Over the past few months, our Darwin-based Stars and Tennant Creek Stars have had the fantastic opportunity of taking part in consultations for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Project.
Wiyi Yan U Thangani is an initiative of June Oscar AO, the first Aboriginal woman to be appointed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The project is a national conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, designed to hear their priorities, challenges and aspirations for themselves, their families and their futures.
Our Stars were given an opportunity to discuss the things in their lives that they saw as either strengths or weaknesses.
The young women identifed the support of their friends and family, as well as the mentoring they receive from Stars Foundation, as definite strengths in their lives.
The importance of a having strong cultural identity and the ability to participate in sporting activities were also raised as things that made them feel uplifted and confident within themselves.
Our Stars also clearly and confidently articulated the challenges they face on a daily basis and discussed their ideas about what needs to happen to make change in their communities.
All of our young women were very proud of their contribution to this important national process and they strongly believe that the conversation is paving the way for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and women across Australia to effect positive change for themselves and for their wider communities.
Stars student, Serena Barton, described their involvement in the project as “a great opportunity” because it gave them a voice on the issues that affect them as Indigenous young women.
“The consultation session allowed an open discussion in a safe environment, so we could be honest about the changes that we want to see within our communities.”