Albany played host to the Gender Equality Committee’s Young Indigenous Women’s Leadership Program at the Hilton Garden Inn at the weekend. The program was organised by the United Nations Association of Australia’s WA Division in partnership with the Southern Aboriginal Corporation. Participants came from as far as Katanning for the two-day training program which was designed to develop self-awareness, growth, and aspirations. Participants were guided through career development, self-leadership, gender equality and women’s empowerment, advocacy, and community leadership. Participant Nikita Armstrong said the program was an awesome opportunity. “It gave me more knowledge on my passion and career pathway,” she said. “It also helped me understand that the inner game of leadership is what determines success.” The UNAA-WA is hoping to deliver more regional programs in 2023, strengthening partnerships with local community organisations like the Southern Aboriginal Corporation to enrich the lives of communities in regional areas. UNAA-WA vice president of strategy and partnership Dr Siddier Chambers said the partnership between the two organisations had been a rewarding one. “It has given these young First Nations leaders additional tools and aspirations to pursue their careers and motivate their families and friends – they wanted more of their families and friends to benefit,” she said. “We need more of these regional programs to support the dreams and aspirations of young people, especially young women, who might not have otherwise been given this opportunity.” SAC chief executive Asha Bhat said women and girls living outside of metropolitan areas often did not have access to leadership programs. “Gender inequality exists everywhere but it is heightened when there is a lack of available resources and opportunities for women and girls and for those who might be experiencing intersectional forms of disadvantage,” Ms Bhat said.