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DATE: Monday,  21 March 2022
TIME: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (AEDT)
VENUE: Idea Space, Darling Square Library, The Exchange, Levels 1 and 2, 1 Little Pier Street Haymarket 2000

Women of Colour Australia (WoCA), Australia's leading not-for-profit organisation advocating for a fairer and more equitable Australia for all Women of Colour is proud to hold its first Community Consultation event.

In partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission, we are inviting members of our WoCA Community to engage with the team tasked with undertaking consultations to progress the National Anti-Racism Framework.

WoCA's inaugural Women of Colour in the Workplace survey painted a stark reality for women of colour in Australian workplaces, finding more than 60% have experienced some form of discrimination, including sexism, tokenism, and racism.

 

We strongly believe that the voices and lived experiences of those most affected by racism are vital in shaping the Framework.

March 21 is also the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.

Back here in Australia, since 1991, March 21 has been celebrated as "Harmony Day". Harmony Day is about promoting social cohesion and racial harmony. While these are undoubtedly critical and important messages, we must not and cannot look away from the plague of interpersonal, institutional,  and structural racism still savagely ravaging our society. We must acknowledge and tell the truth, that the very foundation of this country is built on the racial subjugation and usurpation of the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

It is our hope that our event will serve as a way to come together as a community, have open and honest conversations in a safe space about the devastating impacts of racism on our lives and experiences as women with intersecting and overlapping identities, and centre our often missing but deeply crucial voices in reimagining an Australia free of racism.

As the event is capped at 40 attendees, in line with our Charitable Purpose of Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Women of Colour with particular regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, we have a duty and responsibility to offer the opportunity to attend to as many First Nations Women, Black Women and Women of Colour as possible.

If you're an ally, we value you and your continuing support and ask that on this occasion you show up in solidarity by making a donation. Our organisation is predominantly run by volunteers and your financial contributions, however small, will help us create more initiatives that support our community.

MEET THE AHRC TEAM

Maia Ihemeje

Maia Ihemeje has been newly appointed as Policy Officer in the Race Discrimination Team at the Australian Human Rights Commission and she comes with a sense of drive and passion in the space of equal rights. As a multiracial woman, Maia has not only lived experience surrounding the topic of racial discrimination but she has put this experience to work through liaising on behalf of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA), program support for Indigenous youth in Sydney's Western Suburbs as well as working as an assistant researcher in uncovering the adversities women face in social housing.

Maia Ihemeje
Rosalie Atie

Rosalie Atie

Rosalie Atie is a Policy Officer in the Race Discrimination Team at the Australian Human
Rights Commission. The Race Discrimination Team supports the Race Discrimination
Commissioner’s policy and advocacy objectives. Before joining the Commission in June 2021, Rosalie was a researcher with the Challenging Racism Project at Western Sydney University and collaborated on projects relating to Islamophobia, online racism, racial discrimination in housing, racial discrimination in schools, and bystander anti-racism. Rosalie also taught at both Western Sydney University and the University of
Technology, Sydney in the social sciences and communications courses. Rosalie’s doctoral
research investigated racialisation and belonging in Greater Sydney’s community and place-
based performance poetry scenes.

Proudly supported by

Vu Consulting

FAQs

Who is this event for?
We are keen to offer the opportunity to attend to as many First Nations Women, Black Women and Women of Colour as possible.  *Women who navigate the distinctive challenges at the intersection of gender and race. {*Women - Transgender and cisgender, all those who experience or have experienced oppression as women, including non-binary and gender non-conforming people and all those who identify as women. Self-definition is at the discretion of the individual. Definition credit: wire.org.au}

 

How much do tickets cost?

Nothing. This free event is part of our ongoing community support initiatives. We do ask you to 'donate as you feel'. Your donations, however small, help us continue holding events such as these to connect and engage with our community. 

 

Why is the event capped at 40 attendees?
The event venue's maximum capacity for a seminar or workshop style gathering is 40 people.  By keeping the event relatively small, we are also able to ensure that we build a safe space to share our individual stories and have truly meaningful conversations.

 

How do you plan to ensure safety for participants and facilitators?

Discussions about racism can raise issues of vicarious and personal trauma and compromise the safety of participants and facilitators of consultations. At the beginning of consultations, we will indicate that participants can step out or leave consultations at any time they would like, and they can speak to facilitators about any issues in breaks or after the consultation. Our facilitators will have access to debriefing sessions following consultations. The Commission has also created a Safety Support Services document which you can access here.

 

What is the National Anti-Racism Framework?

There is growing momentum to tackle racism in Australia and achieve racial equality. The Australian Human Rights Commission is developing a National Anti-Racism that will outline a coordinated, shared vision to tackle racism in Australia. The Framework will include actions to be taken across Commonwealth and State and Territory governments, partnerships between community and business, and capacity-building for communities to respond to racism. The Commission is taking a human rights approach to its consultations, based on principles of equality, empowerment and participation. The Commission know that broad consultation is essential for the development of a robust Framework and that Australians have diverse experiences and expertise to contribute. To support them to reach across the breadth of Australia and the diversity of stakeholder groups, they have invited community organisations such as Women of Colour Australia and others to conduct consultations. A Commission Concept Paper provides an initial overview of the Framework's key principles, outcomes and strategies. 

 

What is the main aim of the Community Consultation?

To provide a platform for relevant peak bodies and stakeholders to contribute to a national conversation about anti-racism and equality principles, approaches, and practices in Australia.


How do I get to Darling Square Library?

By Train: 10 minutes’ walk from Central Station or Town Hall Station.

By Light Rail: 1 minute walk from Hay Street Light Rail stop.

By Car: Pedestrian exit is via Steam Mill Lane. The library is around the corner from Wilson Parking, Zollner Circuit located in the Commonwealth Building.

Parking in Darling Square: Visit here for the details on where you can park your car.

By The Goods Line: 3 minutes’ walk to The Goods Line (a walking and cycle path connecting Ultimo and Darling Harbour).


Is the venue accessible?

The Library provides: level access entrance, automatic entry door (open sideward, 1.5m wide), 2 lifts to access the 2 two floors, accessible toilets (2 unisex with RH), 4 ambulant toilets, hearing support system in the Ideas Space 2 meeting room, wheelchair access.


Will there be refreshments?
We will provide mints and biscuits. There's a drinking fountain inside the library. Just outside the library is the Darling Square food precinct.

 

What's your COVID safety plan?
In the event of an outbreak, we will move the event online. Here's the link to the City of Sydney's: Requirements when visiting a City of Sydney venue.

 

What if I am unable to attend and would like to provide input?
Get in touch with antiracismsecretariat@humanrights.gov.au if you have ideas for how they can best connect with communities from now to April 2022 or if you would like to have a further conversation.


Still got more questions? Email us at events@womenofcolour.org.au.

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We exist to champion Australia’s Women of Colour.

ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE "WOMEN OF COLOR"

"Women of Color is not a biological designation. It is a solidarity definition. A commitment to work in collaboration with other oppressed women of color who have been minoritized. It is a term that has a lot of power." Loretta Ross
Learn more here

WOMEN DEFINITION

Women - Transgender and cisgender, all those who experience or have experienced oppression as women, including non-binary and gender non-conforming people and all those who identify as women. Self-definition is at the discretion of the individual.
Definition credit: wire.org.au

ALLY DEFINITION

A - always centre the impacted
L - listen and learn from those who live in oppression
L - leverage your privilege
Y - yield the floor
*Mnemonic credit: Kayla Reed Executive Director ACTION St. Louis Follow Kayla Reed on Twitter @iKaylaReed

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We acknowledge the Wallumattagal clan of the Darug nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which Women of Colour Australia is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge and honour the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the first Matriarchs of this land and with whom we stand in solidarity. We acknowledge that as settlers on this stolen Aboriginal land, we are beneficiaries of the dispossession, genocide, and ongoing colonial violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We believe that it is our collective responsibility and moral imperative to help dismantle the systemic barriers and structural inequities oppressing the original inhabitants of this land. We are also painfully aware that this land was taken forcibly, without a Treaty or reparations made. We have taken a practical step towards honouring sovereignty by paying the rent – and we invite you to do so too. This land is and always will be Aboriginal land. Sovereignty was never ceded.

ACKNOWLEGMENT OF COUNTRY

We acknowledge the Wallumattagal clan of the Darug nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which Women of Colour Australia is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge and honour the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with whom we stand in solidarity. We acknowledge that as settlers on this stolen Aboriginal land, we are beneficiaries of the dispossession, genocide, and ongoing colonial violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We believe that it is our collective responsibility and moral imperative to help dismantle the systemic barriers and structural inequities oppressing the original inhabitants of this land. We are also painfully aware that this land was taken forcibly, without a Treaty or reparations made. We have taken a practical step towards honouring sovereignty by paying the rent – and we invite you to do so too. This land is and always will be Aboriginal land. Sovereignty was never ceded.

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