Australia & Pacific
27 November 15
Straight Talk was developed to strengthen the skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to bring about positive change in their communities, to increase access to political decision makers, and establish ongoing relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women in the parliament. Increase awareness in Federal Parliament of the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The evaluation examined â€˜impact and effectivenessâ€™ and â€˜relevanceâ€™ of the program.
The evaluation method was designed through consultation with Straight Talk participants. The evaluation team held a focus group to better understand participant experiences of being part of research. Storytelling was used as a method as it was a user-friendly way to engage program staff and participants in thinking about the achievements and challenges. Data was collected through surveys, phone interviews, focus groups, participatory video, politician interviews, and evaluation summit.
The significant change in wellbeing of the women participants included a greater sense of confidence, a sense of greater connection to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and an increased pride in Indigenous identity. Women expressed an increased desire to contribute to change in their communities (especially around Indigenous issues) and also to connect members of their community to their learnings so that their community may also have the skills to effect change. Women reported an increased understanding and improved opinion of political processes, and stated they were more likely to engage in these processes and contact politicians as a result.