Not-for-profits from around Australia have banded behind a new national women’s alliance that will champion the unique issues affecting refugee and migrant women.
Launched in Adelaide today by the Federal Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, the Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change is a policy and strategy body that will consult with migrant and refugee women nationally to bring about positive change on the issues that affect them.
Carrying out the work of the Alliance will be the inaugural Alliance Council, which comprises community representatives and organisations that either represent or work with migrant and refugee women, including not-for-profit Settlement Services International (SSI).
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the establishment of the Alliance was the culmination of several years of advocacy by women’s groups across Australia.
“This is a critical first step to migrant and refugee women taking the lead in conversations with decision makers about the issues that directly affect them — whether that be employment, education or health and wellbeing,” she said.
“Migrant and refugee women have always been active within the Australian community, and there is strong appetite for community representatives themselves to advance migrant and refugee women’s participation in economic, social, cultural, civic and political life.
“The formation of a policy and strategy body just amplifies the reach of those voices, enabling migrant and refugee women to better engage in driving change.”
The Alliance Council also includes representatives from United Muslim Women Association, African Women Australia, Tongan Association of Canberra and Queanbeyan, Australian National Committee on Refugee Women, Access Community Services, InTouch, Multicultural Youth South Australia, Migration Council Australia, Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, Refugee Council of Australia, and Settlement Council of Australia.
The Alliance is now one of six National Women’s Alliances that give voice to women, particularly those from marginalised or disadvantaged groups.
SSI Communications Coordinator Hannah Gartrell 0488 680 287