Straight Talk connects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with the political system and builds the capacity of women as change makers. With a focus on practical tools and confidence, Straight Talk brings people together to share, learn and be effective in making a difference.
The program includes opportunities for relationship-building between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and parliamentarians, information-sharing and developing strategies for change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
For the past seven years the Straight Talk program has brought together more than 600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from across the nation to Canberra and to regions throughout the country to learn about Australia’s political system and form powerful networks with each other and with women of Federal and State Parliament. Straight Talk focuses on developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s skills to make positive changes through political engagement, while also increasing engagement in public and political life.
The most recent National Summit was held from 6 – 10 November 2016, in Canberra. It was our biggest ever Straight Talk National Summit. Participant Shelly Cable, reflected on her experience at the Summit in her blog, emphasizing that as an Indigenous woman, she has the experience and ability to make change on a national scale.
For any further information, email Rebecca Harnett or call (02) 8204 3967.
Straight Talk Regional Gatherings
Straight Talk Regional Gatherings are an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in remote areas to also participate in the Straight Talk program. Not all women are able to attend a week in Canberra so we go to where women are and have expressed an interested in the Straight Talk program. It also enables Oxfam to work in collaboration with regional women’s organisations.
In 2013 and 2014 Straight Talk delivered regional gatherings in Alice Springs, Melbourne and the Torres Strait. In 2015 we visited Nhulunbuy and in 2017 we hope to visit the Kimberley.
The Straight Talk program also holds regional gatherings. These gatherings provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences with each other and work together to develop strategies to share information around common issues, and develop ideas that can be shaped into concrete positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Straight Talk Partnerships
In May this year Straight Talk partnered with the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) to run a pilot program to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with their local council. More than 15 women attended Your Community, Country and Council, a 2 day workshop that focused on how a local council works and what it takes to be a local councillor.