‘The imperative for dhalang-girr (a new way) Part 2: Self-determination or the highway?’ was the fourth 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 practitioners and scholars to ensure 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 Four – scheduled for 16 August 2023 at the Australian National University in Canberra – examined economic self-determination as a human right, and contemplated how First Nations realise economic self-determination.

There has been considerable research both within Australia and internationally that demonstrates the significant socio-economic multipliers associated with activities that promote and realise First Nations economic self-determination. Drawing on an evidence-base that demonstrates these multipliers can be achieved through self-determination models in Australia and that they will deliver substantially better socio-economic outcomes than the status quo will be vital to making the case for change.

Join prominent First Nations leaders and entrepreneurs, public figures, policymakers, scholars and industry authorities as they deliberated comparative benefits of a First Nations self-determination model that comprises:

  • The nature of economic and social multipliers from an economics theory and practical perspective.
  • A synthesis of global research into economic and social multipliers associated with First Nations businesses and self-determination frameworks.
  • Case studies that demonstrate the First Nations economic and social multipliers in practice.

The outcomes of each Murru waaruu seminar will be captured in an Issues Paper that will ultimately 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.

Listed below are the seminar session topics, keynote speakers and discussion panel members:

Keynote Speaker: June Oscar AO (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Australian Human Rights Commission), Economic self-determination as a human right


Case Study 1 – Centrefarm, Joe Clarke, Group General Manager

Case Study 2 – Aboriginal Sea Company, Bo Carne, Chief Executive Officer

Case Study 3 – Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation, Rebecca Girdwood, Chief Executive Officer

Case Study 4 – Noongar Land Enterprise Group, Oral McGuire, Director and Alan Beattie, Chief Executive Officer

Case Study 5 – Carey Mining, Moses PanasheChief Executive Officer

Case Study 6 – Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Rodney Carter, Chief Executive Officer

Case Study 7 – Yawoorroong Miriuwung Gajerrong Yirrgeb Noong Dawang Aboriginal Corporation (MG Corporation), Lawford Benning, Executive Chair


Discussion Panels – Moderator: Peter Yu AM

  • Joe Clarke, Centrefarm
  • Bo Carne, Aboriginal Sea Company
  • Rebecca Girdwood, Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation
  • Oral McGuire, Noongar Land Enterprise Group
  • Rodney Carter, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
  • Lawford Benning, MG Corporation