A MESSAGE FROM THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SOCIAL JUSTICE 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 Aboriginal 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, and hear their solutions for a stronger, more just and equitable Australia.
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.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women Advisory Committee
Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices): Securing our Rights, Securing our Future will be guided by an Advisory Committee of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, some of whom contributed to the 1986 Women’s Business Report findings.
The diverse perspectives and expertise of the eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women on the Advisory Committee will provide a valuable contribution to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner as this important project progresses.
Ms Josephine Bourne
Ms Antoinette Braybrook
Ms Sandra Creamer
Ms Kia Dowell
Ms Charlee-Sue Frail
Dr Jackie Huggins
Ms Katie Kiss
Ms Andrea Mason
(L-R) Katie Kiss, Kia Dowell, June Oscar, Antoinette Braybrook, Charlee-Sue Frail, Josephine Bourne and Jackie Huggins (Megan Davis, Sandra Creamer and Andrea Mason not pictured).
We are delighted to have Dr Anita Heiss and Magnolia Maymuru as Ambassadors for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project. These amazing women share their stories and the importance of this Project here.
- Dr Anita Heiss
- Magnolia Maymuru