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Fighting for a future - The story of the women of Fitzroy Crossing

Project status: 
Active

This project brings together an outstanding team with high level expertise in Indigenous research (The George Institute for Global Health), human rights advocacy (Australian Human Rights Commission), and world-class film directing (Reverb Productions) to produce a powerful, short movie that was shown to Australians and a global audience at the United Nations in 2009.

The movie tells the story of an alcohol ban recently implemented across the Fitzroy Valley, the journey of the Indigenous women who made it happen and the far reaching and sometimes surprising results of their courage. The project is being managed by Professor Jane Latimer. Funding for this project was generously provided by an anonymous donor.

Yajilarra and the Women of the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre

‘Yajilarra’ is a powerful, inspiring documentary about the courage and resilience of Aboriginal women in the remote Kimberley region of outback Australia. In 2007 a group of Aboriginal women from the Fitzroy Valley in Australia’s remote northwest decided enough was enough. Their community had experienced 13 suicides in 13 months. Reports of family violence and child abuse were commonplace and alcohol consumption was rising at an alarming rate. Something had to change.

A group of courageous Aboriginal women from the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre, came together with the support of many men, to lead a pioneering campaign to ban full-strength ‘takeaway’ alcohol in their community – reducing levels of alcohol abuse, domestic violence and improving the health of future generations.

To order a copy of the movie, please contact Melanie Hogan.

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

In March 2009, for the first time ever, the voices of Indigenous Australian women were heard at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, when the CEO and Chair of the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre June Oscar and Emily Carter accompanied the Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek MP to the UN summit in New York.

June Oscar and Emily Carter spoke to delegates about their struggle to eliminate domestic violence and alcohol-related abuse in their remote Kimberley community. The women’s work, received a standing ovation. These women have shared their story and shown a way forward for other communities searching for solutions to dispossession, alcohol abuse and social decay.