Message from the Commissioner
I am the first Aboriginal woman appointed to the role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.
It is my role to raise awareness of the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to provide guidance to Government on how to promote and protect these rights.
Fighting for the rights of the most vulnerable people in our communities, including our women and children, have been at the core of my advocacy and remains a core focus of my role.
It has been over 30 years since the findings from national consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were published in a report called, ‘Women’s Business’, the first time that the views of First Nations women were directly sought by the Commonwealth Government.
The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women's Voices) project continues this important work, elevating the voices of First Nations women and girls to the spaces of decision-making, because what they know matters informing meaningful and effective policy and legislation. Their knowledge matters, every day, to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our children, families and communities.
The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices): Securing Our Rights, Securing Our Future Report is an extensive whole-of-life report that reflects our women and girl’s incredible strengths and vital contributions to all aspects of life. It also captures how current mainstream systems are largely incapable of recognising this and adequately responding to the needs of our women and girls.
To all the women and girls whose voices shaped this report, I thank you. Thank you for your openness and honesty in sharing your stories. Your voices are powerful. I strongly encourage all Australians—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—to read this report. Listen to the voices of our First Nations women and girls, and come on this journey with us to achieve First Nations gender justice and equality.
June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.
She led a successful community driven campaign for alcohol restrictions in Fitzroy Crossing, and is an international advocate on the impacts of trauma and FASD.
In 2016, she was the recipient of the Desmond Tutu Global Reconciliation Award and was named NAIDOC person of the year in 2018.
June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on 3 April 2017.