The Fred Hollows Foundation is celebrating the United Nation's International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

This year's theme shines a light on "Indigenous Media and Empowering Indigenous Voices"—a theme that aims to highlight the importance of media in challenging stereotypes, forging indigenous peoples' identities, communicating with the outside world, and influencing the social and political agenda.

In Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation has a long history of empowering Indigenous advocates through a range of programs that encourage media participation to help build public awareness of issues impacting Indigenous Australians.

The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) is held three times a year in remote regions of NSW and the Northern Territory. Participants are local community advocates from remote centres within the region who are advocating for the rights of their people in the areas of health, education and social justice issues.

Indigenous participation in media is an important part of this program and can be one of the most empowering and effective ways of advocating for causes and shining a light on issues involving Indigenous human rights. The program also teaches participants how to produce their own media and how to use social media to get their messages across.  

UN General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples and said that today is essential to ensuring that indigenous people of the world have the best chance to shape their own future.

"From community radio and television to feature films and documentaries, from video art and newspapers to the Internet and social media, indigenous peoples are using these powerful tools to challenge mainstream narratives, bring human rights violations to international attention and forge global solidarity.”

"They are also developing their own media to reflect indigenous values and fight against myths and misconceptions."

The Foundation's next Diplomacy Training Program will be held in Alice Springs in September.

The Foundation would like to acknowledge all of the partner NGOs and local Indigenous organisations who assist us in our work.

> Find out about other work The Foundation is doing as part of our Indigenous Australia Program.