Getting flexible funding into the hands of women-led organizations and groups is the mission of the Global Women’s Fund, said Jane Sloane, their Vice President of Programs.
“It gives women a chance to fully assume a focus they believe in,” Ms. Sloane said. It “supports women who adopt a rights-based approach in terms of their work.”
Indigenous philanthropy in particular.
“I think it matters on so many levels. It’s not just that investing in Indigenous groups that is important,” Sloane added. “Its an instruction for life. It’s not just including Indigenous Philanthropy in our portfolio. We really need to understand their way of life. We need to be informed by indigenous communities themselves in giving of our own work.
“I think it’s important not to go in with a preconceived idea of what you want to to achieve. We really listened to what the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Women’s Fund Inc. wanted to achieve, hearing from them to what they wanted to achieve here.”
Global Women’s Fund established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Women’s Fund Inc. (ATSI WF)in Australia in 2014. The fund is designed to empower aboriginal artists and designers, who say they want to promote training and employment, and combat negative issues among aboriginal women and girls.
Designer Lenore Dembski uses her own materials as well as incorporates those from other indigenous artists to create lovely, stunning gowns with an earthy appeal that make a visual statement about women. Her designs are accompanied by those of designer Colleen Tighe Johnson.
Glassmaker May Rosas uses traditional artwork to create glass plate wares, and she is also a painter. Artist Hannah Trindorfer featured a large assortment of hand painted ties with indigenous designs, and offers nail paintings as well.
Tuesday’s fashion shows offered a running commentary from the designers into not only the designs, but also what inspired the designers to do what they do, and who benefits from the worthy program.
ATSI WF is the first funder to address the needs of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ women.
The values of working with Indigenous philanthropy for the Global Women’s Fund is respect, transparency, trust, reciprocity, integrity, a commitment to a holistic approach, diversity, lifting up the views and voices of the least heard and whose views are underrepresented, and making the invisible, visible, said Sloane.