Art of Woman

WomenSpeak Canberra Gathering

Yesterday I went to WomenSpeak Canberra Gathering, "How non-indigenous women can stand in solidarity with indigenous women and communities".

It was a lively and at times emotional gathering of approximately 170 women. They came individually and from a wide range of community groups and government agencies. Moving stories of real experiences were told and the consequences for the women, their families and communities were discussed. We affect each other and if some of us are stressed and unhealthy, we all suffer to some degree. Some of the discussion touched on confronting issues such as white privilege, stolen generation, government intervention, education, jobs and respect. False assumptions and ignorance of indigenous culture were also shown to be common in white culture. These assumptions often block our hearing each other clearly. We need to take care that we listen with understanding.

Attitudes are important. We need to look within to truly care about others and make changes. And change is essential. Admit, accept then act. This involves the head, the heart then the hands. Action must follow words, otherwise we are lying with our silence.

A workshop session of small groups discussed action plans. Many ideas were grappled with and the delegates participated enthusiastically.
At lot of ideas were aired and we are all enriched by the gathering.