Date: 
Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has finished her national consultations with First Nations women and girls for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.

Commissioner Oscar’s final sessions were held in Rockhampton, Woorabinda, Barcaldine and Longreach in regional Queensland last week.

Over the past year, the Wiyi Yani U Thangani team has visited more than 40 communities across the country and has met with more than 2-thousand women and girls to hear about their strengths, challenges and ideas for change.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to meet so many strong and inspiring women and girls who have taken the time to be part of our national conversation.

“Being the first woman in the role of Social Justice Commissioner, I wanted to connect and elevate the voices of all our women and girls around the country.

“I hope that through this project, we have enabled every woman and girl to speak the truth about their lived reality as First Nations women.

“We wanted to provide women and girls with an opportunity to tell us about the issues that matter to them.

“We wanted to hear their ideas and aspirations of their role and participation in designing better and effective policies and strategies that will bring about lasting and positive change,” Commissioner Oscar said.

The Social Justice Commissioner’s report to Federal parliament next year will honour the voices of women and girls who have taken part in the project.

It has been 32 years since the first national consultations with Indigenous women by the Aboriginal Women’s Taskforce and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1986. 

The Australian Human Rights Commissions is hoping to hold a National Summit for Indigenous women and girls in 2019.

“The National Summit will be instrumental in bringing together representatives from the Commonwealth, States and Territories and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies to work with First Nations women and girls to implement our report’s recommendations,” Commissioner Oscar said.