Today is International Women’s Day, for me a day to pause and celebrate the outstanding achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women across the country.
Indigenous women are doctors, lawyers, mothers, sisters, scientists, academics and advocates for change.
Organisers of this year’s International Women’s Day are challenging people to “Be Bold for Change” and take groundbreaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women.
There is evidence of Indigenous women doing just this – right across the country.
From the trailblazing June Oscar AO – the first Indigenous woman to be appointed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner – to the 2016 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, Andrea Mason, and Ella Kris who is empowering women in the Torres Strait, Indigenous women are playing a central role in bringing about social change.
Whenever I visit Indigenous communities, I see strong women in positions of leadership who are being bold and making change to improve the lives of Indigenous women and other Australians.
All of the women and girls I meet in these communities have such important contributions to make to the nation and we should be doing all we can to help them reach that potential.
On a day like today, it is important we take the time to not only celebrate their achievements and the progress we have made, but to acknowledge we still have a long way to go to reach gender parity.
We also need to recognise the often hidden but critical contributions Indigenous women make across the country.