First Nations Women and Girls National Summit

Summit banner

The First Nations Women and Girls National Summit was be held from 9-11 May 2023, with an additional one-day Youth Forum on 8 May 2023. The Summit brought together over 900 First Nations women delegates and non-Indigenous collaborations, for decision-making, innovation and celebration. 

The National Summit is an outcome of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project, led by Commissioner June Oscar AO, in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency. It is the first ever national gathering of its kind. 

Over three days, delegates engaged with inspiring keynotes, panels and workshops, showcasing the innovative approaches and initiatives of First Nations women across key thematic areas: Leadership and Decision-Making; Language, Land, Water & Cultural Rights; Societal Healing and Intergenerational Wellbeing; and Economic Justice & Empowerment. Taken together, the Summit put forward First Nations women-led solutions to some of the most significant challenges faced by First Nations women, communities and all of society. You can read more about the presentations and initiatives showcased in the Summit Program and Showcase Booklet.

Delegates at the Summit also informed the development of the National Framework for Action, and endorsed the establishment of a First Nations Gender Justice Institute—both major outcomes of the Summit. You can read more about the Framework and Institute in the Summit Paper. 

Summit ProgramSummit PaperShowcase Booklet

Outcomes and Calls to Action

The Summit provided a once-in-a-generation platform for agreement-making for First Nations women and girls to come together, raise their collective voice, and determine the way ahead. First Nations women have put their calls to action in the Summit Communique and Youth Statement, and are calling on governments to recognise and invest in the mechanisms that will enable their voices to pave the way for a future that all Australians deserve and have a right to. 

Read the CommuniqueRead the Youth Statement

cover of communique and statement

Explore the program & watch recordings of key sessions

Sensing and seeing a system grounded in our wisdom and knowledges

Day one was about being connected, grounding and uniting Summit participants in all our diversity. Together, through connection, commonality can be found of belonging to country, kin, spirit and the ecosystems that interconnect across the continent. Everyone and everything is connected, and together in our connection we can create healthy systems and flourishing societies.

Welcome to Country and Smoking CeremonyPlenary and Opening Address: June Oscar AO and Michelle DeshongPanel: 'Ancestors Lay the Foundations for Tomorrow: what will our legacy be in driving generational gender equality and justice?'Panel: 'What Happens Next? How young voices are paving the way ahead, on their own terms and in their on way'Video Message from Reem Alsalem, United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls

Envisioning what we want and calling it into being

On day two, all Summit participants are asked to look to the future and think about the way forward 
for Wiyi Yani U Thangani and what a movement for First Nations gender justice and equality really 
looks like.

Plenary: Hon Linda Burney MP, Hon Nanai Mahuta MP (NZ), Associate Professor Hannah McGladePanel: 'Building Alliances - what relationships are needed to reach the future we want?'Video Message from the Hon Julie Bishop, Chancellor of the ANUVideo Message from the Hon Julia Gillard, Chair and Founder of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership ANU

How to make change happen and achieve First Nations gender justice

The last day of the Summit is all about innovation and transformative change. Innovation is inherent 
to First Nations cultures and knowledges. The day will consider how First Nations people are the first 
innovators, adapting and responding to changing conditions over tens of thousands of centuries. 

Welcome and Review of Priorities: June Oscar AO and Michelle Deshong, Video Message from Hon Amanda Rishworth MP and Youth Forum Delegate StatementPanel: 'First Matriarchs, First Innovators: How First Nations women's knowledges and practices are the key to a vibrant future for all'Plenary: Dr Jackie Huggins AM and Estelle ClarkeClosing Remarks: June Oscar

Summit Sponsors

The Wiyi Yani U Thangani Project and Summit is funded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA). The Summit was also supported by Indigenous Business Australia, Westpac, Telstra, Rio Tinto, The Fred Hollows Foundation, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting, and by media partners SBS & NITV.


Summit Registration FAQ

Full Registration (First Nations women only): Includes registration for the three-day Summit (9-11 May), the Welcome Event (8 May) and the Gala Dinner (11 May). Open only to First Nations women over 18 years of age (including those who identify as cis, trans and non-binary) for purchase. The cost of Full Registration is $715.00 (GST inc). REGISTER HERE 

Youth Forum + Full Registration (First Nations women only): Includes registration for the one-day Youth Forum (8 May), the three-day Summit (9-11 May), the Welcome Event (8 May) and the Gala Dinner (11 May). Open only to First Nations women between 18 and 29 years of age (including those who identify as cis, trans and non-binary) for purchase. The cost of Youth Forum + Full Registration is $715.00 (GST inc). REGISTER HERE 

Gala Dinner: Includes a ticket to the Summit Gala Dinner held on the evening of Thursday 11 May 2023. The cost of the Gala Dinner ticket is $110.00 (GST inc). REGISTER HERE 

The Wiyi Yani U Thangani National Summit Delegate Sponsorship aims to support First Nations Women (including cis and trans women, and non-binary and gender-diverse people) to attend the Summit and/or Youth forum. There will be two types of sponsorships:

  1.  Sponsorship to attend the Summit
  2.  Sponsorship to attend the Youth Forum and Summit

Sponsorship may include:

  • Complimentary Summit registration fees (inclusive of welcome event and gala dinner);
  • Domestic travel fares (air, bus, boat, train) from home base to Canberra, return;
  • Accommodation for duration of event; and
  • Travel allowances for meals and incidentals.

All travel logistics will be coordinated and paid for by the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

To be eligible for sponsorship to attend the Summit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • are over the age of 18;
  • are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent;
  • do not have access to other means to support their attendance at the Summit or Youth forum; and
  • are not employed by organisations where that organisation could reasonably be expected to pay for their attendance and associated travel and accommodation costs.

The application process is as follows:

  • Applications open on Wednesday 15 March 2023
  • Applicants must complete the Sponsored Delegates Application Form
  • Receipt of application will be provided via email
  • Applications will close on 29 March 2023, at 5.00pm AEDT
  • Applicants will be notified if successful via email


When and where is the Summit being held?

The Summit will be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country from Tuesday 9 May – Thursday 11 May 2023, with a Welcome Event on 8 May 2023 (5.30pm-8.30pm) and a Gala Dinner on Thursday 11 May (6.00pm-11.00pm). A dedicated one-day Youth Forum will be held on Monday 8 May 2023 for First Nations young women. Please note event times are subject to change. 

Is this event live or virtual?

The Summit is a live, in-person event hosted at the National Convention Centre Canberra. A number of sessions at the Summit will be recorded and made available online via our website.

Who is the Summit for?

The National Summit is first and foremost a gathering for First Nations women (including those who identify as cis, transgender and non-binary) to elevate their voices and solutions.  As such, registration priority will be given to First Nations women and First Nations community-controlled organisations.

Registrations for non-Indigenous attendees are capped and by invitation only, in order to ensure we can create as many opportunities as possible for First Nations women to attend. We appreciate there are non-Indigenous women who provide fundamental caring roles for First Nations women and collaborate on vital community projects. If you have queries about attending the Summit on this basis please contact

Further, the cultural safety of First Nations women (including those who identify as cis, transfer and non-binary) is priority, with respect, male participation in this conference will be limited to the virtual platform and gathering spaces outside of the Summit’s main plenary and concurrent sessions. 

The Summit will be an important gathering for First Nations women, however there will be future events and opportunities open to non-Indigenous and male allies to connect with the Wiyi Yani U Thangani project in our shared work to achieving Fist Nations Gender Justice in Australia. Please note, gala dinner tickets are open for all (men included) and we encourage you to join us for what will be an incredible evening.

Who can attend the Youth Forum?

The Youth Forum is open to all First Nations women between 18 and 29 years of age (including those who identify as cis, trans and non-binary).

Is sponsorship available for me to attend?

Yes, First Nations women over 18 years old can apply for to be a sponsored delegate to attend the Summit and/or Youth Forum. Please see information on 'Sponsorship for First Nations women' above.

How many tickets can I buy?

Tickets will be limited to one ticket per registration. This will ensure that a wide range of stakeholders have the opportunity to purchase a ticket.

Is the Welcome Event and Gala Dinner included in the Registration Costs?

Yes, the Welcome Event and Gala Dinner is included in the Full Registration ticket and the Youth Forum & Full Registration ticket.  

Can I attend the gala dinner only?

Yes, you can purchase a ticket for Gala Dinner only. Gala Dinner tickets are open to anyone. The cost for this ticket is $110.00 (GST inc).

When should I arrive/leave Canberra?

The formal Summit program begins in the morning of Tuesday 9 May and will conclude in the afternoon of Thursday 11 May. You are invited to attend the Welcome Event on Monday 8 May (5.30pm-8.30pm) and the Gala Dinner on Thursday 11 May (6.00pm-11.00pm). Please note event times are subject to change. 

If you are also attending the Youth Forum, the program of events will commence in the morning of Monday 8 May and will conclude in the afternoon of Thursday 11 May, followed by the Gala Dinner Thursday 11 May (5.30pm-8.30pm). Please note event times are subject to change. 

Details for booking accommodation can be found in the drop-down below. 

Is the venue accessible?

The National Convention Centre Canberra is a fully accessible venue. For further information about the venue (public transport, parking, disability access, health & safety) please visit the NCCC website Visit Information - National Convention Centre Canberra (

Can I bring dependent children with me?

We are aware of the need to provide adequate support for parents and caregivers at the Summit and/or Youth Forum. To assist those travelling with infants and children under 5 years of age and for whom they have legal guardianship, there will be a dedicated room onsite at the convention centre for quiet time and nursing stations. Please be aware that no childcare services will be provided, and children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. You must ensure that children in your care do not behave in a manner that unreasonably interferes with other attendees’ safety or enjoyment. Attendees bringing children will be asked to sign a form as part of your registration form acknowledging full responsibility and waiving any right or cause of action, arising as result of your child(ren)’s attendance at the Summit from which any liability may or could accrue to the event organisers.

Will there be support if I feel distressed during the Summit?

There will be a wellbeing space at the summit which is intended to be a safe space for any participants who are feeling a little overwhelmed and need some time to themselves. 

Is there a COVID management plan?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact. We cannot guarantee that participants, volunteers, partners, or others in attendance will not become infected with COVID-19. Participants choosing to attend the Summit must acknowledge the health risks associated with their attendance and sign a liability waiver as part of their registration. All participants must agree to their duty to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and discontinue their participation immediately and seek appropriate medical attention should they become unwell. At a minimum, we will comply with the ACT Government COVIDSafe requirements which will be reviewed based on Public Health Directions in place at the time of our event.  We will go above and beyond to ensure these requirements are adhered to, to ensure the safety for all attendees.

Accommodation Link is the official hotel provider for the National First Nations Women and Girls Summit 2023.

We've negotiated accommodation discounts and secured a limited number of reduced-rate hotel rooms to make your trip to Canberra affordable. Through the travel experts at Accommodation Link, rooms at the group rate are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. These reduced contract rates will expire 30 days prior to the event - book early for best selection and price.


Accommodation Link is a licensed product of ConferenceNational.

To contact ConferenceNational submit our online form, email us at or call 1300 79 20 30 (Mon-Fri 9.00am to 5.30pm AEDT). 

View our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about official hotels.

  • All prices displayed are in AUD, include GST and are correct as at date of offer. Any prices quoted may be subject to change until registration is confirmed.
  • ConferenceNational Amendment Policy: Once You register and receive your registration confirmation, ConferenceNational will provide 1 set of complimentary changes (excluding refunds). Any further reviews/changes to your registration will incur an administration fee of $10.00 charged directly to You. 
  • ConferenceNational Cancellation Policy: Any cancellations or changes to a registration which result in a refund back to You will incur an administration fee of $35.00 (on top of any charges applied by the Australian Human Rights Commission). Payments by credit card can be made by Visa, Mastercard or American Express and will incur a transaction fee. Credit card merchant fees are non-refundable. 
  • Cancellations and/or amendments must be sent in writing to ConferenceNational via

Sponsored delegate and speaker delegate cancellation policy can be found in the Terms & Conditions upon registering. 

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