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Media Release: First Nations Clean Energy Symposium: Renewables boom for all

As the Albanese government commits to prioritising Australia’s renewables boom and enshrining a First Nations voice to Parliament, a two day symposium in Melbourne will bring together First Nations communities, government, industry, unions and experts, to ensure First Nations people play a central role and benefit from the opportunities this creates. 

WHEN: 9am-5pm, Thurs 21- Fri 22 July 2022.  MEDIA CONFERENCE: 10.40AM Thurs, The Savoy Ballroom. Chair, National Native Title Council Kado Muir, First Nations Clean Energy Network architects Karrina Nolan + Chris Croker and Les Schultz, Ngadju elder currently negotiating a green hydrogen project in WA.
WHERE: Grand Hyatt, 123 Collins St, Melbourne. Sessions open to media on request.
SPEAKERS include: Asst Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator Jenny McAllister; Economist Ross Garnaut AC; Inventor and ‘Big Switch’ author Saul Griffith; ARENA; CEOs of Clean Energy Council and Australian Hydrogen Council; International First Nations leaders Brett Isaac, CEO of Navajo Power and Freddie Campbell from Canada’s Indigenous Clean Energy Network

key sessions can be made available. BACKGROUNDER here.

List of possible spokespeople here.

Federal Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Senator Jenny McAllister said, “First Nations people will be essential to Australia’s clean energy transition, with the potential to build strong partnerships and opportunities for community. I’m delighted to be a part of this important conversation at the symposium.”

Karrina Nolan, Executive Director of Original Power and a key architect of the First Nations Clean Energy Network said, Right now the Federal government has its foot on the clean energy accelerator. The First Nations Clean Energy Network is positioning our communities to work with government and industry to shape how clean energy is done. The network will help reform policy, design projects and ensure First Nations people are at the heart of the renewables boom.

If done well, clean energy will provide a big boost to our communities. We have an opportunity to do development right this time, protecting country and sacred sites while delivering reliable power, jobs and economic opportunity for our communities.”

Kado Muir, Chair of the National Native Title Council said, The First Nations land estate is under siege. There is an expectation by industry and government that our involvement ends with handing over our land for big development projects. This is an old and outdated way of thinking.

“We want to be active participants in the economy of renewable energy, as owners of projects, technology and power distribution into markets.”

Chris Croker, Managing Director, Impact Investment Partners and First Nations Clean Energy Network Steering Group member said, "Greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement is fundamental to the massively growing clean energy industry and investments. 

“It should be a win-win. First Nations can assist in unlocking new energy investments and use clean energy to address any energy security issues, opening the door for greater economic advancement and ensuring a clean energy future for our people.”

For interview: Key spokespeople and other panelists on request, see here.

CONTACT: Alison Orme 0432 332 104 [email protected] and Sarah Easson 0419 228 642 [email protected]


Areas to be explored at the Symposium

  • First Nations’ international renewables experience in Canada and the US.
  • Best practice principles for industry to promote strong, productive relationships with First Nations communities.
  • Challenges and opportunities in medium to large scale projects, from hydrogen to microgrids.
  • Community-owned renewable projects to deliver lower-cost, reliable energy.
  • Advocating for a national policy framework to ensure First Nations participate in and benefit from clean energy.
  • Negotiating and making strong agreements and supporting native title rights.

Further context and background to the First Nations Clean Energy Network here.

First Nations Clean Energy Network website: