The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has visited the regional city of Mildura in north-west Victoria, for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.
Commissioner Oscar said it’s been a privilege to meet so many strong Aboriginal women and girls playing important roles in their community.
“I’ve met some incredible women, making huge contributions to this region. Women working with young people at school, working in the courts, in the women’s refuge, working with young mums, while also looking after their families across generations.
“I’ve met with young mums who have shared some of the challenges they face living in a regional area. I also met some inspiring young students from the Koorie Girls Academy who shared their dreams and aspirations for the future and their immense pride of their culture and the history of their community.
“I heard very clearly that self-determination and including women in decision making is crucial in enabling people to lead full and successful lives,” Commissioner Oscar said.
The Mildura meetings were the first in a series of national community visits for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani project.
The project will build on the legacy of the Women’s Business report of 1986, which was the first and last time national consultations were held with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
“This is a great opportunity, more than 30 years on, to elevate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls and identify the issues that matter to them.”
Commissioner Oscar and her team will be heading to Melbourne for the rest of the week and will continue visiting more than 30 locations throughout the year.
“I strongly encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls to come together and take part in this important project.
Wiyi Yani U Thangani, means Women’s Voices in Commissioner June Oscar’s Bunuba language.
Photo: Students from the Koorie Girls Academy with Commissioner June Oscar