Throughout Australia’s 235 years of colonial occupation, First Nations people have had to endure a multitude of profound injustices and deep sufferings, the legacy of which continues today. Issues of race-related injustices and institutionalised racism are ongoing in modern Australia, so it's important that all Australians take the time to learn about our country’s fractured history, educate ourselves about the ongoing legacy of colonialism, and together, take big steps forward towards real change.
In case you feel like you want to help direct this change, we’ve gathered together a list of some of the charities and organisations supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and PoC voices in Sydney, as well as around Australia. Some of the organisations support First Nations mothers, others support First Nations queer people, some are all about moving towards reconciliation. If you aren’t in a position to help financially, there are other ways you can show your support. Read on to learn more.
Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
Sydney-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations you can get behind
This Sydney-based organisation was established as a collective response to the identified need for strengthened visibility of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA+ community. They help young queer Indigenous people find community by facilitating social events and also do lots of behind-the-scenes work. Make a donation here.
The Aboriginal Legal Service was established in 1940 in Redfern, Sydney, as the first Aboriginal Legal Service in Australia. Today the ALS works to acknowledge the importance of Aboriginal people in the building, designing and delivering of services to the community with legal work in criminal law, children’s care and protection law and family law.
Gunawirra is a non-profit based out of Sydney offering programs for Indigenous parents and young children. The charity works with mothers groups to connect mums and bubs to culture, as well as offering art therapy, speech therapy, nutrition and care packs for predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preschools in regional New South Wales.
You can support them via the website.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations you can get behind from all around Australia
Seed is the country’s first youth-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander climate justice network. The organisation’s vision is of a fair and sustainable future that has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities in mind.
ANTaR is an independent, non-government organisation that works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and leaders on both rights and reconciliation issues. The organisation has been running since 1997 and is committed to empowering the community and speaking up about injustice and inequality.
Pay The Rent program was organised by First Nations and non-First Nations people working together, as the Pay The Rent Grassroots Collective. The purpose of the program is to acknowledge the numerous injustices committed against First Nations people, and the role that settlers have in working towards justice, truth, equality and liberation for First Nations people. One such way is by paying the very overdue rent that is owed to First Nations people with all funds handled by Aboriginal people and contributed directly to grassroots causes and campaigns with a focus on protecting First Nations rights, and practical support such as a Funeral Fund.
The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Organisation is a Northern Territory-based organisation that offers legal services to Aboriginal people in the north. They cover criminal and civil law, but also make sure that Aboriginal people have access to high-quality and culturally competent legal services.
You can donate to support NAAJA services here.
NPY Women’s Council works to deliver health, social and cultural services for Anangu people. The council was started in the late 1970s as an advocacy body to give Anangu women a voice and representation in the conversations that concern land rights, policy and cultural affairs. Today, the council is directed by Aboriginal women across 26 desert communities in the broad cross-border regions of WA, SA and the NT.
Donate to the NPY Women’s Council here.
This independent community organisation was established in Queensland in 1992 and advocates for the collective human rights of women and girls in prison, as well as their families. Sisters Inside provides services to address the individual needs of those incarcerated. The team raised funds used to release people from prison and pay court debts so they are not imprisoned.
Donate to Sisters Inside here.
Black Rainbow is a non-profit social enterprise and an advocacy platform for LGBTQIA+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The organisation is Indigenous owned and operated and supports individuals through community projects and initiatives like the Contagion of Love project. This offers self-identifying LGBTQIA people of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community micro-grants.
You can donate directly here.
This is a coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations working towards the de-incarceration of Indigenous people in Australia. You can read Change the Record’s recent report, Critical Condition – which looks into the impact of Covid-19 policies, policing and prisons on First Nations communities. Change the Record also has a simple to use email template that allows you to contact your local MP about policy change.
You can support the organisation’s crucial work by making a donation here.
This is Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses. If your workplace is after catering, stationary, office supplies or even services like facilities management or education and training, you can direct them here to keep up the corporate social responsibility.
Head to the website to search by name, service or category.
The Koorie Youth Council is a representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Victoria that advocates to the government and community. In May 2020, the group took its Koorie Youth Summit online to create space for Indigenous young people and amplify their voices.