On Wednesday 5 July, Real Futures and Women’s Business 2nd Chance had the honour of welcoming the Hon Jodie Harrison MP to our Hub in Rooty Hill.
Hon Jodie Harrison is the Minister for Women, Minister for Seniors and the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
The Minister was visiting not just to see the work we do, but also to present our CEO Christianna and the Her Futures Foundation with a cheque for $250,000 to help First Nations women and girls gain employment.
This funding is part of the NSW Government’s Return to Work Pathways Program, which Women’s Business 2nd Chance will be delivering for our NSW aspirants.
The Return to Work Pathways program funds NSW organisations to implement projects that support women from focus communities re-enter the workforce. Under the program, we will help Aboriginal women and girls re-engage with the workforce and aspire to leadership in a culturally safe place.
Our Women’s Business Hubs are set up to create meaningful and lasting opportunities through providing a culturally safe space where women can come and dream, imagine and become. Each of the Women’s Hubs provide valuable access to employment pathways, quality learning, entrepreneurship, and educational and vocational training workshops.
Official Welcome and Funding Presentation
The visit began with a press conference which was opened with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Thelmerie Rudd.
Our second special guest, Mr Edmond Atalla, Member for Mt Druitt, declared his support for the Hub and introduced Minister Harrison.
“Increasing women’s workforce participation is a cornerstone to achieving gender equality and economic security,” Ms Harrison said.
“Women face common and persistent employment barriers, and for some communities, there are additional complexities unique to their needs, life stages and circumstances.
“I am thrilled support this project which will help Aboriginal women and girls to re-engage with the workforce and aspire to leadership in a culturally safe place.”
Following this, Christianna and WB2C Program Manager Oneeva Tu’uhetoka spoke about Women’s Business and the impact it was making in the communities we serve.
“We are thrilled to be delivering the NSW Government’s Return to Work Pathways Program. We know First Nations women face adversity, but as the 2020 Wiyi Yani I Thangani Report found “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls have remarkable skills, knowledge and boundless potential” and are capable, resilient and courageous in the face of adversity if given the right support. We have made it our purpose to offer this social, emotional and practical support to advance the economic participation and empowerment of women and girls.”
We then had the privilege of hearing Aunty Josephine Windsor share her story and express her full support for Women’s Business and our team.
SBS News was there to catch all the action and you can watch the story here
NAIDOC For Our Elders High Tea
The morning was incredibly special as the Hub was also hosting a NAIDOC high tea for our community Elders.
The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is For Our Elders and acknowledges the important role Elders have played, and continue to play, in our communities and families.
Over 20 women Elders attended and were spoilt with a beautiful high tea spread, gifts and a WB2C NAIDOC t-shirt.
Our Elders are the pillars of the Women’s Business community. They are the guardians and teachers of our culture, role models, encouragers, story tellers, nurturers, and supporters. Many of our Elders are aspirants at the Hub and we see first-hand their own personal growth and inspirational actions.
The Minister and Mr Atalla were welcomed into the Hub and sat down to enjoy high tea with our Elders.
Three of our inspirational aspirants spoke about how their lives and careers have been transformed from the Women’s Business 2nd Chance program. Their touching stories produced tears all round!
The Women’s Business 2nd Chance team did an amazing job decorating the Hub, setting up the catering, creating a beautiful grazing platter, arranging a live guitarist and hosting our guests.
The Her Futures Foundation
The Her Futures Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established to advance Indigenous Peoples including through employment and community development programs, education, and training. The Foundation supports specialised services for First Nations Women and operates across Blacktown City Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Newcastle City Council and Penrith City Council areas.
This will see the impact of the Government’s funding reach many First Nations women across the State.