The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has launched the Hear Us, See Us exhibition at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
The exhibition includes photos and videos of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls who took part in national consultations for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.
Commissioner Oscar said she’s proud to be able to share the voices and stories of so many inspiring and strong women and girls with an international audience.
“It is such an honour and a privilege to share this exhibition at the UN Human Rights Council, such an important platform for international human rights.
“The Hear Us, See Us exhibition is a powerful display of Indigenous women and girls across the lands and seas of Australia. It celebrates the strengths of First Nations women and girls.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls are defying the deficit narrative. In speaking their truth with us, they have said I am not your stereotype. I am not a sensationalist headline. I am not your negative media story. They are saying ‘this is me, and I am strong and powerful in being all of who I am’,” Commissioner Oscar said.
The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project is the first of its kind in 33 years and shows the world the strengths, aspirations, and challenges women and girls face in their determination to confront discrimination and structural barriers to realise and enjoy their human rights.
Speaking at the launch in Geneva last night, Commissioner Oscar called on the Australian Government to give full effect to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“This is how Australia can demonstrate meaningful leadership to ensure that our international commitments are reflected in domestic laws and policies,” Commissioner Oscar said.
Commissioner Oscar thanked all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls who have taken part in the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project and reminded them;
“Your voice matters, and you have a right to your voice. Let no one ignore or silence you. I am determined to make what you say count,” Commissioner Oscar said.