Canberra bound, sisters are doing it for themselves
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from across Australia will again head to Canberra in June to engage with political leaders and discuss ideas and projects that will ultimately bring about positive changes in their communities.
The national summit, from 26 to 30 June, is part of Oxfam’s Straight Talk program which has empowered more than 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to learn more about the political system that shapes their lives and their communities.
Oxfam Australia’s Rebecca Harnett said the program had supported many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to apply their skills over the past eight years.
Straight Talk participant, facilitator and mentor Vonda Malone, the first female mayor of the Torres Shire Council, who was a past participant at the summit, said the event helped set the focus for the leadership path she would take.
“I attended Straight Talk in 2010 and it confirmed my aspirations to be a leader in my community. It was so uplifting; I met many strong successful Indigenous women of all ages with different careers, backgrounds and life experiences,” Ms Malone said.
“As I’m from Thursday Island, I’d had never had the opportunity to network like that and to get familiar with the pathway to become a leader. If women want to play a greater role in their community, and not necessarily only in elected positions but in their region, I would encourage them to participate in Straight Talk.
“It sets a solid foundation for increasing women’s knowledge and capacity and helps them to excel in the different fields in which they’re working. The national summit provides women with the opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences and work together to develop strategies to address common issues.
“Many women are already committed to making a difference in their communities and have a powerful role to play in leading change; it is critical that women have a strong voice in the decisions that affect their lives,”
Ms Harnett said that many women were already committed to making a difference in their communities and had a powerful role to play in leading change; it was critical that women had a strong voice in the decisions that affect their lives, she said.
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