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Pathways to politics for First Nations women

Photo of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags with a 'play' symbol overlaid
26 March 2024

Presented by Politics in Colour and Pathways to Politics for Women, this video provides information for First Nations women on the opportunities offered by the Pathways to Politics for Women program in all Australian states and territories.

Watch the video recording to learn what the program offers, how to apply, and hear firsthand insights from Donisha Duff OAM and Sue-Anne Hunter, two First Nations women who completed the program (bios below).


Facilitator

Photo of Kat Henaway smiling. She is wearing a black blazer and shirt and is standing against autumnal coloured patterned background

Kat Henaway, CEO, Politics in Colour

Kat was born and raised in Indigenous communities in North Queensland and is a descendant of the Mer and Mua people of the Torres Strait Islands. Over the past 30 years, she has gained significant experience working in multinational companies, government agencies and universities in Sydney, London & Edinburgh.

Kat worked at City of Sydney (2009-2014) in the Office of Independent Councillors as well as in Council business. Today Kat is an Indigenous Business Advisor and Learning Designer who produced the country’s first Political Leadership Incubator for Women of Colour.  She has volunteered for UN Women (2014), was Board Director for Women for Election (2018-2020) and is currently Board Director for The Indigenous People’s Organisation Australia and Bankstown Women’s Health Centre.  She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani First Nations Gender Justice Institute and is Indigenous Advisor for Women & Leadership Australia and Generation Women.

Kat is a regular collaborator with Pathways to Politics for Women.

Panellists

Photo of Donisha Duff outdoors wearing a red blazer

Donisha Duff OAM

Donisha Duff OAM is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from Thursday Island, Torres Strait.  Her family are Aboriginal (Wuthathi) traditional owners of Eastern Cape York and she also has familial links to Badu, Moa & Mabuiag Islands in the Torres Strait.

Donisha is the inaugural Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Indigenous Business Network (QIBN) an independent representative body created to provide a strong and unified voice for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

She is the Chairperson of the Stars Foundation Limited, a national not-for-profit organisation delivering school-based education programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women. She is a member of the Metro South Hospital and Health Board, the Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board and the Jobs Queensland Board.

Donisha is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University, and a recipient of multiple awards and scholarships, including the 2014 National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year and an Order of Australia (OAM) medal in 2024.

In 2022, Donisha was the Federal Labor Candidate for the seat of Bowman in SEQLD. She achieved a swing of 4.7%.

Donisha is an alum of the QUT Pathways to Politics for Women program. Read Donisha’s “Recommendations on your pathway to politics” blog post on our Knowledge Hub here.

Sue-Anne Hunter

Photo of Sue-Anne Hunter wearing a cream blazer and large round earrings, speaking in Parliament

Sue-Anne Hunter is a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman and the Deputy Chair and Commissioner of the Yoorrook Justice Commission. She is an Adjunct Professor of Global and Engagement at Federation University and a member of the National Centre for Reconciliation, Truth, and Justice Advisory Board.

Sue-Anne has extensive experience in the governance and the leadership of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and her expertise is regularly sought for government inquiries, parliamentary and ministerial advisory committees, academic research projects and media interviews.

A child and family services practitioner by trade, Sue-Anne has over twenty years’ clinical experience responding to developmental, transgenerational and community trauma. She is widely recognised for developing rights-based, transformative practice responses that empower Aboriginal people to heal from the continuing effects and processes of colonisation.

Sue-Anne is an alum of the University of Melbourne Pathways to Politics for Women program.


About Politics in Colour

Politics in Colour aims to amplify diversity in politics. They provide workshops and training to assist diverse Australians considering a career in politics and address the challenges facing people from under-served communities. Read more here.


Please note that UNSW Pathways to Politics alum Lynda-June Coe was originally advertised to participate in this discussion, but unfortunately was not able to attend.

Lynda-June Coe (she/her) is a member of the Blacktown Greens and a proud sovereign Wiradjuri and Badu Island woman from Erambie, Cowra. She is a former secondary teacher and current Research Fellow at Macquarie University where she is undertaking a PhD exploring Indigenous resurgence in NSW.

Lynda-June is a passionate Indigenous Rights activist who has over the past two decades engaged in community-led activism, co-organising and supporting campaigns such as ‘Water is Life’ Climate Action, Black Lives Matter, Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, stop the forced removal of Aboriginal children and Invasion Day rallies.  Lynda-June has been on the streets advocating for Indigenous rights and rights of the oppressed for most of her life. She is not only fighting for First Nations justice but all people who are not accorded the rights of the majority.

Lynda-June is standing as a member of the Greens because their policies hold the government to account. She is proud to stand with a party which principles people before profit and I will continue to grow the movement in NSW and take government to task on the rights of country and community.


Related Alums

Smiling photo of Donisha Duff wearing a red blazer, green foliage behind her.
2021 Alum (Queensland)

Donisha Duff OAM

Donisha Duff

Donisha Duff OAM is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from Thursday Island, Torres Strait.  Her family are Aboriginal (Wuthathi) traditional owners of Eastern Cape York and she also has familial links to Badu, Moa & Mabuiag Islands in the Torres Strait. Donisha is the inaugural CEO of Queensland Indigenous Business Network, an independent representative body created to provide a strong and unified voice for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. She is also Chair of Stars Foundation Ltd.

Donisha ran as the ALP Candidate for Bowman in the 2022 Federal election. In 2024 she received the Order of Australia Medal for service to the community.

Photo of Sue-Anne Hunter speaking in parliament, wearing large round earings and a cream blazer
2023 Alum (Victoria)

Sue-Anne Hunter

Sue-Anne Hunter is a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman and the Deputy Chair and Commissioner of the Yoorrook Justice Commission.

She is an Adjunct Professor of Global and Engagement at Federation University and a member of the National Centre for Reconciliation, Truth, and Justice Advisory Board.

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