SPEAKERS

Florence Drummond

Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA)

Dauareb and Wuthathi woman, I was born and raised on Thursday Island as the eldest of 8 children. My father, from a long line of sea-farers, pearl divers and hunters, has always emphasised to his six daughters to be responsible and to believe in our own strengths, as women, to achieve whatever we put our minds to. My Mother, of the Meriam Mir language group, taught us resilience and importance of kinship and connection. We lived in our home my Grandfather built after World War Two. To say the least, I am grateful for my life story so far and I look forward to creating greater chapters to share with my family.

I attended Kooralbyn International School for my high school years, which now I understand to be the most influential time of my life. At this impressionable age, I was surrounded by students from different countries and cultures – race was appreciated and racism was always discussed, as we were all soon to become family. It is truly an amazing connection and encourages me to continue to remain curious.

After working in the Hospitality and Events industry for 10 years, I wanted to become more involved in Communities. This led me to my employment with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) where I worked in Lakidjika – the Child Protection division where we were responsible for many cases which clearly illustrated the realities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families across Victoria. This cycle of disconnection, dispossession and destruction led me to reflect how I can greater contribute to our people.

Now after 8 years in the mining industry and successfully building the platform for Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA), I continue to raise awareness of our participation, ambitions to remain valid into our innovative future and for progression into decision making roles. Creating a space to empower women to build self confidence and to confidently discuss issues that impact our lives, is something that is very important to us and enables us to not only inform better practices but heal our families and communities.