Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Delegates selected to represent Australia at UN Commission on the Status of Women

The Australian Government today appointed three exceptional women to represent Australia at the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 56).

Darriea Turley and Rosemary Norman-Hill have been selected as community sector delegates, and Kaylene Rawlings Hunter as an Indigenous delegate to the CSW 56, which will be held in New York between 27 February and 9 March, 2012.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, today congratulated these outstanding women on their appointment and said they would make a valuable contribution to this important gathering.

“Next year’s theme for the CSW 56 will be the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.”

“These representatives will bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in issues affecting rural women.”

“I am delighted that Ms Turley and Ms Norman-Hill have been selected from such a strong field of community applicants and the Australian Government’s Indigenous Leadership Program chose to support Ms Rawlings Hunter’s participation as an Advanced Leadership Opportunity. I am confident they will be excellent representatives for Australia at the CSW 56.”

Ms Turley is National President of the Australia Local Government Women’s Association and is a board member and former Chair of the National Rural Women’s Coalition and Network. She has extensive experience in and knowledge of issues affecting rural and remote women and has been involved in international conferences on health and economic development, such as the Regional Development Australia National Forum, National Regional Women’s Convention and the International Conferencing of Women Engineers and Scientists on rural women’s issues.

Ms Norman-Hill is Director of Kirrawe Indigenous Corporation and has participated in numerous forums and conferences, which have targeted the issues affecting rural women. She has also personally experienced the devastating effects that natural disasters have had on rural women and their families, giving her an insight into the resilience of rural communities.

Ms Rawlings Hunter, who has lived in rural Western Australia and rural Victoria, is a trainee lawyer who is acutely aware of the important role that women assume in these settings. She is the Acting President of Tarwirri, the Indigenous Law Students and Lawyers Association of Victoria, and a member of the Indigenous Human Rights Network Australia as well as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance.

Ms Ellis said the UN Commission on the Status of Women works to achieve equal rights for women and men by developing policy recommendations for the international community.

“The UN Commission on the Status of Women also prepares resolutions on promoting women’s rights in political, economic, social, civil and educational fields, for consideration by the United Nations Economic and Social Council,” Ms Ellis said.

“It is important that Australia has strong and diverse representation at the Commission so we can continue to advance the status of women.”