Elevating Australian First Nations Women

Ember Connect

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Adults - aged 25 to under 65
Project Focus
Project Area
ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

Project Description

There is a significant body of evidence highlighting the cross-sectional disadvantages faced by First Nations women in Australia. Historical systemic barriers have resulted in inter-generational disadvantage for First Nations women, so the solution needs to focus on not only elevating the individual, but changing the system.
Ember Connect takes a strengths-based approach, and recognises and communicates that these disadvantages are not the result of inherent shortcomings, but are driven by historical systemic factors.

Our theory of change focuses on enhancing the individual’s social capital and economic independence, while using a collective voice to influence change in the systems in which our women work and live.

Our exciting operating model is building a vibrant online community for First Nations women (aged eighteen plus), elevating them to greater possibilities. It will inspire a new generation of growth – developing the capacity of women and the communities where they live and work. This will be achieved by connecting First Nations women to key people, pathways, and opportunities; and influencing systemic change through advocacy and education.

We already have more than 2,400 First Nations women engaged in our digital community and our ambitious goal it to grow this to 10,000 First Nations women by the end of 2024.

Expected Outcomes

We know that elevating our members will also have a profound impact on their families and communities. Our women are role models so their empowerment will inspire their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters to pursue education and growth opportunities. As our women are generally the care givers, their development can also positively influence health and wellbeing decisions made in the family environment.

When we support our members through professional development and access to resources and opportunities, they can make a more significant contribution to the economic stability of their family and community. Our women also play a vital role in preserving and passing down cultural traditions, languages, and heritage. When elevated, they can actively contribute to keeping these traditions alive, enriching the cultural fabric of their communities.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) is an important part of the Ember Connect program. The main purpose is to provide evidence of impact as well as contribute to the program’s iterate learning. A key aim is to ensure that important and relevant information both qualitative and quantitative is provided in a structured and informative way.

The primary tool for outcome monitoring is the annual Ember Connect Survey. The survey is designed for members to self-report the contribution to change they can attribute to the platform. We intend to run our first annual member impact survey in the second half of 2024.

Project Data & Lessons

The sharing of data and the impact our work has on our members and their communities is an important task. Given we are still in our early stages, we are yet to completely map out this strategy, but we have outlined in our three year strategic plan, our intent to publish/promote/communicate an annual 'Voice of our women' report. This report will collect the feedback, insights and testimonials of our members.

Project Dates

We are in the early stages of our organisational development, we are seeking support to maintain our current model and support further growth and innovation.

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
We have articulated a long term sustainability strategy for the charity that aims to build a diversified revenue model in the future. At this stage we are focusing on government, corporate and philanthropic support.
Other Support Opportunities
In-kind contributions, Pro bono services

Organisation Details

Ember Connect
ABN: 41 236 400 793


Narelle Henry
Phone: 0434279779

About Ember Connect

At Ember Connect, we are changing the narrative. We are passionately working towards a future where all First Nations women are better able to participate strongly in an Australian society that values their voice, choices, contribution, and culture. Our free online platform brings our women together to share stories, experiences, and resources.

Our exciting new model has been shaped by research and refined through consultation. We have been strongly influenced by June Oscar’s 2020 Human Rights Commission Report “Wiyi Yani U Thangani – Women’s Voices”.

Our theory of change is underpinned by two key elements, the enhancement of the individual’s social capital and their journey to economic independence through employment and career development. By harnessing the collective voice of our women, we also aim to influence systemic change.

Our key result areas include:
•Personal development
•Professional development
•Cultural connection
•Social capital
•Voice & advocacy

We are taking a programmatic approach to the delivery of content, storytelling, events, and practical resources relating to our key result areas through the digital platform. We have also built a robust monitoring and evaluation framework into our model to ensure that we learn and are effective and efficient in the allocation of our resources.

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Ember Connect

Elevating Australian First Nations Women

Ember Connect elevates First Nations women to greater possibilities through their vibrant online community by connecting them to key people, pathways, and opportunities; and influencing systemic change through advocacy and education.