Commenced 12 March 2010 Concluded 30 June 2011
The project was designed to address substance abuse and pregnancy and keep culture strong by using a strengths-based approach, affirming that young woman matter – as sisters, friends, daughters, girlfriends, carers, family, students, team members, community members, by just being themselves; and that young women are the future carriers of our cultures.
In 2011, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) organised a series of workshops across six states and territories around the theme, Us Young Women Matter. The workshops were each led by a local agency, and involved a number of local partners such as schools and health services. Participants were asked to reflect on the theme of Us Young Women Matter using a range of approaches, and including an awareness of the issues related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). More than 70 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged between 14 and 18 years took part.
The local agencies then sent between two and four participants on to a national workshop on 12 – 13 May 2011 in Melbourne. The 15 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (3 from NSW, 4 from Qld, 2 from WA, 2 from Vic, 2 from SA and 2 from NT), their chaperones plus SNAICC staff and Wurundjeri Elders and staff ran the workshop with the aim to develop resources for national distribution about why young women matter; relating to FASD, self-esteem, pregnancy and birthing, health, safety and wellbeing.
The groups of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women documented their ideas about why they matter, using a variety of story-telling techniques (e.g. photos, drawing, painting, words, tapes, videos, songs, poems, butchers paper, interviews, sayings, essays, crafts). The project generated the following resources: a booklet that included artwork, reflections, poetry and lyrics, two rap songs, a PowerPoint presentation, photos, and audio visual material.