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Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Greater support for the National Women’s Alliances

The Australian Government will provide an additional $485,000 to support the six national Women’s Alliances in their work to advance gender equality in Australia.

Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis announced the new funding at the annual National Women’s Alliances forum in Canberra today.

“The National Women’s Alliances are made up of passionate and hard-working women, who are helping to change the face of Australia and the lives of Australian women and men for the better,” Ms Ellis said.

“Their role is to bring together women’s organisations and individuals from across Australia to share information, identify issues that affect them and build solutions.”

“The Alliances also engage actively with the Australian Government on policy issues as part of a better, more informed and representative dialogue between women and government.”

Up to $300,000 of this new funding is set aside for special policy projects responding to new and emerging issues that the Alliances identify.

The funding allocation also includes $45,000 to enable Alliance members to undertake training the help them learn new ways of engaging strategically with the Government to ensure effective progress toward gender equality.

Ms Ellis said that yesterday’s decision by Fair Work Australia in the Social and Community Sector equal pay test case showed that challenges of gender equality still remain a real issue in Australia.

“Each of these Alliances plays a critical role in the Australian Government’s commitment to engaging women’s groups and bringing the perspective of women to policy making across government.”

“We value the important work of the Alliances and their efforts to ensure representation and recognition of the diversity of women’s voices,” Ms Ellis said.

The Australian Government’s vision is for a reinvigorated women’s movement where the Alliances take the lead in ensuring that the voices of as many women as possible are heard – especially those who in the past have found it difficult to engage in advocacy and decision making.

The Alliances are the Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, National Rural Women’s Coalition and Network, Equality Rights Alliance and Economic Security4Women Alliance.

This new funding comes over and above the $200,000 each Alliance receives annually to ensure government policy takes into account the experience and perspective of women.

For more information about the National Women’s Alliances visit: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/progserv/equal/Pages/engaging_womens_org.aspx