NILSMC 2010 Program

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Keynote Speakers

B.A. (Hons) ANU, PhD Macq. U.,
A.M., F.A.S.S.A

Professor Marcia Langton

Patron and Keynote Speaker

Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies
Centre for Health and Society
Department of Population Health
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne

Marcia Langton, AM, holds the Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.  Her doctoral fieldwork was conducted in eastern Cape York Peninsula during the 1990s, and her experience of the statutory land claim and native title system in this region was informed by a decade of administration and fieldwork pertaining to Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory of Australia. She was awarded a PhD from Macquarie University in 2005. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). She is a member of the Board of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership and Chair of the Museums and Galleries of the Northern Territory Board. She was the founding Director of the Centre for Indigenous, Natural and Cultural Resource Management (CINCRM) and Ranger Professor of Aboriginal Studies at the Northern Territory University from 1995 to 1999. She is widely published on key issues in indigenous affairs.


A growing body of evidence points to both the indigenous innovations in the management and governance of land and sea and to the mobilisation of traditional ecological knowledge as potential strengths in the new challenge of climate change adaptation. The long term sustainability of many indigenous communities will depend on their ability to be innovative in adapting to climate change, and their ability to do so will be strengthened by best practice in land and sea management and mobilisation of both traditional and western knowledge of their environments.

Further, the observable effects of the application of TEK to environmental management and biodiversity conservation problems as well as a wide range of other matters, such as carbon abatement, carbon sequestration, endangered species assessment, ‘green economy’ opportunities, enhanced public health standards, are potential evidence of the adaptive capacity of indigenous communities with respect to their existing social capital, resilience and adaptive capacity.

The reticience of governments to acknowledge these matters increases the vulnerability of indigenous communities, however. The capacity of Aboriginal governance agencies and bodies, of which there are thousands, as well as enabling organisations, to lead, manage and respond to changing weather and climate challenges is hampered by isolation, poor information access, and the complexity of government funding, administration and liaison arrangements. Improvements are necessary in both Aboriginal and governmental practices relating to:

  • Sharing knowledge and resources, such as for instance, establishing networks with others in their locales and regions and further afield to ensure that they have the necessary capacity to plan and respond to climate change;
  • Improving allocation and distribution of resources;
  •  Improving the capacity of Aboriginal governance and Australian officials to respond to disaster and emergency situations and to plan for climate change adaptation.

Phil Rist, Executive Officer, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, QLD

Phil Rist is a Traditional Owner from Cardwell and the CEO of the Girrigun Aboriginal Corporation and his background stems from park management with the Qld National Parks and Wildlife Service. As CEO, Phil has experience in strong strategic governance, capacity building and sustainable organisational resilience for the nine Traditional Owner groups in the Girrigun Aboriginal Corporation.  One of Phil’s main objectives is to demonstrate mechanisms to achieve strong traditional owner engagement/management of country in populated urban areas as opposed to more remote parts of Australia. His keynote presentation will provide some advice and possible direction to Traditional Owners who live within this urbanised environment.


Girringun Aboriginal Corporation (Girringun) represents the regional and strategic interests of nine (9) Traditional Owner groups: Bandjin, Djiru, Girramay, Gugu Badhun, Gulnay, Jirrbal, Nywaigi, Warrgamay and Warungnu peoples. The organisation is a well recognised and respected advocate for Traditional Owner interests across the southern wet tropics, the northern dry tropics and part of the Great Barrier Reef coast from Mission Beach to Rollingstone in north eastern Queensland.

Girringun has successfully delivered nationally and regionally precedent outcomes, in particular collaborative regionally focused Traditional Owner – Government land and sea management with a strong emphasis on cultural survival and environmental restoration. We were privileged to host the 2nd National Land and Sea Management Conference.

This presentation offers background and context to Girringun’s operations and area of interest; the foundations to our regional approach and governance; and our key priorities.


Leanne Liddle, Project Manager, Kuka Kanyini at Watarru, SA

Leanne Liddle is an Arrente woman born in Alice Springs who has strong cultural ties across the entire APY lands. Whilst she has numerous academic qualifications, she believes her greatest and most important knowledge has come from her grandmother and great grandmother who taught her about traditional land management skills. She is presenting today with Anangu from the APY lands, from a small remote and isolated community, Watarru in the far north west of South Australia where the knowledge and skills of Aboriginal land management is still known and practiced and highly valued by DENR.


Aboriginal people have actively and effectively cared ‘for country’ for thousands of years.  The intimate knowledge of land management skills that Aboriginal hold within an inherited selective process, intertwined within Aboriginal culture remains integral to the health and well being of the environment and for Aboriginal people.

This presentation will look at the key ingredients that policy makers and government agencies need to support if they genuinely want to retain the skills that provide for the high levels of biodiversity on Aboriginal land and to work constructively alongside Aboriginal people.

Ron Naden, General Manager, Green Teams Alliance, NSW

Ron Naden is a very proud Wiradjuri descendant of central NSW. Ron has been involved and working in Aboriginal Affairs for some 30+ years.  His work  background includes near 20 years with the Department of Social Security(DSS) in income maintenance support, the Department of Education, Employment and Training(DEET) in employment opportunities, TAFE NSW in Indigenous educational development, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as Northern Cultural Heritage Officer and to date with Green Teams Alliance (GTA).


Ron will present the history and establishment of the GTA, which sits central to the Many Rivers Region (north eastern NSW) and covers an area from Tweed Heads in the north and the Hawkesbury River in the south.  With natural resource management (NRM) we have the opportunity to actually advance real employment prospects and economic development for our Aboriginal people, not just those in the Many Rivers Region but to extend the model across the nation.  Without taking too much away from much of the achievements of one of the teams presentation, Nymbaga and the GTA will have the opportunity to co-present in another workshop for this conference where examples will be provided. However, Ron will provide an overview on the model in which GTA operates which will include:

1. GTA’s business is:
•   Secure commercial contracts for land rehabilitation work for Aboriginal Green Teams (AGTs);
•   facilitate a range of vocational training for AGTs, to ensure the teams gain the qualification to carry out land and rehabilitation work effectively; and
•   Provide support and facilitate mentoring and business management development to the AGTs.

2. GTA’s reason for being and Vision includes:
•   Securing the commercial contracts for AGTs to carry out a range of NRM projects;
•   provide the contract management of such contracts;
•   establish training and education programs for AGTs and provide relevant pathways to other areas of employment in the NRM and Primary Industry field;
•   provide mentoring, business and project management services in the event of developing business creation for local AGTs; and
•   Assist and coordinate the delivery of training and development needs to emerging AGTs for the Many Rivers Region.

3. GTAs values include:
•   Self determination;
•   involvement in decision making;
•   advancement of reconciliation;
•   cultural diversity amongst AGTs; and
•   achieving real business objectives for all AGTs.

Phil Duncan, Chair, First Peoples’ Water Engagement Council, NSW

Phil Duncan is a member of the Gamilaroi Nation from Moree, North Western New South Wales. Phil is currently a Senior Policy Officer for the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council. He brings an extensive background and membership on many committees and councils including the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s, Native Fish Strategy and the Demonstration Reach Steering Committee, and was the inaugural Chair of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water’s, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee. In 2002 Phil was involved in the negotiations to establish the NSW Aboriginal Water Trust and has represented the interests of Aboriginal people in NSW on a range of other committees.


This presentation introduces the First Peoples’ Water Engagement Council (FPWEC), a national advisory body to the National Water Commission. In doing so, it discusses the recent history of Indigenous people’s engagement with water policies and programs in Australia and how the FPWEC was conceived.

The Inaugural Meeting of the National Water Commission’s FPWEC was held in Canberra on the 14 June 2010. Council members representing large networks across Australia met to determine and confirm their agreed primary role in providing advice to the National Water Commission about Indigenous issues in relation to water planning and management. Many of the issues that the FPWEC will address, such as cultural flows, allocations from the consumptive pool, and identifying opportunities for participation in water planning, will be issues that will be canvassed throughout the conference. After introducing the FPWEC, this presentation will consider the findings relating to Indigenous interests in the latest Biennial Assessment of the National Water Initiative and the FPWEC’s research schedule and other undertakings in the upcoming year.

Shirley McPherson, Chairperson, Indigenous Land Corporation

Born in Perth and raised in the Murchison region of WA, Ms McPherson is a chartered accountant. Ms McPherson has held senior positions in the private, government and university sectors and has a wealth of experience at the regional, national and international levels of government in program delivery and private business development.

Ms McPherson has worked as a consultant to the mining industry in negotiating land-use agreements in the Pilbara and Goldfields areas of WA, was the Chair of the Aboriginal Development Corporation, is a past director of the Indigenous Business Network, has worked as a mediator for the National Native Title Tribunal and is a past director of KPMG Management Consulting Services.

Ms McPherson is a member of the Australian delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. Other professional and key associations held include:
• Associate Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia;
• Certified Practising Accountant – Australian Society of CPAs;
• Member of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA on behalf of the ILC;
• Member of NT Indigenous Economic Development Forum;
• Appointed to the Australian Government’s Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce;
• Appointed to the Tourism Quality Council of Australia board member;
• Director of the MRM Community Benefits Trust Board; and
• Member of WA Premiers’ Public Sector Management Awards


In today’s world no one agency has the financial or human resources to fund large scale or regional land Management projects. Collaborating and building partnerships between Indigenous communities and organizations, State and Commonwealth agencies, the private sector and not-for-profit groups therefore becomes imperative in assisting people to dervive the maximum benefits possible from owning and managing land






Troy Mallie and Glen MacLaren (Joint Keynote Presentation)

Troy Mallie is an Eastern Kuku Yalanji man from Far North Queensland and is the Director of Cultural Systems Solutions.  Troy helps indigenous communities and organisations in Australia and the Pacific design and implement cultural and natural resource information management systems.

Troy helps to establish systems and processes that conform to cultural protocols such as gender sensitive information and sorry business. Troy also helps organisations establish site monitoring and conservation programs using standardized data collection methodologies.

Some of the projects he has worked on include Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park – NT, Chief Roi Mata’s Domain – Vanuatu and Jawoyn Association – NT.


The protection, access and management of data used to recording cultural sites and traditional knowledge continue to be a major concern for many indigenous groups.  Culturally appropriate information management systems are being implemented broadly to assist groups in the management of their own cultural and natural heritage information.  This paper discusses some of the major issues encountered during the implementation of these systems. Strategies used to address the various issues are described.


Glen MacLaren develops data management tools and processes relating to cultural and natural resource management. Glen has a degree in Forest Science from the University of Melbourne and has worked with groups throughout Australia and overseas to develop Cultural Heritage Information Management Systems customised to conform to cultural protocols and land based management objectives.


Various aspects of GIS, web and relational database technology are being used together to develop and implement Cultural and Ecological Information Management Systems (CEIMS) for Traditional owner groups, consultants and government agencies throughout Australia and overseas. These systems are designed to conform to local cultural and business protocols and allow archaeologists, ecologists and traditional owners to record photos, GPS locations site maintenance schedules and other content that describe the characteristics and management requirements of significant sites. Data summaries and reports generated from these systems are being used to pre-empt field based activities and to influence management and planning decisions. These tools have also proven to be aid communication allowing these groups to publish selected materials to third parties such as mining companies, government departments and research institutes. Hand held computing technologies are also being used to streamline the process of collating and transferring data collected in the field to these systems.

Dr Ben Hoffman (CSIRO), Mandaka Marika and Paul Augustin (Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation)

Ben Hoffman is an ecologist who has had a fascination with ants for over 20 years. Over much of the past decade, Ben’s research has focused on invasive ants, especially their biology, impacts and control. Much of this work has been conducted on Indigenous land in collaboration with ranger groups. This research has greatly improved ant management, resulting in globally significant outcomes, especially within NE Arnhemland.

Mandaka Marika is a Rirratjingu man living in Yirrkala, and is the Managing Director of Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation. He was a founding member of Dhimurru, commencing in 1993. Mandaka has a great passion for environmental management based on his strong cultural connections to his country.

Paul Augustin is the Projects Facilitator at Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, and for almost two years has been responsible for coordinating the IPA ranger team. Paul has a Bachelor in Protected Area Management, and worked with Qld Parks and Wildlife for 3 years prior to moving to Arnhem Land.


Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation has had a long and successful history of engaging external organisations and people to conduct a two-ways approach to environmental management. These partnerships have largely been highly successful and resulted in some world-class and national award winning environmental outcomes, including sea turtle management, threatened species management and exotic ant eradications. Here we detail the experience of Dhimurru and key partner organisations in combining Indigenous and western knowledge and practices.

Sam Jeffries, Co-Chair, National Congress

Mr Sam Jeffries is a proud member of the Murrawari nation from north-west NSW and southern QLD and was born and raised in Brewarrina NSW.

Active in Indigenous Affairs for more than 25 years, Mr Jeffries has worked in the cotton, hotel and meat industries, in the public service and in a range of community organisations including Barriekneal Housing and the Community Development Employment Program in Lightning Ridge.

Over the last six years as the Chairperson of Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly in Western NSW he has been a strong advocate for Aboriginal self-determination, leadership, land rights, community planning and development and better health services.

Other commitments include appointment to a range of national, state and local committees and bodies: Deputy Chair of the Indigenous Land Corporation, Chair of the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, Chair National Aboriginal Sports Corporation, member of the NSW Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme, Western Catchment Management Authority of NSW.

Previous roles include Board Member of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, Chair of the National Forum of ATSIC Regional Chairpersons and Chair Barwon Darling Alliance, an alliance between Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly and five Local Councils.


It’s now six months on from incorporating the National Congress as a private company and independent of Government - we have achieved a great deal and learnt some important lessons. During this establishment phase, we have encountered some significant challenges and identified some changes that were needed in practically implementing the Steering Committee’s report on creating a national representative body.

With more than a 1000 individual members and 80 organisations , we already have a solid foundation to build on over the years to come. The Congress is focused on holding its first national forum of its members, setting a forward agenda and holding the first elections for our Board.

The Congress remains a ground breaking model for particpation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our processes and structures are based on and driven by principles of democracy, ethics and gender parity for participants and our leaders. This model will set a new standard for all Australian companies.

We are committed to on-going engagement with our peoples, to  answer questions and seek advice to help shape the way forward.

Joe Ross, Chairperson, NAILSMA Indigenous Water Policy Group

Joe is a member of the Bunuba people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. He has extensive work and policy experience in the areas of environmental and natural resource management. Joe is also currently involved in coordinating the activities of the National Indigenous Climate Change Project, which is a national dialogue for Indigenous people on issues relating to climate change and economic development.

As Chairperson of the IWPG, Joe has been facilitating the group’s overall objectives. The primary aims of the IWPG are to raise the awareness of Indigenous people across north Australia about water reform under the National Water Initiative and to engage in research relating to Indigenous interests, rights, responsibilities and interests in water resources in the north of Australia. The broad objective is for better informed policy decisions relating to Indigenous rights to and interests in water resource management in the north of Australia.


In this keynote I will discuss broad policy principles for Indigenous engagement and the economic potential of water resource management. Indigenous people in the north of Australia are only just beginning to become aware of the government’s proposed plans for water reform and it is important for us to progress dialogue on how to better engage given the rapid emergence of state and territory water allocation planning in the north. Water reform offers one opportunity for governments to get the relationship with Indigenous people right, in terms of working forward to engage Indigenous community interests and rights that not only benefit the nation as a whole, but meaningfully address closing the gap toward Indigenous poverty and health issues. NAILSMA has been engaging in water research and policy since 2006 when it initiated the Indigenous Water Policy Group, of which I have been the Chair for the last three years. The IWPG is the only Indigenous construct in the north talking about water reform and how it may benefit Indigenous people in the north of Australia in terms of social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes. The IWPG has worked toward engaging in state, national and international policy and research arenas. It is through this level of engagement and participation that Indigenous people’s voices are beginning to develop and be heard by government policy decision makers. During this presentation I will present the relationships that have evolved with the IWPG, the debates that the IWPG have been engaged and the prospective of a number of Indigenous policy positions. The Garma Statement (2008), Mary River Statement (2009) and the NAILSMA Water Policy Statement (2009) are testaments of the seriousness we are taking toward engagement in water resource management.

Jason Field – IAC member of the Australian Delegation to the Convention of Biodiversity International Meetings, QLD

Jason Field is a Koori from the Dhurga-Yuin nation on the NSW South-Coast. He grew up and has spent most of his adult life living in Western Sydney, but since 2009 has resided on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

Jason has worked with community, public sector and higher education organisations in the areas of policy and research, administration and project management. He has also participated in a number of international for dealing with Indigenous rights.

Most recently Jason was the CEO of the South East Queensland Traditional Owners Alliance. He currently works as a consultant and adviser and sits on the Indigenous Advisory Committee and the National NAIDOC Committee.


There is much happening internationally that can be of great assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in caring for their country. It is important, however, that we remain realistic about how much value international standards and fora can add to addressing our domestic circumstances.

This presentation explores the range of options and reasons why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can and should engage internationally about caring for their country. In doing so it also presents shows how many international fora operate and which areas of engagement are likely to prove most beneficial over the next few years.

In this presentation I will also discuss other benefits and opportunities arising out of international engagement, particularly with respect to inspiring and supporting the building of capacity in young people.


Freddy Sharpe, CEO, Climate Friendly

Freddy is the CEO of Climate Friendly ( Freddy is absolutely committed to addressing the global challenge of climate change. He has worked in this arena for the last 6 years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s largest residential energy efficiency company.

Freddy has hands-on expertise in carbon markets, carbon and energy policies, energy efficiency, clean and conventional energies and infrastructure, developed in Australia and internationally for over 20 years. Freddy Sharpe is CEO of Climate Friendly, Australia’s leading carbon management business.  

Freddy speaks regularly on climate change and related topics and was honoured recently to be included in the inaugural ABC Carbon 50, a list of the 50 most influential people in Australia who are committed to the environment, the planet and the future of life on earth.


In this session, we’ll kick off with a quick gallop through the fundamentals of climate change science, to reaffirm why we need to act and also to arm ourselves with the definitive rebuttal to the sceptics.  Then we’ll look at the enormous range of options for acting that we have at our disposal.

We’ll focus on market-based responses, looking at the size and make-up of global carbon markets.  We’ll compare voluntary markets to compliance markets and the strengths and weaknesses of each.  We’ll look at the critical role of carbon offsets.  We’ll work out why people act voluntarily and how they do so.  And we’ll review the policy decisions that are needed to reinforce our appetite for action.

Finally, we’ll focus on domestic opportunities for generating offsets from land-based projects.

If acting on climate change is worth doing, and it certainly is, it’s worth doing well.  We have an enormous opportunity to address the problem here in Australia, whilst also addressing the urgent needs for improved land management, food security and closing the gap with indigenous Australians.


Students from Tagai State College, Torres Strait

Andrew Denzin, Environment Education Coordinator, Tagai College P-12 Environmental Education (DVD)


The students in the presentation are year 11 Marine Studies students. They have been selected to represent our college at the 2010 International Kids Teaching Kids Coastal Conference in late October. Their presentation highlights some of our concerns in the Torres Strait and what we focus on with many of our environmental programs. The students have selected two dances that they feel help to get their message across.      

Melissa George, Chair, Indigenous Advisory Committee

Melissa George was born in Charters Towers and grew up around the Burdekin Region. She has been actively involved in working with Traditional Owners to protecting and managing land and sea through community natural resource management projects, and liaising with and advising the Queensland and Australian Government. Ms George has been a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee (EPBC Act 1999) since 2002 and has been Chair since 2006 and was appointed as a member of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on 29 August 2008 for a four-year term.
Melissa currently lives on Magnetic Island with her two children.


Indigenous people have been custodians of the marine and terrestrial environments of Australia for millennia. Since settlement, Indigenous Australians have articulated and argued their inherent aspirations and rights regarding the continual management of lands and seas once occupied by their ancestors. In recent times however, Indigenous people in many parts have developed their caring for country capacity through organizations and groups loosely referred to as ‘rangers’. This is not exclusive and many Indigenous groups still manage country without formalised structures or references to ‘rangers’.

Nonetheless, the last decade has seen a rise in Indigenous people being actively engaged and leading planning and implementation of practical caring for country activities. The establishment of the National Oceans Office (NOO) and subsequent planning with Indigenous people in regions where it was viewed that Indigenous people brought a skill set crucial for the management of intact but threatened coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition to this, the Indigenous Protected Areas Program has proved itself to be a successful vehicle to empower Indigenous people to manage their country by placing some of their lands into the National Reserve System (NRS), addressing some of the categories for protected areas used by the IUCN.

A number of Native Title claims have established non-exclusive rights over sea country and the recent Blue Mud Bay High Court Decision provides for, amongst other things, ability for Indigenous management of sea country to improve economic opportunities. However, as Indigenous capacity has increased over the last decade through a rise in the number of declarations made, and an increase in the amount of funding for ranger wages the pressures on the long-term security of the program to continue to support Indigenous people will come under pressure.

The growth of Indigenous land and sea management around the country in the last decade has enabled Indigenous people to return, remain or reinvigorate connections to their ancestral lands and seas. The advent of the Working on Country program, increased investment into the Indigenous Protected Areas Program and increased recognition of the role of Indigenous people in managing country throughout Australia has led to the emergence of a new ‘industry’.

Whilst key groups such as the Indigenous Advisory Committee, the Indigenous Land Management Facilitator Network, and the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance have played crucial roles in establishing this industry, several other agencies have also supported this development – Land Councils, NGO’s and State/Territory governments.

Any National approach will:
1.    Articulates the aspirations of sea country managers into a national Strategic Framework;
2.    Develops a partnership with the Australian Government and others to develop policy options to the sustainable management of sea country;

The Framework has key objectives that are to:
1.    Assert and promote the management responsibilities of Indigenous Traditional Owners;
2.    Ensure the strategic participation of Indigenous traditional owners in Sea Country planning and policy are established;
3.    Achieve greater participation of Indigenous people in marine based commercial and labour market activities
4.    Achieve greater Indigenous participation in Sea Country research and monitoring (capacity to set direction, priorities and to participate);
5.    Develop and implement a national Caring for Sea Country investment strategy that aims to improve co-investment into sea country management from various sectors.


Moderator - Ernie Dingo

Ernie Dingo has earned enormous respect as a performer capable of extraordinary versatility.  His talents as an actor, television host, reporter and comedian  have made him one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers, most recently starring in the very successful feature film BRAN NUE DAE.

In 1979, Ernie was offered the lead role in the play Kullark in Perth.  His subsequent theatre work includes a national tour of Jack Davis’ The Dreamers, a US tour of State of Shock in 1985 (which also played in Sydney and at the National Playwrights’ Conference in Canberra in 1984), Bran Nue Dae, Tourmaline, a visit to Poland with the Gardzienile Zubrycka Theatre Association as part of a Foreign Affairs cultural relations program in 1987 and working as a stand-up comic at Sydney’s Trade Union Club.

Ernie’s first major television role was in Tudawali (1987) for which he received an Australian Film Institute Award nomination for Best Actor in a Television Drama.  He accepted on behalf of the production a Special Jury Prize at the Banff Television Festival in Canada.

His numerous other television credits include The Cowra Breakout (1984), Dirtwater Dynasty (1987), Clowning Around (1991), A Waltz Through the Hills (1987), for which he won an AFI Award for Best Actor in a Television Drama, the comedy series Fast Forward (1989), The Flying Doctors (1992), Heartland (1994) and the lavish Barron Entertainment production of Kings in Grass Castles (1996) based on the novel by Dame Mary Durack.

Ernie’s film credits include Dead Heart (1996), The Fringe Dwellers (1985), Crocodile Dundee II (1987), Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (1987), Capuccino (1988), Wim Winder’s Until the End of the World (1990) and Mr Electric (1993).  

He was with the top rating Seven Network program THE GREAT OUTDOORS since it began in 1992.  Ernie also was the  host of THE WORLD AROUND US on the Seven Network from 1998 until 2001, and has fronted numerous other Seven productions, including two Olympic specials and Melbourne’s Comedy Gala.  His most recent television productions are OUTBACK WILDLIFE RESCUE and NO LEAVE NO LIFE.  

Ernie is a passionate advocate for his people and is vigilant about the portrayal of Aboriginals in film and television.  He has won numerous awards and accolades and in 1997 was declared one of Australia’s Top 100 “national living treasures”.

In 1990, Ernie was awarded the General Division of the Order of Australia by Her Majesty the Queen.  In 1994, he was voted “Aboriginal of the Year” by the NAIDOC Committee and “Personality of the Year” by the Australian Caption Centre.  In 2004 he was again recognised for his work when he was awarded the Deadly Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television’.

He was awarded the 1999 People’s Choice Award for ‘Favourite TV presenter’ – his fellow nominees in the category were Ray Martin, Daryl Somers and Bert Newton.



Cultural Tours

Mutawintji National Park: Full Day Tour – Monday 1st November, 2010
Buses Depart: 08.00am   
Buses Return: 5.00pm
Distance Total: 270kms
Lunch Provided

Mutawintji was one of the most important Law Business places in far-western NSW and was also the first National Park to be returned to Aboriginal Ownership in the state. It also happens to be home to the only population of Yellow-Footed Rock Wallabies in NSW.  

Dominated by the fiery red Bynguano Range, the park contains four main gorges which are each named after different coloured ochre.  The landscape is scattered with fresh water holes with some never running dry making this sacred place an oasis in the semi-arid desert.  Kangaroos, Emus and incredibly diverse birdlife can be found resting in the shade of River Red Gums , Cypress Pine, Mulga and Beefwood trees (which are a remnant rainforest species).
First, you will be taken into the Mutawintji Culture Centre to listen to a traditional Dreamtime creation story, then, on one half of the tour you will view the painted, stencilled and engraved rock art along the Stencil Galleries.  The other half of the tour consists of a visit to the Engraving Gallery.  This is the biggest single collection of Panaramitee Engravings in south eastern Australia numbering in the thousands.

Mutawintji National Park: Half Day Tour – Friday 5th November, 2010

Buses Depart: 1.00pm 
Buses Return: 6.00pm
Distance Total: 270kms
Afternoon Tea Provided

You will be taken into the Mutawintji Culture Centre to listen to a traditional Dreamtime creation story, then, on one half of the tour you will view the painted, stencilled and engraved rock art along the Stencil Galleries.  The other half of the tour consists of a visit to the Engraving Gallery.  This is the biggest single collection of Panaramitee Engravings in south eastern Australia numbering in the thousands.



Art Business - gallery tour
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery

Find out more about Art Business with a tour of the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery with an Indigenous artist. Learn about the economics of how the Gallery works including fundraising (donations, grants, retail, commissions etc), assisting artists develop professionally through exhibitions and outreach as well as through working with other organisations to develop professional opportunities, such as workshops.

3pm- 4pm Monday 1 November Entry $5 donation towards the art acquisition fund
3pm- 4pm Friday 5 November Entry $5 donation towards the art acquisition fund

National Indigenous Land and Sea Management Conference
Leading Sustainable Traditions
2 to 5 November 2010, Broken Hill