Dijrra Keepers named as part of chorus to protect Aboriginal children
Antoinette Braybrook, CEO of Djirra (formerly the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria – FVPLS Victoria), formally announced the women named as Djirra Keepers yesterday, in an event celebrating NAIDOC week.
A number of those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector have been named in the list of Djirra Keepers, including Lisa Thorpe, a Gunditjmara/ Gunnai woman who is currently the CEO of Bubup Wilam for Early Learning Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.
Djirra is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation which provides holistic, culturally safe and specialist legal and non-legal support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience family violence – predominantly women.
Djirra also designs and delivers important, community-based early intervention and prevention programs and undertakes policy and law reform work to improve access to justice, strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s resilience and reduce vulnerability to violence.
“Djirra Keepers is about honouring the voices of Aboriginal women,” Ms Braybrook said.
Speaking about her recent attendance at the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ms Braybrook said “This was an opportunity to say not just to the Australian Government but to the world that the injustice, racism, loss of our women’s lives, and the destruction of our families must stop”.
“Djirra Keepers are powerful and influential and many of our most respected Aboriginal women who have committed their lives to promoting and advocating in their own way for Aboriginal women,” Ms Braybrook said.
“Each of them are respected and influential women in their own right. We acknowledge and value the contributions they have made, and have asked them to continue the journey with us in a special way – as our Djirra Keepers.
“Djirra works towards Aboriginal women and their children being strong in identity, thriving in culture and living free from violence and disadvantage through culturally safe frontline services, prevention programs and advocacy for change. Djirra is a place where culture is shared and celebrated,” Ms Braybrook said.
“Djirra exists because Aboriginal women have shared their stories – those we work with, and those who work with us. There are many challenges ahead of us, but I feel and am strong because we are on this journey together.”
The Djirra Keepers are:
Aunty Pat Ockwell
Aunty Di Kerr
Aunty Pam Pedersen
Aunty Zeta Thomson
For more information about Dijrra, please see here.
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