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Ministers Direct Dialogue With Indigenous Women

27 April 2001 Media Statement



Ministers from across Australia and New Zealand today agreed to develop a direct dialogue with Indigenous women to develop an action plan on women and reconciliation for Ministers; to promote positive portrayal of women in advertising and media; and to encourage wider recognition of women in all forms of leadership.

Chief Minister of the ACT and the ACT Minister for Community Affairs, Gary Humphries, hosted the Australian and New Zealand Ministers’ Conference on the Status of Women (MINCO) in Canberra on 27 April.

To further enhance Indigenous women’s role under the Council of Australian Governments’ reconciliation process, Women’s Ministers from across Australia and New Zealand agreed today to work directly with Indigenous women to develop a MINCO action plan that actively reflects Indigenous women’s priorities. As part of developing this direct dialogue, Ministers will be discussing with Indigenous women a proposal that a national gathering of Indigenous women be held and representatives present the views of their communities to Ministers at next year’s Ministerial Council meeting. Indigenous women’s advisers were involved in the meeting and in the development of the proposal.

A coordinated approach to working with regulatory agencies and bodies and key advertising and media associations to promote positive portrayal of women was also agreed to. This will include looking at barriers to the employment and promotion of women into senior positions in the media and advertising industries and further research on portrayal issues relating to young women and body image.

Leaders at today’s meeting also agreed to work together to increase awareness of women as leaders in our communities – highlighting the integral role women play in family, community, sporting, cultural and interest groups. State and Territory officials will work collaboratively on measures to promote wider understanding of how women contribute to leadership, to enhance business and community acceptance of diverse leadership styles and to support and promote women moving into leadership and decision-making positions.

To recognise the talents, achievements and contributions of more women, Ministers and officials agreed to expand the Honouring Women initiative – a network of high profile women who have volunteered to encourage people to nominate more women for awards and honours schemes.

Ministers also discussed collaborative approaches to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, research on the continuing barriers to pay equity and supporting older women in the current electronic banking environment.

The meeting was attended by: New Zealand Minister of Women’s Affairs, The Hon Laila Harré; Mrs Danna Vale MP, representing the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Amanda Vanstone; Ms Sue Carter MLA representing the Northern Territory on behalf of the Chief Minister the Hon Denis Burke; Minister Assisting the Queensland Premier on Women’s Policy, The Hon Wendy Edmond; and the Western Australian Minister for Women’s Interests, the Hon Sheila McHale.

Senior officials represented the New South Wales Minister for Women, the Hon Faye
Lo Po’; South Australian Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Diana Laidlaw; Tasmanian Government Spokesperson for Women, the Hon Fran Bladel; and Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs, the Hon Sherryl Garbutt MP.


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