Olympian and former senator Nova Peris has headlined a panel of strong women delivering messages for encouragement for Kimberley girls looking to grow grassroots sports in the region.
Garnduwa hosted its inaugural Making Her Mark Women in Sport forum on March 10 and 11, empowering Aboriginal women in the region to use sport as an opportunity to grow community leaders.
During the two-day forum, keen listeners were treated to stories from Ms Peris, as well as Fremantle Dockers board member Colleen Hayward and Kimberley locals Helen Ockerby and Cissy Gore-Birch.
Ms Peris said it was “very humbling” to be invited back to her ancestral home to speak at an Aboriginal women in sport forum.
“I was always told by my grandmother that it’s important to give back and I love to be able to come back, especially to community, and share my story,” she said.
“Quite often, people think you’re untouchable because you’ve achieved so much but I think people might be surprised by my journey and the struggles and hardships I have faced. It’s fantastic to see Garnduwa bring so many Aboriginal women into the one place for this forum. It’s always hard to be that one motivator in the community but together everyone can achieve more and it’s good to be able to be here and share my story and hopefully inspire people to come back and be champions in their community.”
Garnduwa leadership program manager Layla Yu said the forum manifested from conversations with the women who took part in the program, who expressed an interest in meeting like-minded women from other communities.
“It’s really an opportunity for women to hear from other women talking about sports, recreation and leadership and there’s a lot of information that they can take with them back to their communities,” she said.
“There’s always going to be barriers from living in the Kimberley from geographical barriers to raising families so we want to give them … ways to work through those barriers.”
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