Style and empowerment

Four First Nations women tell us how fashion helps them express themselves

By Future Women


Four First Nations women tell us how fashion helps them express themselves

By Future Women

The inspiring panel at our 2020 International Women’s Day Breakfast Panel, looking ‘faboriginal’—as Emma Hill would say—in the latest Witchery collections, opened up about their relationship with style and why it’s important to be true to oneself when it comes to what to wear.


Proud Dunghutti/Yuin woman and Director at the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.

“I know that when I’ve got my outfit on point, I just feel more confident and more empowered. For me personally, there is absolutely a nexus between style and feeling great about myself and feeling like I can achieve what I set out to do. When I first started in the workforce, I certainly found myself going very corporate in a suit and skirts and heels… Now, I just wear what’s comfortable.”

Emily wears Witchery animal print blouse, SHOP SIMILAR, Witchery Top stitch mini skirt, $119.95, SHOP NOW, Witchery Ivy suede pump, $159.95, SHOP NOW

Proud Cobble Cobble woman, constitutional lawyer and Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous at UNSW

“Style is really significant. In my work with the United Nations, it’s really important to be able to walk into those rooms and feel empowered. I think expressing yourself is really important, but I also have to dress conservatively because you have to have regard for all the many ways people dress across the world. As I’ve gotten older, I like to stick to all black and comfort. And I always wear flats, but every now and then I like to pop on a pair of glittery heels… sometimes on those really long days, you look down and see something shimmery and it’s a real boost.”

Megan wears Witchery Austin Jacquard wrap, $199.95, SHOP NOW

Proud Gunai woman, poet, writer, artist and 2020 NSW Woman of the year

“I think it’s really important to self-express in ways that feel appropriate to us. As a poet, writer and artist, self-expression has always been a really powerful tool for me in connecting with other people – and style is part of that. The way we present ourselves to the world and the way we dress allows us to connect. Style can be a really beautiful connecting point for us to have important conversations.”

Kirli wears Witchery Leather mini dress (coming soon to stores), Witchery Morgan leather boot, SHOP NOW

Proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman, criminal defence lawyer and human rights activist

“In many ways when I think about fashion and style, it’s about me being comfortable in the context and the environments that I’m in and showing up in a way that makes me feel connected to that story about where we are walking on this continent. At the end of the day, as long as I stay true to my style and myself, the most important thing is the words that come out of my mouth not the way I look.”

Teela wears Witchery Seam Detail Shirt, $149.95, SHOP NOW, Witchery Top Stitch Mini Skirt, $119.95, SHOP NOW, Witchery Kora Leather Boot, $229.95,  SHOP NOW, Belt, Teela’s own