Community Services Industry Alliance is a proud supporter of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Report and project.

The report, released in December 2020, is the first time since 1986 that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls have been consulted as a collective about their rights, needs and aspirations.

As Wiyi Yani U Thangani states, First Nations women and girls are strong, brave, determined and resilient—they have remarkable skills, knowledge and boundless potential.

The structural inequalities, poverty, trauma and discrimination that First Nations women and girls live with in Australia today, is unacceptable and must be addressed and overcome.

The Wiyi Yani U Thangani report puts on the table an ambitious and necessary First Nations female-led plan for structural change.

CSIA supports the Reports principles, key findings, overarching recommendations and pathways forward. We use the Implementation Framework across our program of work and operations. The ways of working in the Framework are at the heart of our approach to gendered systems thinking.

We also back the major calls for action to hold a First Nations women and girls National Summit, and from this to develop a National Action Plan.

These actions are critical to respond to the priorities set out in Wiyi Yani U Thangani so together, all Australians can achieve First Nations gender justice and equality.

How CSIA incorporates the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Principles in our work

Embedding culture and respect for identity:

We recognise opportunities for culture, knowledge and language are critical to empowering First Nations women and girls. We respect diverse identities and are committed to inviting and elevating the voice of First Nations women in conversations, planning and development across our program of work. We will walk alongside First Nations women and girls in our journey towards reconciliation.

Truth-telling:

We recognise the impact of colonisation, and past and present injustices experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We provide space for truth-telling in the work we do. We continue to build our cultural capacity and understand that these injustices and associated trauma impact people in different ways.

Equity in leadership:

First Nations women are respected and represented in CSIA’s governing body and team. We are committed to increasing equity in leadership across the Community Services Industry. First Nations women’s voices will be represented at all levels of the organisation and through our program of work.

A rights-based approach:

CSIA takes a person-centred human-rights approach in the work we do with the Community Services Industry and Government. We build human rights and flexibility into organisational policy and decision-making processes at every level of the organisation.

A place-based approach:

We continue to grow our understanding of working on Country. We are committed to building the social capital of the place where we are invited to work with First Nations women and their communities.

Understanding intersectional discrimination:

At CSIA we understand that the experiences of First Nations women and girls are informed by a complex mix of race, gender, age, ability, economic hardship and other attributes. We take an intersectional approach in the work we do. We understand and respect that the overlapping aspects of a person’s identity can lead to different experiences of discrimination. An intersectional approach supports and empowers women to end this discrimination.

Lifting women lifts the whole community:

Measures designed to enhance the enjoyment of human rights by First Nations women and girls are of benefit to their communities. We understand the positive impact uplifting women has on communities. We continue to work towards prioritising First Nations women in our procurement processes and engagement at all levels of the organisation.

Inclusion and participation:

Women and girls are supported to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. We will use co-design processes across our program of work to bring the voices of First Nations women to the table.

Accountability and transparency:

CSIA has the influence to bring Industry and Government together to discuss transparency and accountability in the systems we work in. We are committed to transparency and accountability in the work we do and our operations.

 

We will embed these principles in our work and through the actions of our Reconciliation Action Plan.

We encourage your organisation to support Wiyi Yani U Thangani. As a first step read the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Report, Community Guide to develop your Statement of Commitment and use the Implementation Framework to bring the Voices of First Nations women and girls into the work you do.