Indigenous women in governance

Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Michelle Deshong

Indigenous women play unique and vital roles in the health, wellbeing and sustainability of Indigenous nations. Yet their voices are frequently overlooked, or undervalued, in leadership, decisions making and governance. For many decades Indigenous leadership roles were predominately held by men, but in more recent times we are witnessing a feminisation of Indigenous leadership and governance.
This presentation will discuss some of the unique challenges faced by Indigenous Women in Australia today. It will highlight how the intersection of race and gender has for some, diminished the place of Indigenous women in communities and severely limited their contributions.
Yet reflecting on the ongoing effects of colonisation on Indigenous women reveals that community-based organisations, such as PBCs, are well placed to address these issues. Understanding how Indigenous women have been displaced and disenfranchised will allow organisations to create culturally safe spaces for all Indigenous women. Only by harnessing the unique contributions that Indigenous women offer can communities begin to realise vibrant, sustainable and successful futures for all members of the community.