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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Australian Delegation attends United Nations Commission on The Status of Women

Two Indigenous women and a representative from the not-for-profit sector will be among the Australian Government’s delegation to the 54th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women which begins in New York today.

Leanne Miller, Mary O’Reeri, and Carole Shaw will represent Australia at the 12 day event, which brings together representatives from around the world to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, and set new policies and standards to promote the advancement of women.

It will also mark the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action – an international plan to achieve equality for women in areas such as poverty, education, health, the economy, power and decision-making, and human rights.

It gives Australia the opportunity of highlighting its successes in promoting equality between women and men and considering what more needs to be done to create a fairer, more equal society.

Ms Miller is an Indigenous activist and the executive director of the Koori Women Mean Business Inc, which provides support to Aboriginal businesswomen in regional, rural, and metropolitan Victoria through networking and training events.

Ms Miller also attended the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2006, was involved in the drafting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Shadow Report in 2009, and took part in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Gathering in 2002, 2008, and 2009.

Ms O’Reeri is a primary school teacher from the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community in Western Australia who has campaigned to reduce the rate of suicide in her community, organising the Blank Page Summit on Suicide in 2009.

Ms Shaw is the director of JERA International, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes justice and equality for women, and is actively involved with UNIFEM, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, ISIS International, and African Women Australia.

The three delegates will bring a wide range of opinions and experiences to the Commission ensuring strong Australian representation which will assist to advance the status of women.