Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women Straight Talk in Canberra

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Women work with Parliament for gender equity.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from all over the country are in Canberra today, [September 1, 2014,] as they get ready for some Straight Talking with women Parliamentarians.

Oxfam Australia’s fifth national Straight Talk summit began this morning with 51 women of all ages, backgrounds and locations in Canberra for the event, which runs until Thursday.

From Moa Island in the Torres Strait, to Devonport in Tasmania and west to Broome, the women have come to the nation’s capital to explore new strategies together, and with women from all sides of politics, in an effort to bring about positive changes in their communities.

Oxfam Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Program Manager Karrina Nolan said the event was an invaluable opportunity for these women to voice the concerns of their communities and be heard by those in leadership positions who can help to make a difference.

The participants will be welcomed to Parliament House on Wednesday 3 September in an Opening Ceremony co-hosted by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, Labor Senator Claire Moore and Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

Straight Talk participants also will hear from three inspiring trailblazers – actress and activist Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Aboriginal Hostels Limited Chief Executive Officer Joy Savage, and soprano, composer and academic Deborah Cheetham.

“Over the next four days, Straight Talk will give our women a platform to share stories and solutions and strengthen one another so they can shape the decisions that affect our lives and our peoples,” Ms Nolan said.

“They will be learning how the political system works, the tools and strategies for creating change and also meet with female parliamentarians to talk about the issues they face on the ground.

“These women have travelled here from all over the country, some from very small, remote communities where access to even local-level government is limited, so what better place to start the journey of change than in Australia’s political centre.”

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