Cape York girls

Cape York girls need your help. Here are six ways that you can.

Australia’s First Nations women endure disadvantage according to almost every data point measured by government agencies and private research institutions (see snapshot of relevant data below). Such disadvantage limits their ability to build a solid social foundation from which they can make economic leaps equal to the rest of Australian society.

One example is education. Young First Nations women are less likely to gain tertiary qualifications in comparison to their male counterparts, despite having higher Year 12 attainment rates. They also experience less likelihood of employment in comparison to First Nations men even if they have the same qualifications.

While governments play an important role in bringing about change, there is still a place for every Australian to make a real difference to the lives of First Nations women.

Here are six ways you can help Cape York Girls.


Artwork by Cape York Girls

1. Bring First Nations culture to the eyes of others

Demonstrations of solidarity take the wind out of the sails of bigotry and ignorance. Whether its a neat little hair clip, a spectacular piece of art, or a shirt that makes a bold statement, demonstrating your alliance with First Nations culture to the wider Australian community can have a profound effect.

We currently have limited edition art prints for sale by young women of Our Sisters. The proceeds from each print sold will go toward the Our Sisters cause as well as to the artist. You can find the prints for sale, as well as Our Sisters merchandise, here.

Check out some other great examples of bringing culture to the forefront from the 2021 NAIDOC event in Cairns.


Call out racism

2. Call out racism

Racist attitudes and behaviours aimed towards First Nations peoples still exist within Australian society. There is a plethora of anecdotal evidence that supports this.

Racism comes in many forms and may be difficult to define, but you surely know it when you see and hear it. Every time it rears its ugly head, it makes Australia’s First Nations peoples feel unsafe, unacknowledged and unappreciated. It also leads to misconceptions of First Nations people, their culture and their communities.

Our First Nations culture is ancient, wonderfully diverse and worthy of celebration — Australia is enriched for having it. This website outlines calendar dates that provide opportunity to celebrate First Nations culture and commemorate its history. Moreover, check out this map of Australia, compiled by AIATSIS, to see just how diverse our First Nations peoples are.

Whether its derogatory comments, ignorant jokes, or explicit and prejudicial behaviour in your community, be brave and call it out for the racism that it is. You may not change the attitude of the perpetrator, but you might signal to any and all bystanders that the behaviour is unacceptable and unwelcome.


Read widely

3. Learn the truth by reading widely (especially the words of First Nations women)

Truth telling is an integral step toward reconciliation. In fact, it was the third proposal outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Whilst more can be taught in schools, universities and workplaces, the power to learn rests with us. Reading the words of First Nations women will enlighten you to their experience, perspectives and interpretation of history. Here are some books that we recommend:


Time to Listen podcast

4. Subscribe to the Time to Listen podcast

Do you want to hear from First Nations peoples themselves?

The Time to Listen podcast gives a space and a platform to their voices. Check out these episodes that feature First Nations women:


From the Heart

5. Support the From the Heart campaign

It is time for First Nations people to have a say in matters that affect them. The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for a First Nations Voice to Parliament that is enshrined in our constitution. Should it be realised, solutions to the issues that affect First Nations people – especially those that affect women and youth – will be determined by First Nations people themselves.

Follow the From the Heart campaign and signal your support for a First Nations Voice here.


Support the Our Sisters Campaign

6. Donate to the Our Sisters cause

Cape York girls are motivated and capable, and they demonstrate their academic and professional prowess whenever they have the opportunity to do so.

Our Sisters works with Cape York Partnership schools and programs to break the cycles of intergenerational trauma and entrenched disadvantage endured by the young First Nations women of Cape York. Providing further opportunities for higher levels of education is a surefire way of ending these cycles.

Every dollar that you donate during our International Day of the Girl Child movement will go toward academic scholarships to Cape York girls. Visit our this page to donate today.

You can also visit our newsroom to stay up to date with the success stories of Our Sisters.

Snapshot of relevant data:


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