Event inspires future advocates

Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

Indigenous women from across the Kimberley gained the inspiration they sought as a nationwide program was held in the region for the first time last week.

The Straight Talk program, established by Oxfam eight years ago, aims to connect Aboriginal women to the law by allowing them to share their knowledge, challenges and inspirations.

Previous summits have been held across the country; however, last week’s event in Broome was the first to be held in the Kimberley.

About 40 women from Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra, Derby and Beagle Bay joined locals in Broome on a mission to become powerful advocates for community issues.

Participants included Member for Kimberley Josie Farrer, former senator and Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris and National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples co-chairperson Jackie Huggins.

Facilitator Michelle Deshong said the Kimberley workshop had been one of the largest regional events to date.

“The women have really embraced the opportunity to have this space,” she said.

“They have talked about some of the issues they are facing in their community and recognised how they can draw strength from one another.”

The program was delivered jointly by Oxfam Australia and Aboriginal membership organisation Aarnja, who united forces to bring the workshops to Broome.

Aarnja chief executive Janine Dureau said the event was a tremendous opportunity for women in the region to be “effective influential change makers”.

“It has been an inspiration to observe the level of engagement and willingness from the women to learn new strategies,” she said.

Straight Talk was described by participants as “thought provoking” and “inspirational”.

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