Applications are being sought from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from across the country for Oxfam’s Straight Talk Summit in Canberra, from 7 – 10 March 2010.
Oxfam Australia spokeswoman Sabina Curatolo said Straight Talk aimed to build relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women in Federal Parliament, to find ways to work together to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The 50 women selected will learn about the political system, discuss common issues of concern and generate strategies for bringing about change, before meeting with women from all sides of politics at Parliament House.
To represent the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, Oxfam Australia is encouraging applications from women of all, ages, family types, and education and employment levels. Participants will be selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership and a commitment to bringing about positive change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Whether they come from remote communities or urban areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will have direct access to decision-makers, while female parliamentarians will gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing communities,” Ms Curatolo said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women hold a vital key to bringing about positive change in their communities, and already play a significant leadership role. By working with female political leaders in Australia, real change is possible.”
The inaugural Straight Talk summit in February 2009 saw outstanding and inspiring women of all ages from Geraldton in WA to Bateman’s Bay in NSW, from the Torres Strait’s Badu Island to Launceston, all telling different stories of hope, hardship and resilience.
“Through our work around the world, Oxfam has seen time and time again the ability of women to work with each other across traditional, cultural and political boundaries to bring about change,” Ms Curatolo said.
Twenty-five-year-old Stephanie King from Mt Isa said participating in Straight Talk gave her new insights into the political system. She has since forged a relationship with her local MP on key community issues and had the confidence to participate in the Queensland Indigenous Youth Parliament in May.
“Straight Talk is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I encourage women of any age to take part,” she said. “It will be an empowering experience that will open doors and build valuable, long-lasting friendships.”
Following the event, Oxfam Australia will support participants to maintain their relationships with parliamentarians and each other.
Application forms are available at www.oxfam.org.au/straight-talk or phone 1800 088 110.
Applications close on 8 January 2010.
For more information, please contact Laurelle Keough on 0409 960 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org