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Clean energy transition will bring opportunities for First Nations

The First Nations Clean Energy Network congratulates the First Nations Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on their incredibly successful Summit held earlier this month.

The First Nations Clean Energy Network attended the FNCCI Summit held in Gladstone from 31 May – 1 June.

Steering Group member Ruby Heard said the FNCCI did a fantastic job of ensuring conversations at the Summit emphasised the opportunities the clean energy transition can bring to the region, whilst also stoking the confidence of First Nations to have a leading role in self-determining our own futures.

She said Gooreng Gooreng man and Ambassador for First Nations People, Justin Mohamed spoke to the audience at the Summit of the "important work" the First Nations Clean Energy Network was doing, emphasising First Nations knowledge is vital to finding climate solutions.

"This Government wants to hear, needs to hear, First Nations input".

He said our people have shown enormous patience and courage through a history of non-Indigenous people making decisions for us, but there's a new way of doing business. He called First Nations people the first diplomats of this country.

"The whole vibe of the conference was that we were ready to step into that role again and self determine our futures," said Ruby.

In addition to the work by FNCCI to bring the Summit together, other highlights included hearing from:

  • Matthew Cooke, FNCCI Chairman and also Chairman of the First Nations Bailai, Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng Taribelang Bunda Peoples Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, about the need for First Nations equity in projects
  • lawyer Kerrin Anderson about the importance of getting corporate structures right for unlocking opportunities after a native title determination
  • Justin Saunders, Executive Director of Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation about the challenges and obstacles – and opportunities – for industry and First Nations organisations in infrastructure developments, and importantly, the mutual benefits that only First Nations partnerships can bring, along with the special knowledge of the land and waters “that only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders understand”.