Skip to main content

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.

The path forward

Gender and sexuality are intersectional considerations. Incorporating them into policy and program design ensures the diverse experiences of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered. It also enables:  

  • greater access to appropriate services  
  • improved outcomes for those accessing them 
  • elevating the voices of women and gender-diverse peoples in advocacy and decision-making. 

Priority actions

National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality

The Commonwealth is developing a National Strategy to make Australia one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. The National Strategy will prioritise gender equality, with a focus on:  

  • women’s economic equality and independence  
  • leadership, representation and rights  
  • balancing family and care responsibilities  
  • health and wellbeing.   

These focus areas recognise the current gender inequalities experienced in Australia, including by First Nations women. 

The Commonwealth also established the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce to:  

  • provide independent advice to the Commonwealth on a range of issues facing women in Australia 
  • inform the development of the National Strategy. 

Gender responsive budgeting

The Commonwealth has committed to implementing gender-responsive budgeting.  

Gender-responsive budgeting weaves consideration of gender impact through the budget process. It is a key way for governments to identify measures that close gender gaps and avoid those that exacerbate gender inequality.  

To implement gender-responsive budgeting, the Commonwealth uses practical tools such as gender analysis and Gender Impact Assessments. These tools embed gender equality into the design of policy and government decision-making. From 2023-24 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), all Cabinet Submissions and New Policy Proposals must include a Gender Analysis Summary. The Gender Analysis Summary provides information to decision-makers about any gendered impacts.  

A Gender Impact Assessment shows where gender analysis has been used to inform policy and deliver equality outcomes. All New Policy Proposals meeting one or more criteria must include a Gender Impact Assessment with the Cabinet consideration proposal.  

More information can be found at: Including Gender: An APS Guide to Gender Analysis and Gender Impact Assessment | PM&C (  

Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project

The Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Securing Our Rights, Securing Our Future Report (Women’s Voices Report) was delivered by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, on 9 December 2020. It is a landmark document that elevates the voices of First Nations women and girls. It is being used to help governments better understand their strengths, challenges and aspirations for change. 

The Commonwealth supported the delivery of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) First Nations Women and Girls National Summit in May 2023. This Summit brought together First Nations women and girls from across Australia to empower women’s leadership at a national level.  

The Commonwealth is also supporting the development of a National Framework for Action, informed by the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Report and Summit. The Framework will  guide stakeholders to invest in First Nations initiatives for women and girls that are:  

  • designed and led by the community 
  • strengths-based. 

Mandatory Australian Public Service culturally sensitive gender training

The Australian Government is committed to listening to and responding to First Nations voices. The Commonwealth has developed the online training module, Gender and Cultural Safety: Understanding Gender in First Nations Policy and Program Work. This training module helps the Australian Public Service (APS) understand gender constructs and its impacts on policy development, in relation to First Nations peoples. It enables the APS to identify and challenge unconscious biases that result in decisions based on stereotypes. This year, the training module is being tested across the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA). Feedback is being gathered from critical friends across departments, and adjustments will be made where required. In the future, it will be made available as an Australian Public Service-wide resource.  This initiative supports Priority Reform Three. 

Improving gender representation on boards

Having diverse women in decision-making positions across all levels and sectors of society is vital to:  

  • drive cultural change  
  • ensure diverse views and experiences are represented..  

The Commonwealth is exploring options to improve gender representation on the boards of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006

Summary of new actions

Women’s Safety measures are covered in Outcome 13 – Families and Households are Safe*. 

*A full appendix of new and existing measures being undertaken by the Commonwealth to support Closing the Gap efforts is on the NIAA website, at  Closing the Gap implementation measures


Did you find this page useful?