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Stage 2 of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project

Responsible government

  • Commonwealth

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 4 Address intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through primary prevention, including holistic healing strategies, and by strengthening connections to culture, language, knowledge and identity.
  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
    • 6 Value and engage the expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men, communities and organisations to lead in the creation and implementation of community-led solutions to build and manage change.
    • 9 Address both the immediate impacts and deep underlying drivers of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through collective action with governments, service providers and communities.

What are we doing?

The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Project seeks to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls across the country through a strength-based consultation process to better understand the issues that have the potential to effect positive change in their personal security, socioeconomic security and cultural security.

The Commonwealth Government in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) commenced Stage One of the Women’s Voices project in 2017, led by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Ms June Oscar AO (the Commissioner).

  • The Commonwealth Government is providing $1.7 million between 2018–19 and 2019–20 under the Fourth Action Plan to fund Stage two of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Project.

What have we achieved so far?

Stage One of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Project:

Throughout 2018, the Commissioner led and completed a national consultation process with around 2,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls across 50 communities throughout Australia. The broad-ranging consultations explored their sense of identity, health and wellbeing, safety, economic and education participation, representation in leadership, and the way that women and girls connect to land and country. While different issues were raised across locations, there were consistent calls for action around child removal, incarceration, housing, mental health, wellbeing and employment.

What is next?

Stage One:

  • The Commissioner’s final report is due in March 2020 and expected to set out clear guidance for all governments, non-government organisations and communities to better support Indigenous women and girls as agents of change.

Stage Two:

  • Stage Two will aim to build on the success of the national consultation and strengthen partnerships between governments, organisations and communities to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls.
  • This will include further consultations with selected Indigenous communities on specific issues identified throughout stage one, knowledge exchange workshops, and the development of a suite of resources for organisational, community and individual use, that will aid efforts in the promotion and implementation of best practice.

What difference will we make?

The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Project builds on the 1986 Women’s Business report, and reflects the status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls over the last 33 years, with the key objectives to:

  1. Capture the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls with respect to their cultural, socioeconomic and personal security, their key priorities, and the principles that they believe would contribute to long-lasting change.
  2. Elevate the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls through a human-rights-based process which is accessible and relevant to their lived reality, and contributes to their empowerment.

Provide credible evidence and set out clear guidance for governments to improve their capacity to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls as active citizens and positive change makers, and the best-practice considerations that need to be established throughout government policies and programs.

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