Indigenous Land and Rights

Australia was forcibly occupied and colonised by Europeans after the bloody Frontier Wars with the First Nations of Australia. No treaty/s were signed and sovereignty was never ceded.

Friends of the Earth acknowledges the ongoing struggle for land and rights of indigenous peoples and encourages its members and supporters to be good allies in those struggles.

Friends of the Earth actively seeks to work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on campaigns, and notes the inseparable nature of environmental considerations from social issues, and this extends to the social, cultural, political and historical context of Australian Indigenous people.

We seek to develop alliances with indigenous people to advance their priorities as well as securing good environmental outcomes. Fundamental to this is the commitment not to undermine the decision making structures of indigenous people or ventures simply to gain environmental outcomes.

All Friends of the Earth campaigns and affiliates are encouraged to actively seek working relationships with Traditional Owners.

Our Vision

  • Friends of the Earth Australia acknowledges the sovereignty of indigenous nations throughout Australia and that sovereignty should be reinstated.
  • To work collaboratively with Traditional Owners in our environmental campaigns, especially where indigenous lands and communities are directly impacted.
  • To help develop a wider appreciation of indigenous people’s land and water management knowledge, and to see that knowledge utilised in care for the natural environment.
  • An environment movement that provides, where requested, political support, information and resources to Indigenous communities.

Successful Collaborations

  • Working with the Yorta Yorta community we helped secure the creation of the Barmah National Park in Victoria, which protects around 100,000 hectares of Red Gum and wetland ecosystems in northern Victoria.
  • Working with the Mirrar people and other environmental organisations we helped stop the development of the Jabiluka uranium mine in Kakadu in the Northern Territory.
  • Working with the Kupa Pita Kunga Tjuta, we stopped the development of a radioactive waste dump on indigenous lands in northern South Australia

Working with Indigenous groups from across Australia, Friends of the Earth is actively involved in the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, which is opposing all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle in the country

Indigenous Land & Rights News

Australia was colonised and the resulting Frontier Wars stripped land and rights from the original inhabitants who for millennia maintained a sustainable custodianship over these lands.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders live 10 - 17 years less than non-Aboriginal Australians and the infant mortality rates are more than twice than...
Friends of the Earth Melbourne and Quit Coal campaigners joined with concerned citizens gathered outside Jemena’s Melbourne headquarters to protest against the Federal government...
Founded in 1975, and currently published three times a year, Chain Reaction is the national magazine of Friends of the Earth Australia. The August...