FSC Australia recognises that as the nation’s original stewards of the land, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have historically maintained the health of Australia’s forests, and continue to perform this role through their unique knowledge of and continuing connection to lands, waters and communities.
Central to FSC Australia's engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is our Indigenous Working Group (IWG).
The IWG have played an important role in the development of the National Standard; the development and application of the Stakeholder Engagement Guidelines; and seeking opportunities for Indigenous Forest Enterprises seeking certification.
Meet the Indigenous Working Group
Heidi Mippy is a Noongar and Thiin-Mah Warriyangka women with cultural ties to the South West and Upper Gascoyne regions of WA. She works with the Noongar Land Enterprise Group supporting the organisation to promote collective strength and achieve optimum economic rewards from Noongar land-based enterprises. She has extensive experience with Indigenous Communities and has held roles within local government, the WA Police, Child Protection, Education and Training, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Service and in Native Title. Heidi offers consultancy services and volunteers her time to several Boards and Advisory Groups in the community and was recognised as the 2020 Citizen of the Year for the City of Fremantle. Heidi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Management and Adult Education, a Graduate Certificate in Business (Leadership, Strategy & Innovation) and an Executive Masters in Leadership, Strategy and Innovation. Heidi is involved in the ARC Training Centre for Healing Country and will co-lead the Socioeconomics Theme.
Members of the IWG:
Values of the IWG
The IWG celebrates Indigenous Australia’s culture and believe that for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to come together for a better future, it is important for all Australians to learn about Indigenous culture, and that Indigenous Australian’s become more aware of their own culture. The IWG celebrates Indigenous Australia’s culture and believe that for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to come together for a better future, it is important for all Australians to learn about Indigenous culture, and that Indigenous Australian’s become more aware of their own culture.
The IWG believes learning, enquiry and discovery improve lives. Working together WITH Aboriginal communities to assist people and community to become productive communities in the forestry arena.
The IWG conducts itself ethically, equitably, and for mutual benefit, inspiring openness, courage and trust.
The IWG works with and for the Aboriginal stakeholder groups to make their communities a source of strength and creativity. Enhancing the capacity of FSC, in conjunction with the Aboriginal community to make informed choices and transforming these into desired actions, outcomes and success.
Key Focus Areas for the IWG:
The IWG has absolute focus on ensuring Australia’s First Nation Peoples can benefit from the various components of the FSC system. To this end, the IWG has identified three existing community aspirations that align with FSC’s values:
- Increase Indigenous engagement in the management of Australia’s forests as well as the forest and wood products sector.
- Forest management that delivers economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits to local First Nations Peoples’ communities.
- Utilisation and transfer of traditional ecological and cultural knowledge from the old to the young.