscar and her team visited more than 40 communities, including Newman, Hedland, Roebourne and Karratha, and heard from more than 1800 ladies.
Ms Oscar met with several Newman students last week, including Year 11 Alliyah Newell-Ewan, who was inspired by the visit.
“It was amazing to hear from the first Aboriginal woman to become the social justice commissioner,” she said.
“Her story is really inspirational and makes me think that I too can strive to be the best that I can be.”
Ms Oscar encouraged girls, women and organisations who she could not meet with to send in submissions.
“I strongly encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls to take part in this important project,” she said.
“I am looking forward to hearing what women and girls have to say about their challenges, strengths and hopes for the future.
“This is an opportunity to be part of a national conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, something that hasn’t happened since the landmark Women’s Business report of 1986.
“Tell us as much or as little as you like. Just speak from the heart and speak your truth. Your input is critical if we’re to produce a report that’s true to your lived realities and acknowledges the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls.”
Community consultations are expected to finish by December, before Ms Oscar’s report is delivered to the Federal Government next year.
“My report will carry the voices of all the women and girls we’ve met around the country and connect their lived realities with government, law and policy decision-makers,” she said.
“It will tell the Government about what’s important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, what needs changing and what that change should look like.
“It has been a privilege to meet with such inspiring and strong women in the Pilbara region and to hear about the issues that matter to them.”
Social justice commissioner June Oscar with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from Port Hedland.