Subiaco: First Nations Women’s Policy Forum sees women exchange experiences

Colleen Berry, Maria Meredith and Heidi Parker at this week's First Nations Women's Policy Forum in Subiaco. Picture: Gemma Black
Colleen Berry, Maria Meredith and Heidi Parker at this week's First Nations Women's Policy Forum in Subiaco. Picture: Gemma Black

MORE than 100 indigenous women from across WA gathered in Subiaco this week to share their priorities for the future, travelling from as far as Laverton and Kununurra.

The First Nations Women’s Policy Forum at Subiaco Arts Centre saw women exchange experiences on education, human rights, children in out-of-home-care and more.

Hosted by WA senator Sue Lines, their comments are set to help develop the Federal Labor Party’s national strategy for gender equality.

NT senator Malarndirri McCarthy said she wanted policies that made a difference on the ground, and was particularly concerned about the recent ‘vile’ debate around child protection.

“There’s very dangerous language being used to demonise First Nations families and it’s wrong,” she said.

Deputy Federal Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said she was committed to tackling intersecting forms of discrimination like sexism and racism, and discussed the impact of violence in the home.

“It’s absolutely not ok that a woman might be arrested for unpaid fines after calling the police about family violence,” she said.

Ms Plibersek said priorities emerging from the conference included family strengthening and jobs.

Participants also urged the politicians to include a treaty for Australia’s First Nations people in their national party platform.

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