This week 100 women, including 85 Kimberley Aboriginal women, gathered for a three-day roundtable to commence development of a regional action plan and establish the Kimberley Aboriginal Women’s Council.
The roundtable, held from May 4-6, 2021, was convened in response to the landmark Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) report released by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner June Oscar in 2020.
Commissioner Oscar delivered an opening address to the roundtable, and said the agenda developed by Kimberley Aboriginal Women would “pave the way to realise our rights that belong to us and are non-negotiable.
“We know that our women in our own ways have a unique way of seeing the world. We know that leadership doesn’t happen alone, it is always about all of us working together,” Commissioner Oscar said.
“We know that to do a job well, to make a good life, it takes many hands, multiple perspectives, and all our different talents.
“Imagine the future, step into it, and start forming it today.”
In developing their agenda, Kimberley Aboriginal women used Wiyi Yani U Thangani as a tool to set their own priorities and actions and pursue implementation.
These regional priorities include:
- The importance of uplifting leadership and decision-making of women and girls;
- To practice and embed language, law and culture, recognising their importance as a key determinant of health and wellbeing and intergenerational success;
- Breaking cycles of inter-generational trauma through the development of holistic culturally-centred early intervention and prevention initiatives; and
- Guaranteeing strong developmental pathways in education, training and employment to enable women and girls to participate in all they want to.
The three-day roundtable was the first step in developing a regional action plan for Kimberley Aboriginal women along with a Kimberley Aboriginal Women’s Council, and will continue to use Wiyi Yani U Thangani as a framework for implementation.