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Ten Torres Strait women graduate from leadership program

17 October 2016

Ten women leaders of the Torres Strait completed their third and final session of the Torres Strait Women’s Leadership Program in Canberra last week.

This program is specifically for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal women in the Torres Strait Region, and aims to develop their capacity for leadership and increasing the number of women in decision making roles. The program is a collaborative project between the Torres Strait Regional Authority and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF).

This final session focused on governance, politics and influence, and concluded with a graduation dinner on Wednesday night.

The participants of the program were welcomed to Canberra by Ngunnuwal elder, Aunty Violet Sheridan and the local Torres Strait Islander community on Sunday.

On Monday, they visited the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Studies to explore family history and legacy. They also met with Scott Gorringe, ARLF Fellow and Director of MurriMatters, who led a session regarding deficit discourse and the opportunity for different conversations to create new solutions.

During the session, the participants engaged with remarkable women leaders who shared wisdom and personal reflections of their leadership. These included: Kirstie Parker from the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, Dr Caroline Lambert from YWCA Australia, Cathy McGowan AO MP, and Linda Burney MP. The cohort also spent time at Parliament House to better understand the policy and political processes.

We are confident that these experiences will be a catalyst for the increased role of women in decision making roles in the Torres Strait.

The Foundation would like to acknowledge Michelle Deshong, ARLF Fellow, for her lead on this program.