Canberra Murru waaruu Past Event

18 - 19 April 2023

Niiringal (the day after) – Implementation of Uluru Part 2: Using the Acquired Assets’ was the second seminar in the six-part Murru waaruu (On Track) Economic Development Series that the First Nations Portfolio is presenting in 2023. The seminar series follows on from the success of the 2022 Marramarra murru (Creating Pathways) Economic Development Wealth Forum and Symposium and is designed to bring together leading scholars and practitioners to ensure that we remain on track to deliver a compelling, evidence-based case to transition the current First Nations economic development policy paradigm to one that enables economic self-determination.

The Murru waaruu Seminar Series seeks to develop the components of a policy framework that will facilitate the economic empowerment of First Nations Australians. Seminar Two – scheduled for 18-19 April 2023 at the Australian National University in Canberra – will focus on enhancing the fungibility of First Nations land, water, sea Country, bio-cultural resources, intellectual property and financial assets.

Niiringal (the day after) – Implementation of Uluru Part 2: Using the Acquired Assets’ identified alternative tenure systems, pathways to diversification, broadening of asset use, enhanced First Nations control and management systems, and potentially new institutional arrangements to foster economic self-determination.

The seminar format included an introductory plenary session conducted over dinner on the evening of 18 April, followed by five separate mini-workshops and a final plenary session the next day.

Distinguished keynote speakers and expert panellists discussed the challenges and opportunities involved in activating economic returns for First Nations land, water, sea Country, and bio-cultural assets, identified opportunities for recalibrating existing institutions or developing new entities, and presented ideas for potential avenues of First Nations policy reform.

Listed below are the workshop discussion topics as well as facilitator, keynote speaker and discussion panel members:

Activating Land Rights and Assets

Facilitator: Professor Brian Stacey

Keynote Speaker: Professor Peter Yu AM (Vice President First Nations)

Discussion Panel: Nini Mills (CEO, Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd); Klynton Wanganeen (NNAC); Cr Abie Wright (NSWALC)


Activating Sea Country Rights and Assets 

Facilitator: Hon. Associate Professor Chris McDonald

Keynote Speaker: Stan Lui (Chair, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Indigenous Reference Group)

Discussion Panel: Bo Carne (CEO, Aboriginal Sea Company); Dr Emma Lee (Federation University); Wally Stewart (South Coast Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group); Dean Mathews (Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd)


Activating First Nations Water Rights
Mr Bruce Gorring
Keynote Speaker: Dion Creek, CEO, Cape York Land Council

Discussion Panel: Grant Rigney (MLDRIN); Professor Quentin Grafton (ANU); Teagan Goolmeer (NAILSMA)


Activating First Nations Intellectual Property Rights Facilitator: Ms Phoebe McClements

Keynote Speaker: Matthew Storey, Legal Principal and Director, Storey & Ward Lawyers

Discussion Panel: Heidi Mippy (ARC Training Centre for Healing Country and Noongar Land Enterprise Group); Paul Saeki (CEO, NAAKPA); Bruce Johnston-McLean (Assistant Director–Indigenous Engagement, National Gallery of Australia).


Activating First Nations Financial Assets
Hon. Associate Professor Russell Barnett

Keynote Speaker: Kate George (Principal, Claypan Services)

Discussion Panel: Kia Dowell (Executive Director, Indigenous Business Australia); Estelle Parker (Responsible Investment Association Australasia); Mark Hewitt (Chief Executive Officer, Anindilyakwa Land Council)

Delegates attending these invitation-only seminars made a significant contribution to progressing the First Nations economic development, prosperity and wealth creation agenda in Australia.

The aim of ‘Niiringal (the day after) – Implementation of Uluru Part 2: Using the Acquired Assets’ was to create a platform for engagement and meaningful dialogue on issues relevant to First Nations communities and organisations, business and industry sectors, government, philanthropists, and key allies and stakeholders.

The outcomes of each Murru waaruu seminar will be captured in an Issues Paper that will form part of a Policy Position Paper, to be published at the conclusion of the series. The Policy Position Paper will chart Australia’s First Nations economic policy and institutional framework with a view to achieving sustained and durable economic self-determination for future generations.