Celebrate NAIDOC Week 2018 by getting to know, and learning from, some of Australia’s most inspiring Indigenous women.
Each and every year, Australia celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout NAIDOC Week. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Because of her, we can’, and focuses on the essential role that women have played, and continue to play, across all aspects of society.
We got in touch with a handful of Indigenous women who inspire us, and who are working tirelessly towards a better Australia, and asked them a few questions about themselves, about what they’ve learned, and about how we – as a country – can do more for our women and Indigenous people.
Next up is Kristy Dickinson, founder of Haus of Dizzy jewellery and certified Queen of bling.
Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Kristy Dickinson, I'm a proud Wiradjuri woman and founder of Australian-based jewellery company, Haus of Dizzy. I design, laser cut, hand paint and assemble all my pieces in my studio in Melbourne.
How have the women in your life helped you get to where you are today?
My mother has passed, but she keeps me going every day. She inspires a lot of my pieces and because of her, I can.
When it comes to role models, how important is it for future generations of Indigenous women to have other women to look up to?
It is very important. Growing up, I didn’t think I’d ever have my own business because I was black and I was a girl. All the women I knew were housewives, and all the men worked and had businesses. Young women need to have strong Indigenous women to look up to and know that they too can have their own business, and that anything is possible.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would that advice look like?
Avoid toxic people, believe in yourself and don't compare yourself to others.
What have you learned so far about leadership qualities and the makings of a good leader?
I always say treat people how you want to be treated. By treating your staff well, they are always going to enjoy working and work harder. I think to be a great leader you need to be passionate about what you do, and have good communication skills.
Australia has a long way to go when it comes to recognising its Indigenous people in a meaningful, way. Where do we go from here?
Support and recognition. The more we talk about Aboriginal issues the more we can work together to help with these issues.
The same can be said for gender equality – there’s a lot of work to be done. How can we make sure future generations of women are free to live, work and thrive? What does real equality look like?
Real equality means that young girl can believe she can be whatever she damn well wants to be, without having to give it a second thought because of the colour of her skin or her gender.