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2009 Media Release: A preview at Yarralumla before the New York premiere at the UN

Commission Commission – General

24 February 2009

A preview at Yarralumla before the New York premiere at the UN

Yajilarra, a film about a group of Aboriginal women from the small Western Australian town of Fitzroy Crossing and their determination to save the town from the scourge of alcohol abuse, domestic violence and foetal alcohol syndrome, will be previewed tonight at Government House, Yarralumla, at a reception hosted by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, and Mr Michael Bryce AM, AE.

Yajilarra is a powerful, inspiring documentary about the courage and resilience of Aboriginal women in the remote Kimberley region of outback Australia, and how they have achieved meaningful change, with the support of many men, for their community,” said Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick.

“It is with a great sense of pride that I will be one of the team of women who will officially premiere this film at a side event to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City on 4 March 2009 – an historic occasion that will mark the first time that Indigenous women from Australia will present at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.”

Commissioner Broderick said that the film was a stirring illustration of the power of women’s leadership in the face of community devastation.

The story of Yajilarra begins in 2007 when a group of Aboriginal women from the Fitzroy Valley in Australia’s remote northwest decided enough was enough. Their community had experienced 13 suicides in 13 months. Reports of family violence and child abuse were commonplace and alcohol consumption was rising at an alarming rate. Acknowledging that something had to be done urgently, and that things had to change, a group of courageous Aboriginal women from across the Valley came together. With the support of many men, they stood up for a future - for everyone in their community. The results were inspiring and have set the community on a path of healing.

Yajilarra shows that, through the leadership of the region’s women, from the Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre, the community of Fitzroy Crossing has entered a new era in its continuous efforts to ensure families and children have real hope and a positive future,” Commissioner Broderick said.

Commissioner Broderick will join the CEO, June Oscar and Chair, Emily Carter from Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre and a representative from the Australian Government at the side event in New York.


In Canberra: Government House, Yarralumla
In New York: Side Event, 53rd Session , UN Commission on the Status of Women,
Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, United Nations Building


In Canberra: 6 pm – 6.45 pm, Tuesday February 24
In New York: 5 pm – 6.30 pm Wednesday 4 March 2009.

Media contact: Brinsley Marlay 02 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529