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I am the Grandmother of Hudson. It was not right that our little children were growing up in this environment, living their lives with unique and complex needs as a result of alcohol exposure in utero. So in 2007 the women got together and made a strong and final decision that we would apply for alcohol restrictions in our community. We want our people to know that this is their community, that this community cares about them and that we are prepared to make the hard decisions and stand up. June Oscar AO. CEO of Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre
Photography by Belinda Mason.
June Oscar, of Banuba descent, was born in 1962 at Fitzroy Crossing, WA. She was sent to Perth for her secondary education at the John Forrest Senior High School. She left school at the age of 16. After returning to Fitzroy Crossing, June worked for the state community welfare and health departments. She later became a women’s resource officer with the Junjuwa community. She chaired the Marra Worra Worra resource agency until 1991, when she was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission for a 2-year term as a commissioner. June Oscar was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia, as recognition of her dedication to resolving complex problems, including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), in her community. She lives in Fitzroy Crossing in the far north of WA, and is one of three grandmothers of young Hudson, who has FASD. June is the CEO of Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre. It is a centre of inspiration that brings positive change to the women of Fitzroy Valley and their families by encouraging safety and wellbeing and fostering leadership and financial independence.
Self-evident truths are authentic, and we know them when we hear them. These truths are not necessarily abstract; instead, they relate directly to human experience. Sometimes, in fact all too often, these truths fall from our sight and give way to complex and technical policy jargon, parliamentary discussions and pieces of legislation that sit some distance from the living, breathing, proud, and sometimes fragile, peoples they will affect. In spite of this, truths are stubborn and are not easily deferred. The truth is persistent and we must return to the self-evident truths that exist, in our relationships and from our history, and we must learn from them and respond accordingly. Only by doing this will we achieve social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and, in doing so, equality for all Australians. Remember, from self-respect comes dignity, from dignity comes hope, and from hope comes resilience.
Dr Tom Calma AO
Kungarakan & Iwaisja tribal groups
Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia
Co-Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Mental Health and Suidcide Prevention Advisory Group
Chancellor, University of Canberra