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First Nations Alliances Protecting Country

This page highlights a variety of First Nations groups that have come together to protect and manage land and sea country across the country.


The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation is an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit established 'to create economic independence for First Nations peoples through a variety of innovative solutions, including carbon farming opportunities and cultural fire credits’. 

The Foundation supports carbon farming projects led by Indigenous rangers. It connects Aboriginal communities who supply carbon credits with organisations seeking to offset their carbon pollution and provides training for Indigenous rangers.



The First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance is a coalition of member organisations from across Australia – including major Native Title, Land Rights, Traditional Owner, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations.

The Alliance embodies the principle that we must ourselves determine our lives, our rights, our responsibilities, our Cultures and our future.

The Alliance is working to reform Cultural Heritage Legislation and protection.



According to Awu Alaya fire knowledge, there are different kinds of fire recognised in the knowledge system. Each fire is considered in relation to particular qualities and needs of Country and specific conditions. 

The Firesticks Alliance operates across Australia, investing in people, communication pathways, education, and on-ground land management work to create a resilient social and ecological landscape.

Firesticks run many events – from local and regional community workshops to the annual National Custodians of Country gathering.



Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) is focussed on caring for rivers and achieving water rights for First Nations people.

The group includes delegates from more than 20 First Nations, from Macquarie River in Wiradjuri Country, to the Coorong and Lower Lakes on Ngarrindjeri Country in South Australia.

The group aims to:

  • speak up as one collective voice to defend the right and interests of the First Nations members’ traditional country and its people
  • advance First Nations members rights to protect, manage and own water resources on their traditional Country
  • facilitate and advocate for the participation of Nations with different levels of government to influence decisions on Natural Resource Management.

Cultural Flows

In 2007, MLDRIN created the Echuca Declaration, a statement outlining First Nations’ rights and aspirations in water management.

A key part of the Echuca Declaration was a definition of Cultural Flows, a way of translating Indigenous people’s water rights, needs and aspirations into the language of modern water management.

First Nations have the right to own and manage water on our Country to support self-determination.

 Just as ‘environmental flows’ are needed to sustain the ecological values of rivers, ‘cultural flows’ are needed to support the cultural traditions and community development needs of First Nations.

MLDRIN is working to make sure Cultural Flows are recognised by Australian governments.

National Cultural Flows Research Project

The National Cultural Flows Research Project was working to secure the embedding of First Nations' water allocations within Australia's water planning and management regimes, to deliver cultural, spiritual and social benefits as well as environmental and economic benefits, to Aboriginal communities in the Murray-Darling Basin and beyond.

The Cultural Flow Field Studies Final Report brings together what was learnt and describes their implications for cultural flows more broadly across Australia, and includes:



The Nari Nari Tribal Council (NNTC) was formed by a group of Aboriginal people interested in the protection of both Indigenous culture and history, and the environment.

Nari Nari Tribal Council aims to become an example of culture and heritage protection and enhancement, environmental awareness and reconciliation, and sets itself to be a respected and revered organisation within both the Aboriginal and wider community.

In 2013, as part of the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the New South Wales and Australian Governments purchased 19 separate properties and their water extraction rights in the Lower Murrumbidgee Valley. The conglomerated super property became known as Nimmie-Caira (now referred to as Gayini – the Nari Nari word for water). Gayini is a 87,816 hectare property now owned and managed by the Nari Nari Tribal Council for the conservation of its precious wildlife, the development of sustainable agriculture and the protection of cultural heritage. 

The Nari Nari Tribal Council plans to introduce other sustainable land uses at Gayini including carbon farming, education and ecotourism.