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Indigenous Public Diplomacy

2018 NAIDOC Speaker Series - Timor-Leste

Women in a cricle around brightly coloured grass, weaving.
Weaving with brightly coloured Tjanpi (grass). Credit: DFAT

The Australian Embassy in Timor-Leste celebrated NAIDOC Speaker Series 'Because of Her, We Can' by hosting a visit from the renowned Tjanpi Desert Weavers of Central Australia in July 2018. The Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a not-for-profit social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council (NPYWC), an Aboriginal governed and directed corporation.

During the visit, Tjanpi Desert master weaver, Rene Kutija and program manager, Michelle Young promoted Australian Indigenous culture and showcased the insights, skills and achievements of the leading Indigenous social enterprise.

Peter Roberts weaving with master weaver Rene Kulitja.
HE Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste Peter Roberts, gets approval from Tjanpi master weaver Rene Kulitja. Credit: Erin Gleeson/DFAT

A seminar on Tjanpi Desert Weaver's innovative social enterprise model, showcased how the organisation has evolved over two decades and the elements that have led to its success such as being governed by Aboriginal women, and having consistent government support. The seminar also demonstrated to the Timorese audience that women led businesses and traditional handicrafts can provide economic benefits.

Women posing for photo with their woven products.
Workshop: Talented women shared their knowledge and skills, producing beautiful woven objects'. Credit: Erin Gleeson/DFAT


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