(The following guest post is by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network.)
Did you know that Indigenous people formally own 1.7 million square kilometers of land in Australia or nearly 23% of the continent and are responsible for sea management across parts of the Australian coast including 85% of the Northern Territory coastline? Indigenous people have a connection with Australian country that has existed for thousands of years.
Cultivating this connection not only brings about conservation outcomes but cultural, economic, health and education benefits. However, reliable information about the work of indigenous groups and individuals and those supporting them can be hard to find. What is the nature of this land and sea ownership, which institutions facilitate this relationship and what is the role of philanthropy in this sector? Are there good philanthropic examples we can learn from?
The Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) is holding its annual Conference on the 29th of June 2011 at the Melbourne Museum. This year the conference theme is Indigenous and environmental and funding.
International guest speaker, Diane Christensen of the U.S. based Christensen Fund, will speak about her journey in philanthropy and why the Fund focuses on Indigenous and environmental funding. Did you know that The Christensen Fund has had a long history with Australia? Its founder, Allen Christensen, visited regularly since the 1950s, and his company, Utah International, did much business here in the mining sector until its merger with BHP in Australia and General Electric in the USA in 1971 (the latter then the largest private merger on record). Subsequently Allen developed Southern Cross Mines, a joint venture evaporate salt project in Western Australia.
Other wonderful speakers will talk on issues including the relationship of Indigenous people to country, the institutions that are facilitating this relationship and the many benefits to Indigenous cultural, economic, health and education outcomes that come from helping this relationship to flourish. Together we will explore what funding has worked and why and what the role of philanthropy is and could be. We would love you to join us for this interesting and informative conference.
Jun. 08, 2011
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