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 First Nations 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 First Nations Forest Enterprises seeking certification.

Forest 5

Values of the IWG

  • Cultural

    The IWG celebrates First Nations Australia's culture and believes that for a better future, it is essential for all Australians to learn about Indigenous culture. Additionally, it is important for First Nations Australians to deepen their own cultural awareness. By fostering mutual understanding, both First Nations and non-First Nations Australians can come together more effectively.

  • Innovation

    The IWG believes learning, enquiry and discovery improve lives. Working together WITH First Nations communities to assist people and community to become productive communities in the forestry arena.

  • Integrity

    The IWG conducts itself ethically, equitably, and for mutual benefit, inspiring openness, courage and trust.

  • Empowerment

    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 First Nations 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.