As we move toward some kind of normal it’s hard to believe that nearly half the year has passed.  As the AILC continues to expand its reach across the country we have been working hard to formalise a number of new partnerships. 

The Groote Eylandt Project is a partnership between the AILC, the Anindilykwa Land Council and South32 mining company.  We officially launched the project this month, with the help of Australian hero Adam Goodes!.

The partnership project sees us contributing to the leadership and governance skills development of Groote Eylandt's future leaders. Twelve participants have started the inaugural program, and with funding support from South32, we hope to see this program continue in future years.

Front page of The Weekend Australian, 15-16 May 2021

Lets’ talk about impressive leadership, particularly impressive women. 

Another highlight for me this month was attending the Kimberley Women’s Roundtable in Broome.  I am always impressed by watching our women do business in their local communities,  but to see this impressive group of women addressing the recommendations from June Oscar’s Report “Wiyi Yani U Thangani” (Women’s Voices) was truly inspirational. 

The goal of the roundtable was the establishment of a Kimberley Women’s Council.  I look forward to watching their journey and the contribution the AILC will make, with support from the BHP Foundation and Edith Cowan Researchers, as we develop a Tool Kit to support the leadership and governance work for women right across the country.

June Oscar AO, the Human Rights Commission's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, also attended the Roundtable. I love working with June.  She is always considerate and measured in her approach.  She walks her talk and is always willing to sit down for a yarn. 

Welcome to Country at the Kimberley Women's Roundtable

In her acceptance speech for the 2018 NAIDOC Person of the Year June said “We cannot bend for this world.  Let the world bend for us”.  “Let me say I hear you.  I hear your women’s voice. You are here, you are not silent. You are not invisible. Our voices are rising loud and clear.”  This is a reminder for all of us that we should not be silent, we should raise the voices of our women.  The time in now.  Do yourself a favour and if you’ve not yet read the “Wiyi Yani U Thangani” report make sure you do.

This past week I was also honoured to attend the Canberra launch of Anita Heiss' latest book, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray, River of Dreams.  The story is set in Gundagai in 1853 when the powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through the town leaving death and destruction in it’s wake.  It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can easily take it away.   Although I have only just starting reading this book I feel like I am being transported back in time and like Anita’s other novels you feel like you are right there in the middle of the story.  This is Anita’s 18th book and I look forward to the next 18 books to come!

 As we once again see us all going through change it is important  to remember…

 “Change is possible when you tell the truth or when you listen deeply and enable truth to be brought to the surface.” June Oscar AO