Over the past 20 years Vonda Malone has been actively role modelling (locally, nationally and internationally) the opportunities and possibilities for Queensland women, in particular for Indigenous Women from the Torres Strait, encouraging them to think differently and showing that Indigenous Women living in remote communities can achieve anything they want. Vonda demonstrates how it is possible to respectfully and successfully live and walk two cultures at the same time providing a pathway for women to think differently, challenge the status quo and to work towards gender equality.
She has proactively advocated for increased representation of Torres Strait (TS) Women within Federal, State and Local Governments by encouraging and equipping women in the region to undertake elected roles.
Vonda has also paved new ground in being the first Torres Strait Islander (TSI) Woman to work internationally and represent her people through engagements with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations, Office of the Human Rights Commission, Geneva. Through her international advocacy she has proactively promoted issues important to her people, including climate change and gender equity.
MOST PROUD OF
Becoming the first female Torres Shire Council Mayor in 2016, thus enabling both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous women in my community to move forward and be acknowledged.
Establishing the inaugural Community Control primary healthcare provider, Torres Health Indigenous Corporation, empowering the community to now be in control of their health and increase TSI people’s life expectancy, leading to greater quality of life and full participation in their communities.
WHY I LOVE QUEENSLAND
I am a proud Indigenous Queenslander, and very proud to live in a part of Australia with a thriving culture. My Torres Strait home and community holds a vibrant and living culture that is part of everyday life. Queensland is a State of abundance, rich in environmental diversity from the Great Barrier Reef to the rainforest to islands, beaches and the outback, that is blessed with a diversity of people and a rich indigenous culture.
Queensland is a progressive yet resilient State that values inclusiveness of Indigenous people and other ethnic backgrounds. Collaboration is a great asset within the Queensland psyche. Having a female Premier and a 50% female cabinet in Queensland is valuable for the visible role modelling for all women, and for the different views that they bring to policy and strategic issues.
MY VISION FOR QUEENSLAND
I look forward to a time when women do not have to prove their worth but are valued for their contribution to their respective community, State and country. A time when my daughter and grand-daughters, nieces have an easier pathway to achieve their dreams with fewer obstacles and that they don’t have to work 10-times harder to gain recognition.
Women will be leading, fully and freely, across all sectors of society regardless of ethnicity and background. Equal opportunity and gender balance is the norm in the workplace particularly in senior management and leadership positions.
Indigenous peoples will have greater capacity and capability to manage and deliver services within their communities. Their overall health status will be greatly improved with increasing life expectancy and significant changes in a range of behaviours and practices across the State.
ADVICE FOR QUEENSLAND WOMEN
Dare to be different and exceed your limits by going out of your comfort zone. Be always open to new opportunities and challenges. This will help you grow and be a stronger and more open-minded person and you never know where it will take you!
FEMECONOMY HAS PARTNERED WITH THE QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT’S OFFICE FOR WOMEN TO SHOWCASE QUEENSLAND WOMEN WHO ARE STRIVING TO CREATE GENDER EQUALITY.
Queensland is built by amazing Queenslanders. Every day women in Queensland are taking action to make Queensland safer for women, to help women’s health and wellbeing, to build women’s economic security and to increase women’s participation in the workforce and female leadership. Femeconomy is showcasing 20 women from across Queensland that are delivering the Queensland Government’s Women’s Strategy.