Statement by Djirra CEO, Antoinette Braybrook AM

Out of respect to the many millions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and others who were hurt and disappointed by the outcome of the referendum, Djirra has been observing a period of silence for mourning and reflection.

We have been busy focussing inward, reaching out to Aboriginal women who rely on our services to stay safe and well, we have maintained silence in recognition of the thousands of women – mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters and sisters, who have put their trust in Djirra for over twenty years.

Today as CEO of Djirra, I am forced to make a strong statement to oppose the Opposition Leader’s call for a Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse in Aboriginal communities.

This is NOT what First Nations people, especially our women, want.

We want to be listened to and heard about our solutions to keep our women and children safe.

We want our self-determined Aboriginal community controlled services at the frontline, on the ground, to be invested in.

We want standalone, dedicated strategies for our women and children’s safety.

We want our children to thrive in culture and identity with their mums and within their families, not taken and caught up in an unsafe child protection system.

We don’t want government bureaucracies, opportunistic politicians or wasted tax-payer money on more Royal Commissions to tell us what they believe solutions are. This approach is a proven failure.

We have the solutions. Our voices must be listened to.

The Opposition Leader must stop politicising Aboriginal women and children’s safety and listen to Djirra and the many other organisations working at the frontline for more than twenty years. We have the solutions.

Our lives as Aboriginal people, and the lives of our women and children, are not for Dutton to use as a political football for electoral gain.

Media contacts:
Trish Carberry 0409 411 187

About Djirra
Djirra is a specialist family violence Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation established in 2002. Djirra provides culturally safe legal and non-legal holistic support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, predominantly women and children. Djirra has strong connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the community through our Koori Women’s Place and delivery of prevention programs such as Sisters Day Out, Young Luv and Dilly Bag.

About Antoinette Braybrook
Antoinette Braybrook AM is an Aboriginal woman who was born on Wurundjeri country. Her grandfather and mother’s line is through the Kuku Yalanji. Antoinette is the CEO of Djirra, a position she has held since the service was established in 2002.

Antoinette is also Co-Chair of Change the Record, Australia’s only national First Nations led justice coalition of legal, health and family violence prevention experts. Antoinette seeks to give voice and visibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience family violence. She is a strong advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control and self-determination.

Antoinette’s leadership and contribution have been recognised through numerous awards, including being honoured on the UN Gender Justice Legacy Wall in 2017, inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2020, City of Melbourne Awards, Melburnian of the Year 2022, Member Order of Australia Medal – 2023 King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List.

Follow Djirra on Twitter @DjirraVic and Antoinette Braybrook @BraybrookA