Tammy Solonec

DTP Trainer and DTP Alumna - 2009 19th Annual Program in Timor-Leste

Tammy Solonec, a Nyikina woman from Derby in the Kimberley of Western Australia, attended the DTP Annual Regional Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Training Program in Timor Leste in 2009. At this time Tammy had completed a Law Degree at the University of Western Australia and was the Managing Solicitor of the Law and Advocacy Unit of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia.

“Attending the Annual DTP Program in Timor Leste was a real eye opener. I enjoyed meeting participants from the Asia Pacific region and deepening my knowledge and understanding of the UN system from experts in the field. Learning first hand about the experience of Timor Leste becoming an independent country and the truth and reconciliation processes they underwent after the civil war was particularly insightful.”

Despite the demands of work, volunteering and sole parenting two young children Tammy has continued her advocacy for the issues she is passionate about, including prison reform, Aboriginal housing, family violence prevention and the right for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to be recognized, respected and celebrated including at annual NAIDOC and Survival Day events.

Since her participation in the DTP course, Tammy has been a delegate to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) twice, the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commonwealth Peoples Forum twice and the Pacific and Global Preparatory meetings for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

Tammy is currently a Director of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and until recently was a member of the National NAIDOC Committee. She is also a founding member of NAIDOC Perth Inc. (where she still works as the Executive Assistant) and the WA Aboriginal Lawyers Committee. In 2012, she was awarded Young Female Lawyer and Lawyer of the Year with less than 5 years experience in Western Australia.

Tammy’s expertise and experience is very relevant to the human rights and advocacy training that DTP provides in both Australia and the region. Tammy has returned to contribute to DTP’s work as a trainer including in the UNPFII Preparatory Program, Human Rights and Advocacy Trainings in Alice Springs and Katherine, and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Rights and Advocacy Youth Summit at the UNSW.

“It’s been wonderful to be a trainer with DTP and share some of my knowledge and experiences with other human rights defenders. I always leave feeling so inspired about the stories and people I meet, and it’s great to work with the DTP staff and my international law mentor and friend, Seranie Gamble, who first encouraged me to apply for the DTP Program back in 2009.”

Tammy has recently been appointed as the Manager of the Indigenous Peoples Unit at Amnesty International Australia. The Diplomacy Training Program wishes Tammy well and we look forward to continuing our association with this inspiring and committed young woman.


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