Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women converge at Parliament House to meet with female politicians

Campaigns and Advocacy, Indigenous Affairs, Media Releases, News article written on the 18 Jun 2013

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from around Australia are heading to Parliament House on Wednesday 19 June for some ‘Straight Talking’ with female Parliamentarians.

Oxfam Australia’s fourth Straight Talk national summit sees 65 women of all ages, backgrounds and locations meeting with women in Federal Parliament.

The women will be welcomed to Parliament House in an Opening Ceremony on Wednesday.  On Thursday morning, they will meet with Parliamentarians.

From Yorke Island in the Torres Strait, to Launceston in Tasmania, the diverse group of women, who arrived in Canberra on Sunday, include those working in a range of different fields such as education, health, art and youth.

Oxfam Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Program Manager Karrina Nolan said participants would be learning about the political system, discussing common issues of concern and generating strategies for bringing about change, before meeting with women from all sides of politics at Parliament House today.

“Straight Talk has come from a belief that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters around the country must be a part of the politics that impacts our daily lives,” Ms Nolan said.

“It comes from a commitment to engage, support, empower and skill our mob to put forward the solutions and ideas we already have to solve our own problems.  It’s also critical that we don’t just access our decision makers; where needed, we need to be the decision-makers.”

As well as small group meetings with female Parliamentarians, the women will participate in a Senate Committee Inquiry role-play and observe Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Notes:  Straight Talk coordinator Karrina Nolan and Straight Talk participants will be available for interview after the Opening Ceremony, from 11.15 – 11.30am.

The Straight Talk participants arrived in Canberra on Sunday.

Please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801 or laurellek@oxfam.org.au