Women’s Conference was blessed to hear several First Nations voices.
Attendees at this year’s PSA CPSU NSW
Women’s Council were fortunate to hear from a number of Aboriginal speakers.
Aboriginal Councillors Erica Smits and Shanice Leadbeatter gave their perspectives on the Voice vote coming up on 14 October. In addition, we heard from Jami Walk from the Gidget Foundation, which assists people suffering perinatal issues. Ms Walk talked about the Gidget Foundation’s Reconciliation Action Plan, something your union is in the process of devising for its own members.
Lua Pellegrini (pictured right), a Child Safety and Policy Offer at the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian and an acclaimed Artist, discussed her work, including the design of the Sydney Swans jumper for the Australian Football League’s Indigenous Round.
As we saw at Conference, we have much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
As the fire season starts, our members in areas such as National Parks, Forestry and the Rural Fire Service are receiving advice from Aboriginal people about land stewardship and preventing further blazes. Indeed the role played by these people, imparting thousands of years’ worth of knowledge to protect our environment, is an excellent example of how the Voice can work.
And there is much work to be done. As a Prison Officer, I know there is an over- representation of Aboriginal women in the corrective system, as well as in Youth Justice institutions. Our members in Community Services know there are too many First Nations kids in need of help.
The Voice gives us a chance to focus our efforts better on the people who need them. It will ensure decisions made to aid Aboriginal and Torres Strait people are taken after hearing the views of the people affected by them.
By voting Yes on 14 October, Australia can go some of the way towards redressing the damage done by colonisation.
The PSA CPSU NSW has had great success with advisory bodies such as Women’s Council and the Aboriginal Council. These bodies ensure our decisions made by Central Council best reflect the needs of the people affected by them.
A Yes vote will do the same for our entire country. A Yes vote will make Australia an even better place for all.