There is renewed momentum toward the establishment of a national representative body for Indigenous Australia, in part as a response to an election promise of the Federal Labor Government. There is much to be learnt from past mechanisms when conceiving of a sustainable and representative national body that can engender the faith of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. Indigenous Law Centre research reveals that there is an important argument to be made for Indigenous women’s representation in any new national representative body. A similar argument can be made for greater youth representation. If self-determination means being able to participate in the decisions that affect your own life, then women – who make up 50.21 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population – and young people – who constitute 56.6 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population– should be afforded a voice.
This paper proposes improved gender representation in any new representative structure. It focuses on the findings of the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (‘ATSIC’) Office of Evaluation and Audit’s evaluation of the effectiveness of ATSIC programs in meeting the needs of Aboriginal women and Torres Strait Islander women.
Date of this Version
Megan Davis, "Indigenous Women’s Representation and the Proposal for a New National Representative Body" (June 2008). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series 2008. Working Paper 41.