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Our First Nations PowerMakers program is an intensive clean energy capacity-building initiative.

PowerMakers© is a transformative program designed to empower First Nations people to drive First Nations participation in and ownership of clean energy solutions in our communities and on Country.


Meet our PowerMakers 2023

Our inaugural delivery of PowerMakers took place between 23-27 October 2023 in Queensland. Following a competitive process, 32 First Nations participants from communities across Australia were selected from over 100 applicants.


PowerMakers Program Overview

PowerMakers is a 5-day immersive experience dedicated to providing practical and applied learning in renewable energy, including project ownership and negotiation, community energy planning, business management, and advanced energy systems.

Our goal is to equip First Nations participants with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to spearhead clean energy initiatives and make a positive impact both within their communities while also taking First Nations leadership of the clean energy transition in Australia to the next level. 

During this program, participants have the opportunity to engage with industry experts, passionate mentors, and like-minded peers. The curriculum combines theory with real-world applications, enabling participants to become leaders in the clean energy transition and progress clean energy projects successfully. 

Over the five days, we explore community energy landscapes, delve into energy engagement, planning, and the practical steps to bring renewable energy projects to life.

Participants also learn about maximising benefits for community, building strong partnerships, mastering negotiation tools, and mapping out project financing with equity in mind. We also dive into effective lobbying techniques that can make a real impact.

The PowerMakers program provides an opportunity to unite as First Nations people, to combat climate change.

Our ancestral ties to the land and deep understanding of its balance make us acutely aware of the threats posed by climate change. Embracing renewable energy is crucial to preserving our culture, heritage, and environment. By harnessing sustainable energy sources, we can honour our traditions and ensure a resilient future for generations to come.

PowerMakers provides First Nations participants with:

  • An in-depth understanding of clean energy technologies, their practical applications, and the Australian energy and policy landscape.
  • An understanding of the risks and rewards of ownership of clean energy projects.
  • Strategies and tools for effective negotiations, choosing and developing partnerships, and maximising benefits from clean energy projects (including employment strategies and other economic and entrepreneurial opportunities).
  • An understanding of project financing and equity structures associated with clean energy projects.
  • Strategies for understanding the political landscape and exercising power and influence. 
  • Strategies for effective community energy planning and creating an energy vision.


Background to PowerMakers

We are delivering our inaugural PowerMakers program in collaboration with our Canadian kin, Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE).

Similar to the First Nations Clean Energy Network, Canada’s Indigenous Clean Energy is a network of Indigenous leaders, clean energy experts, partners, and a dedicated team coming together to drive clean energy solutions for people and communities.

Canada’s Indigenous communities began seeking clean energy sovereignty and the development of community-led projects over 20 years ago. 

The vast potential of Indigenous participation in clean energy projects began to be acknowledged by government and organisations, utilities, and renewable energy companies alike.

Since then, First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities of Turtle Island (also what is known as Canada) have built on their rights and sovereignty to become some of the most powerful clean energy change agents in the country. They have developed, and own or co-own, hundreds of major renewable energy projects, and thousands of smaller, community based installations.

As the national platform for this First Peoples leadership, ICE has been sharing the clean energy experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada. 

Part of this experience includes ICE’s intensive Indigenous clean energy capacity-building program, 20/20 Catalyst, which ICE has delivered over the past eight years and which has produced over 140 clean energy leaders.

In the last decade alone, this First Nations leadership in Canada has fostered 200 medium to large renewable energy projects which have helped to generate $1.5 billion in Indigenous business and employment contracts.

Our Relationship

Though we dwell on different continents, our homes in northern and southern ecosystems, we, the First Nations Clean Energy Network of Australia and Indigenous Clean Energy have forged a bond.

A union to walk together on a journey to strengthen our collective capacity to catalyse Indigenous clean energy opportunities that embody and advance a Just Transition that is: respectful of the rights of Original Peoples; economically inclusive for a fairer society; and which accelerates clean energy projects that help address climate change.

Want to join the next PowerMakers Program?

This is a unique opportunity to be part of a transformative initiative that will not only enhance your personal skills and knowledge but also contribute to the collective progress of First Nations clean energy solutions and the role of First Nations leading the energy transition throughout Australia. 

Please become a Member of the First Nations Clean Energy Network to receive information about our next PowerMakers program. 

Only First Nations Members of the First Nations Clean Energy Network will be invited to submit an expression of interest to be considered for participation in our next PowerMakers program.