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Voices February 2023

Welcome to the Oxfam’s Voices February edition. In this edition, you will hear from Yati in Indonesia whose involvement with Oxfam’s business training program means she’s now heading up a women’s collective in her village.

We discuss the Falling Short: Australia’s role in Funding Fairer Climate Action in a Warming World. The report, which was released in the lead up to the November 2022 Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt, makes the urgent case for Australia to increase its climate finance contributions.

You will also hear from our Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain as she shares her reflections on her trip to the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Lyn was invited by the Kimberley Aboriginal Women’s Council, many of whom have participated in Oxfam’s Straight Talk program.

And there’s so much more to read, thanks to you!

In this edition of Voices:

Skills training with tasty results

There’s good news for people in Central Lombok who feel like a healthy, locally produced snack. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, Yati (pictured) was able to fine tune her existing product development and business skills through a training course with Oxfam’s local Indonesian partner, Adara. Yati is now the treasurer of a women’s cooperative group in her village.

The women all make snacks, which they sell online and locally, and since training with Adara, they’ve seen their profits rise. Adara worked with the group as part of Oxfam’s Women in Leadership program to increase their use of local ingredients and resources in their snacks. Yati hopes the group can continue to grow, and that more women will be empowered to work and take on leadership roles.

We can take in more ladies, not limited to the group, If there is more demand, if we can recruit more ladies outside of the group who need jobs, then why not?

– Yati, Indonesia

Yati is the treasurer and has been involved from the ground up, even creating the recipe for the group’s crackers. Yati says customers are queuing up to get their hands on the snacks. Learn more

Falling Short

Our neighbours in the Pacific are fighting for justice as their homes continue to come under threat from climate change.

Climate Justice Stories
Harry Tamateika, who lives along the Mataniko River near Honiara has seen the river rise in the 20 years he has lived alongside it. Harry built this sea wall to keep the water out but it floods during high tides.

Thanks to kind supporters like you, in September 2022, Oxfam Australia, along with ActionAid Australia and partners from the Climate Action Network Australia launched an important report, Falling Short: Australia’s Role in Funding Fairer Climate Action in a Warming World.

The report, which was released in the lead up to the November 2022 Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt, makes the urgent case for Australia to increase its climate finance contributions. Climate finance helps countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for example by funding renewable power like wind or
solar. It also helps communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The Falling Short report supported calls from Pacific nations to establish a dedicated fund for loss and damage. Campaigners were rewarded in the closing hours of the conference, with the announcement that a loss and damage fund would be established. It’s expected that the fund will support low- and middle-income countries that have suffered losses as a result of droughts, floods, rising seas and other climate-induced disasters. Learn more

Kimberly Aboriginal Women’s Council

In late 2022, Oxfam Australia and the Kimberley Aboriginal Women’s Council (KAWC) formalised an agreement to work towards gender equality for First Nations women and girls in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Oxfam has been working with Australia’s First Peoples for more than 40 years and we’re honoured to be extending our relationship with the women of the Kimberley.

Oxfam CE Lyn Morgain and KAWC Chairperson Janine Dureau. Photo: Aimee Han/Oxfam
Oxfam CE Lyn Morgain and KAWC Chairperson Janine Dureau after the signing of the newly formed partnership between the two organisations.

In November 2022, the KAWC invited Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain and members of the Oxfam Australia Board to meet in the Kimberley. This was an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege for everyone on the trip. Here, Lyn shares some of her memories of the visit.

Well, that was exciting. It was an opportunity for us to come together with the Aboriginal women of the Kimberley, to support the new Council that they’ve established. The Council is an exciting move on their part, and it comes after much work and developmental thinking. We are conscious that the move to establish the Council was very much driven by a number of women who were inspired by their participation in Straight Talk; women who returned home and thought about what else they could do.

Lyn Morgain, Oxfam Australia CE

From Oxfam’s point of view, this is really important. It tells us that the work we are doing with Straight Talk to support women in change making produces very concrete results in areas that are of concern to us, and certainly of concern to these women. Learn more

A decade of dedication

Con Apostolopoulos is a “strong believer” in social justice, and his volunteer position at the Oxfam second-hand bookshop in Adelaide allows him to put these beliefs into practice. Volunteering gives Con the opportunity to connect with people who sometimes might not talk to anyone else all week.

Con is celebrating 10 years of volunteering at the Oxfam workshop in Adelaide. Photo: Aimee Han/Oxfam.
The Adelaide Bookshop is stocked entirely through donations, and is wholly volunteer run. Every dollar that comes into the shop goes to Oxfam Australia. This past OAU financial year, the shop raised close to $165,000 AUD.

Some [people] come in here, this is the only social contact they have with people with a common interest — books — and they come here, they talk. If I go out the back and get a biscuit, I’ll give them one as well, then they start telling me jokes. So, there’s that idea of connecting with the regulars.

Con Apostolopoulos

“We were economic refugees,” Con said. “So, I can empathise with people who have struggled for some sort of sense of social justice.”

This year, Con will celebrate a decade of volunteering at the shop. “I’ve been here since the beginning of about 2013. It’s getting onto 10 years. I should be getting a certificate of something…long service leave. I’m kidding,” he said.

The bookshop has evolved over many years, having started life as a series of second-hand book sales at church halls or street stalls in the 1960s and 70s, when Oxfam was known as Community Aid Abroad. Learn more