MoU to Increase Indigenous Participation in the Queensland Resources Sector

INFORMATION – for Traditional Owner groups interested in nominating youth to participate in a youth governance program.

Since 2016, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), in partnership with resource companies and other sponsors, has been delivering governance programs for Traditional Owner groups involved in Queensland’s resources sector. On 13-15 March 2020, the weekend preceding the International Indigenous Conference in Brisbane on 16-18 March 2020, the QRC is partnering with Shell’s QGC business to convene a governance program specifically designed for Traditional Owner youth. The program goal is to empower youth with the knowledge and motivation to get involved in their Traditional Owner organisations, to help shape the future of their First Nations.

What will the program cover?
The program will focus on issues such as:

  • Understanding our journey as a First Nation and where we want to go:
    – What’s our story as a First Nation?
    – Where do we want to be in 20, 30 years’ time?
  • Hearing the stories of other Indigenous Groups in nation-building:
    – Case studies of successful Traditional Owner Groups in Australia (especially those involved with the resources sector)
  • Native title and it’s role in nation-building and (re-building):
    – What are native title rights and what opportunities do they create for economic and social development?
    – What is the process for getting native title recognised and what are the structures to manage a groups native title?
  • Understanding how corporations work, so a Traditional Owner Group can make collective decisions, manage resources and deliver outcomes for people:
    – What is governance and what role did corporations play?
    – How do First Nations balance western ways and traditional ways through a corporation (‘governing two ways’)?
    – How can members (especially youth) get involved in their corporations?
    – How do corporations ensure succession planning and renewal?
  • Pursuing economic opportunities for Traditional Owners:
    – How to maximise training and job opportunities for Traditional Owners
    – Getting into business and using Traditional Owners’ natural advantages
  • Developing social and cultural programs for building First Nations
    – Revitalising language and capturing history
    – How technology can help Traditional Owners store and protect their cultural assets and knowledge
  • Strengthening cultural identity and leadership for Traditional Owner youth
    – What holds young people back from getting involved?
    – What are the enablers and opportunities for youth and what can they bring to the table?

How will the program be delivered?
The format of the program will have the following features:

  • It is a weekend program, commencing late on the afternoon of Friday 13th March 2020 (at 5:00pm) and concluding on the afternoon of Sunday 15th March 2020 (at about 3:00pm), prior to the opening of the International Indigenous Governance Conference.
  • Between 20 and 40 participants, drawn from a number of Traditional Owner groups from southern and central Queensland involved in the resources industry.
  • Held at Queensland University of Technology (venue for the international conference) or a nearby venue in Brisbane CBD.
  • Organised and delivered by Dr Michael Limerick (Lead Facilitator) and Mel Sutton (Assistant Facilitator), with a number of guest facilitators.
  • Asked by volunteer ‘Governance Friends’ (small group facilitators) who are drawn mostly from QRC’s networks of company participants in the MoU partnership.
  • Guest speakers invited from other Traditional Owner groups around Australia and potentially including international speakers traveling for the conference.

What is the cost?
The program will be sponsored by the Queensland Resources Council and their corporate and government partners, so there will be no cost for youth to participate as part of the program:

  • Friday night dinner
  • Saturday morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Sunday morning tea and lunch

Traditional Owner corporations will be responsible for meeting the travel, accommodation and other meal expenses of youth who they nominate to attend. However, with Shell sponsorship, QRC is offering a capped travel subsidy for up to five youth (aged 15-35) from any Traditional Owner group who has a native title or cultural heritage agreement with Shell. This is payable to the nominating Traditional Owner corporation after the program. The travel subsidy is also available for youth who wish to stay on after the weekend program to attend the International Indigenous Governance Conference on 15-18 March 2020. See attached information sheet for details and availability.

What is the time commitment?
The time commitment is from late Friday afternoon (at 5:00pm) 13th March to Sunday afternoon (About 3:00pm) 15th March 2020, plus optionally the 3 days for the International Indigenous Governance Conference from 16-18 March 2020.

Which youth members of an interested Traditional Owner Group can or should participate?
The program is intended for Traditional Owner youth aged (15-35)who are actively involved, or interested in becoming more involved, in the group’s governance or business affairs. Participants do not need to be corporation members or directors.

What did past participants say about the QRC’s Traditional Owner Governance Programs?
Feedback surveys were conducted with participants following each of the past 3-day forums. Following the completion of the program, 100% of participants said they would recommend the program to other members of Traditional Owner groups. Reasons given by participants included:

“It’s rich in information, knowledge, network-building.”

“It’s real, honest and worthwhile.”

“It’s like a great corroboree – a positive gathering.”

Other comments by past program participants included:

“I most liked the networking and listening to others discuss and share their learnings”.

“Great to hear stories of other groups – to see what has been beneficial to others and what we can use ourselves“.

“It was very beneficial as we are a new organisation”.

“… the program highlighted areas and issues for our own PBC and community to move forward and it has given insight and enabled development for ideas/options for resolving these issues.”

“I liked everything about this workshop. Need to have more of it. Should put it into every organisation across the board.”

“I think the Governance Friends is a really interesting model and I think there was real benefit in freeing the group up to talk/think and have someone to facilitate/challenge etc.”

“I most liked the procedures and tools designed to quickly translate the learnings/information to the actual specific situation of each TO group and systematically identify actions to take into the future.”

“Extremely useful….. I liked just coming together with other groups and being able to expand contacts.”

“I most liked learning after listening to other Traditional Owners…. Great knowledge.”

“It was very informative. The presenters were inspiring. Very practical solutions.”

“It’s the first governance course actually guiding us there and how to deal with being a director... I liked the health checks the most… There’s a lot that you don’t realise that is involved with governance relating to native titles besides Western society governance.”

“All modules were very informative and increased my knowledge in all areas, even though I had some previous knowledge. The presentations were also very informative. It was very interesting to learn what other groups have developed and their achievements and their future aspirations. The whole workshop has given me insights into areas in which our group to pursue.”

Participants were very positive about benefits of undertaking the program and the program content and structure. All participants of past programs rated the program as more than 4 out of 5 on all indicators.

Further information
To seek further information, please contact one of the program convenors as per the contact details below.

Register to participate in the program
To register your participation in the Program, please complete the registration form. There are two steps, although both forms can be sent at the same time if the names are known from the outset:

  • Registration Form A – to register whether your Traditional Owner corporation is intending to send youth participants to the program. This is due by Friday 28 February 2020.
  • Registration Form B – to register the names of the youth representatives (up to 5) from your Traditional Owner corporation who will participate in the program. This is due by Friday 6 March 2020. You may wish to run an Expression of Interest process across your group’s youth members to choose the representatives who will attend.



Name: Michael Limerick – Partnership Facilitator
Phone: 0439 092 911

Name: Mel Sutton – Partnership Facilitator
Phone: 0404 805 177


(A partnership between the Qld Government & the Qld Resources Council)


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