06 Mar 2020
Largest delegation of Australian and Pacifica First Nations Women break silent codes
Prominent Goreng Goreng woman and First Nations Advocate, Dixie Link-Gordon and international human rights artist, Belinda Mason, are leading the largest delegation of First Nation’s women from across Australia and the Pacifica (Thursday Island, Fiji, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Aotearoa) to New York this week, as part of a movement to break cycles of family and gendered violence for Indigenous women and their communities. The ‘Breaking Silent Codes’ movement uses first nations lived experience and local solutions to domestic and family violence, sharing cross cultural programs and resources to address the epidemic of violence that first nations women experience. The movement’s song lines and stories have been captured by Mason in an exhibition of portraiture photography and storytelling to promote first nations women’s lived experiences of violence. Up until Wednesday the women were a significant program session at the UN Committee on the Status of Women conference in New York, until the 12,000 strong conference on global women’s rights was cancelled due to the threats caused by COVID19. Regardless, the delegation will maintain their hectic meetings program with global women’s changemakers who’s energies will combine in advocacy for First Nations women’s rights – virus or no virus! The delegation, through the strong support of New York and Washington women’s organisations, have moved the panel event and exhibition to ensure that their sold-out attendees can participate in the international discussion. Primary has been proud to provide pro-bono support Dixie, Belinda and their ‘Breaking Silent Codes’ delegation in the gritty and necessary work they are doing. The delegation have been proudly supported by women’s and social justice organisations (Women’s Electoral Lobby, YMCA, UN Women, Oxfam, Mura Kosker Sorority Inc, Australian Council of Churches), PwC, Government (Homelessness NSW, City of Sydney and Create NSW), corporates and philanthropists, who were committed to ensure Breaking Silent Codes and First Nations Women from Australia and the Pacifica get their deserved seat at the table. The Breaking Silent Codes movement is extremely determined group of resilient women who showcase the strength of collaboration in creating truly sustainable change in our local, national and international communities.