A report into Australia’s Indigenous women and girls has recommended an “urgent focus on healing” from intergenerational trauma and national action to eradicate racism.
The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) report by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar is the first of its kind since the Women’s Business Report in 1986.
Ms Oscar travelled to 50 locations, including remote areas, across the country and spoke with more than 2000 people for the landmark Australian Human Rights Commission report.
It was published on Thursday with seven key recommendations.
They include a national action plan on advancing the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females, a national advisory body, protecting and reviving cultural practices, national action to eradicate racism, and an urgent focus on healing from intergenerational trauma.
“I know Australians are ready for systemic and social change that embraces and embeds First Nations cultures and knowledge systems,” Ms Oscar said in her 576-page report.
“Now is the time to re-set and enter a transformative relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and settler Australia, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike, in the face of crisis, envisage a stronger, more compassionate and caring nation.
“Our women and girls’ voices are vital to paving the way for a future I believe all Australians want, deserve and have a right to.”
Ms Oscar said some women who participated had expressed “consultation fatigue” with numerous government processes.
“However, the women we met with were very positive about being a part of this long overdue process and appreciated the opportunity to have their voices heard to discuss the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls,” she said.