Words – April Pressler
An exclusive FCA briefing with Western Australia (WA) Indigenous leader, Dr Anne Poelina, was held on Monday 3 May 2021 via Zoom, followed by Q&A with FCA members.
Dr Poelina is Chair of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council, as well as Adjunct Professor at Nulungu Research Institute, University of Notre Dame, and also Research Fellow, Australian National University. She is a very engaging and high-profile Indigenous leader, spokesperson and academic, and she is a Traditional Owner of part of the Fitzroy River, which is in Western Australia’s West Kimberley region, and which is the largest river catchment flowing to the eastern coast of Australia. Anne Poelina is currently a member of a group of Indigenous leaders representing many areas of Australia, who are seeking to develop equitable standards and protocols which their communities can use when negotiating with outsiders who wish to use natural resources based in their lands. Anne talked to FCA members about her advocacy work and she discussed the many deep concerns of Indigenous leaders and communities on the dangers now posed by mining and the understanding and the essential protection which is required for survival and viability of the vital Fitzroy River and water, the essence of life.