INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
Victoria Daly hosted the inaugural ‘Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives’ Indigenous Women's Conference in Katherine on the 18th of June. The conference focused on bringing women from across the region together and sharing their stories of what they do and how their programs work. Working in partnership with Roper Gulf Regional Council Local Authority, Katherine Regional Aboriginal Health Related Services and Kalano the conference featured speakers from across the region. The keynote speaker, Unsung Hero 2015, 74 year old Ruby Walker Stanley opened the conference which was followed by a variety of speakers on panels that covered stories about ‘Strong Community Leaders’, ‘Young People Taking Charge’, ‘Creative Programming’ ‘Something Different, Something New’ and ‘Women as the Building Blocks’. The day ended with the Women’s Circle which allowed all participants to contribute to the conversation. The participants overwhelmingly said it was ‘the best conference ever.’
(The VDRC delegates and speakers in purple shirts) This event was sponsored by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Following the successful funding grant from ICC and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet we have launched into the Women’s Leadership Program bringing 26 women from across the VDRC area to the Women of the World (WOW) Festival held in Katherine on the 12/13/14 September 2014. The participants enjoyed two days of workshops, panels and guest speakers including the founder of WOW from London Jude Kelly, and the producer of WOW in Harlem New York Isisara Bey along with the first female chairperson of the Nitmiluk Board of Management, Mrs Lisa Mumbin and Debbie Kilroy, founder of Sisters Inside, who spent 15 years in and out of jail before becoming a criminal defense lawyer. The sessions covered the areas of Youth with a Vision, Outback Women, Women in Business, the Fashion Phenomenon, Domestic Violence as well as providing a range of art, craft and music workshops, speed mentoring and the display of 100 beanies from the Alice Springs Beanie Festival. The Victoria Daly women got a lot out of the Conference and all expressed a wish to return the next WOW event in 2016.
Stage two of the program is to hold luncheons in each community which will involve inviting women speakers from leading indigenous organisations such as the Jawoyn, Roper Gulf Council, Banatjarrl and other women leaders to go on the road and tell their stories of strength, survival and leadership. Local women from each community will also be invited to speak at the luncheons.
The ‘Women’s Roadshow’ will provide a forum to showcase leaders and role models within the community whilst creating new links, support and partnerships for women in the Victoria Daly Regional Council areas.These forums will help to identify and encourage new leaders and will empower and strengthen women status’s within their own community.
The first luncheon of the ‘Women’s Roadshow’ was held at Nauiyu/Daly River on the 14 October 2014. The presenters all spoke about their journeys in life and dealing with hardship, suicide, depression and community struggles. Nauiyu resident Miriam Rose Baumann OAM welcomed the 38 attendees to the lunch and spoke of her life and love of learning and teaching. Miriam has also set up the Miriam Rose Foundation to provide scholarships for local children to further their education in whatever field they choose.
Lisa Mumbin Katherine women, traditional owner of Nitmiluk (KatherineGorge) and the first female chairperson on the Jawoyn Association, spoke about her journey and the trials and opposition she met, and the strength given to her by the support and belief of her Elders to becoming the first woman chairman of the Jawoyn Association.
Milliwanga Sandy from Wugularr (Beswick) is a strong advocate for women and children as well maintaining language and culture. Milli was the first women to the chair the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority and is registered with the Australian Interpreter Service. Milli talked about the Banatjarl Womens Healing Centre at King Valley near Katherine NT and the support they give to women through culture to deal with issues of substance abuse, low morale, depression and suicide as well as the use of bush medicines in these processes.
Project Coordinator and local Katherine woman Toni Tapp Coutts talked about her recent journey with breast cancer and the need to create awareness in Indigenous Women who have a higher incidence of cervical and breast cancer than non Indigenous women in Australia.
The Roadshow will continue with Timber Creek on the 10th November, Kalkarindji 20th November and Yarralin on the 21st November 2014. Dates for Pine Creek/Kybrook to be confirmed.
Guest speaker will include MLA Bess Price, the Minister for Women’s Policy, VDRC Councillor Veronica Birrell and other local speakers to be confirmed nearer to the dates
For further information contact Toni Tapp Coutts on 08 8972 0713
Guest Speakers Lisa Mumbin - Miriam Rose Baumann OAM - Milliwanga Sandy and Toni Tapp Coutts