Researcher: Elaine Butler
Elaine Butler combines research with policy advocacy for women in her role as member of Security4Women (S4W), a role she has fulfilled since 2004, as a representative of WAVE. Security4Women is one of four national women's secretariats that consults with Australian women on issues of interest for women, including policy advice, and reports to the federal Office for Women. Recent research conducted through WAVE for S4W included a project that investigated lifelong learning for selected diverse groups of women and girls. Elaine's advocacy involves ongoing issues on education and training, paid maternity leave, a need for better gender-disaggregated data in statistical collections such as that of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and up skilling local Indigenous women in their communities. This work is extended through input for CEDAW and CSW. Elaine has recently successfully facilitated the establishment of a cross-secretariat education and training working group which is looking at educational issues that affect girls and women.
Elaine's research and policy advocacy is also part of her role as National Co-coordinator of WAVE, the only national NGO with a focus on adult, community, work-related and vocational education and training for women and girls. This involves working with other members to prepare budget submissions, policy papers and research reports investigating selected issues. Two successful projects to be funded from the Office for Women Women's Leadership Program 2008–2009 for women's organisations are Women on track: addressing skills shortages in transport and construction industries (NSW, VIC, WA), and Minmaku Palyantja Palya: Waltja women leaders' project (NT).
Such research projects support ongoing policy advice and advocacy at state and national levels, and also form the basis of academic reports, chapters and articles, and further research with a widening number of research partners.