Report on Forum in Canberra with Office for Women June 2010

7 Jul

The Office for Women called on their newly formed Alliances to have representatives in Canberra from Monday 21st June until the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd June. The purpose of this forum was for the OfW to outline the requirements of the new funding agreements and to meet the members of the new Alliances so that we could discuss our plans and concerns with the Office for Women.

There are 6 National Women’s Alliances made up of the National Rural Women’s Coalition & Network (NRWC & N), Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination (WEAVE), Equality Rights Alliance (ERA), Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance (AIRWA), national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA), and Economic Security for Women (ES4W). Within these alliances there are various organisations such as WINSC is within NRWC & N.

NATSIWA was an outcome of the National Rural Women’s Summit and brings the issues of Aboriginal and Islander communities to the table. ERA are lending support and expertise to them in the development phase. The NRWC will be able to align with them, the AIRWA, and WEAVE on our Family Violence Project.

The NRWC was strongly represented and well focused at this Forum. Our plans for this funding round include issues surrounding reaching new generations, Health, Education, Indigenous Community Engagement, Family Violence and building on our very successful Sustainable Communities project while we roll out our network plans. This is a very ambitious work plan but one that we can undertake in bit sized pieces.

A summary of the day by day events follows:  The Monday evening consisted of a dinner, welcome to country with a meet and greet. Tuesday morning our Alliances outlined our purpose, projects and plans for the future, where we could see opportunities to work together with other Alliances and what help we could offer to the newer alliances. The Tuesday night dinner guest of honour was Hon. Tanya Plibersek who announced that each Alliance would receive $35,000 to be used for International Women’s Day Events. At this stage we are still debating how best to use this funding and where. There has been discussion about a gathering by any name somewhere in rural or regional Australia. On Wednesday we worked towards a suitable Annual Activity Work Plan that accommodates the needs of the OfW and simplifies the reporting back for the Alliances.

There are many new faces in the of was this event proved to be an ideal time for us all to put faces to names while highlighting the work effort produced by the volunteers.

Anne Whalley. Voting Delegate for WINSC.

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