Empowering Women to Advocate for Effective Policy
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA) was established in 2009 to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women to have a strong and effective voice in the domestic and international policy advocacy process.
“To protect the health, human rights and fundamental freedoms that are significant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women through cultural preservation, health education and coalition building.”
NATSIWA’s Vision will be achieved through our Guiding Principles that will remain cognizant of the needs, heath, wellbeing and development, and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women.
• Aboriginal strengths;
• The need for cultural understanding;
• The impact of racism and stigma;
• Recognition of the centrality of kinship;
• The impact of history in trauma and loss;
• Recognition of different needs of communities;
• The recognition of human rights and social justice;
• Universal access to basic health care, housing and education; and
• Equitable needs based funding.
Adopted from the National Aboriginal Health Strategy of 1989.
Vicky will Speak up for our Sisters
VICKY Welgraven, an Adnyamathanha woman from the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia, has been selected to represent the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA) at the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women in New York next month.
Ms Welgraven says this means she will have the opportunity to discuss and provide input on issues important to Indigenous women.
“To be chosen, I feel blessed and privileged to go and talk about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and take some of the issues other countries have on board,” she told the Koori Mail.
She will also speak as part of a side event that will focus on the barriers, challenges and achievements relating to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Ms Welgraven says she has a passion for human rights, gender equality and empowerment of women, but she couldn’t have achieved what she has without help.
“My family sees me through all my ups and downs and all my highs and lows,” she said.
“They’ve been my support and have allowed me to do the things I’m passionate about.
“My husband Stephen and my daughter Khyleesha, and of course my parents, have been my rock and my inspiration. Without them, and all the other people who have inspired me throughout life, I couldn’t have done it.”
Ms Welgraven is the state representative for SA on NATSIWA, which aims to protect Indigenous women and their human rights.
She won awards last year for her work with NATSIWA and for her role in lobbying for equal rights for Indigenous women. She was inducted into the SA Women’s Honour Roll as “a strong advocate and ambassador for Aboriginal women’s rights”.
Stephen Welgraven said he is proud of what his wife has achieved.
“This demonstrates the type of person my wife really is – a leader and role model for her people, and a great role model for our daughter Khyleesha,” he said.
“Khyleesha and I are privileged and blessed to have her in our lives and we will always be there to provide her support and guidance in order for her to reach her goals, passions and dreams.”
The Commission on the Status of Women, established in 1946, is dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The priority theme for this year is women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development.
By KEIRA JENKINS
Koori Mail February 10 2016