Date: 
Tuesday 5 March 2019

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has welcomed the announcement of new funding for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion today announced $1.7 million to support the second stage of the project, as part of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.

Commissioner Oscar said Stage Two of the project will build on the success of the national conversation with First Nations women and girls.

“During 2018, we had the privilege of meeting with 2,294 women and girls in 50 locations across the country, to hear about their strengths, challenges and ideas for change.

"A consistent theme from the discussions was that positive change needs to be specific to local communities and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls want to be an active part of that change.

"Stage Two will focus on how First Nations women and girls will use our final Report and its recommendations, as a tool for continuing their incredible work within their communities.

“We want to build on the existing strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, so that they can work with their communities to lead and negotiate community-led solutions in partnership with government and non-government partners.

“We also need to focus on building the capacity of those partners to provide enabling and supportive environments for community-led design, implementation and evaluation of programs,” Commissioner Oscar said.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner has been invited to provide an additional proposal to the Federal government for funding to hold a National Summit in 2020.

The National Summit would bring together representatives from the Commonwealth, States and Territories and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies to work with First Nations women and girls.

Commissioner Oscar said the National Summit would be instrumental in bringing together all participants that have a role in activating the Report’s recommendations and set in motion the development of implementation plans.

Commissioner Oscar’s Wiyi Yani U Thangani Report will be published in mid-2019.

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.  

Media contact: Lindy Kerin 0430 366 529 or lindy.kerin@humanrights.gov.au