Stage One of the Project involved national engagements with over 2,000 First Nations women and girls in 50 locations around the country in 2018 and culminated in the production of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Report which was tabled in the federal Parliament in December 2020.
This landmark Report—which represents the first time since the 1986 Women’s Business Report that First Nations women’s have been gathered and presented at the national level—provides a First Nation’s gender lens across all areas of life.
The Report calls for seven overarching recommendations to guarantee that First Nations women and girls’ voices are at the centre of decision-making. This includes the establishment of a First Nations women and girls’ Advisory Body, a National First Nations Women and Girls Summit, and to develop a First Nations women and girls National Framework for Action so we can start to fundamentally shift the ways in which we operate for the better, and the solutions in Wiyi Yani U Thangani can be responded to and implemented over the long-term.
Stage Two focused on socialising the findings of the Report and beginning the process of implementation of its recommendations. In addition to engaging with all governments, Commissioner Oscar and her team held a series of roundtables to inform the development of the Implementation Framework. Drawing on the evidence-base of the Report, the Implementation Framework puts forward the priorities, actions and structural changes that underpin the systems change work that First Nations women and girls are calling for. You can read more about the Implementation Framework here.
Currently in Stage Three, the project is taking the next steps to progress systems change, including:
- Developing a National Framework for Action on First Nations gender justice and equality
- Delivering the first ever First Nations women and girls national summit
- Establishing a First Nations Gender Justice Institute, based at the Australian National University.
Red dust rises, Brolga dances - a new dawn begins.
We follow in the footsteps of those who have come before us,
their path guides our way.
Country challenges, landscape transforms, rock emerges,
sky disappears, stars are revealed.
Water springs forth the journey continues - knowledge is shared river flows - freshwater turns to salt.
Woven leaf binds us, we are connected, we are one.
This gathering place is sacred - Our business, Our way, we are stronger together as we determine our futures.
The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women's Voices) artwork depicts the journey of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Girls and their rights to security and success.
The leadership roles that those who have come before us have played in the past and the roles that women and girls continue to play today and aspire to in the future. Within their families, their communities, the nation and the world.
Pathways leading in from the top of the artwork depict the journeys of the women and girls who have come before us - overcoming many challenges. Moving towards the centre the four smaller circular motifs represent both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Girls who are effecting change today. The cross-hatching brings both culture and generations together.
The blue wavey lines that connect them represent the knowledge of the past and knowledge of the present coming together - knowledge from both freshwater and saltwater country. The white connected circles represent our support networks.
The smaller circles that surround the central circle are meeting places that represent different locations throughout the country where discussions are held, knowledge exchanged, and changes are made. The central circle represents these discussions and changes, the pathways that flow out towards the bottom of the artwork represent the continuing journey and the knowledge of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls and how they are determining their futures together. The flowers represent these ideas growing and blossoming for future generations to be guided by and benefit from.
The project artwork has been developed by Elaine Chambers in collaboration with We Are 27 Creative.