11 July 2017

Takeaways from the National Indigenous Economic Development Forum

Author :


Rex Angie, Director, Narungga Investment Company and Karen Diver Former Special Adviser to President Barack Obama on Native American Affairs and Former Chairwoman of the Native American tribe Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.















Empowerment was the key takeaway from the 4th National Indigenous Economic Development Forum in Cairns 28-30 June.

Speakers from across Australia shared stories that gave delegates practical strategies while also inspired them to keep fighting to overcome hurdles, to work together, and to improve financial and employment outcomes within their communities.

The international key note speaker, Karen Diver, Former Special Adviser to President Barack Obama on Native American Affairs and Former Chairwoman of the Native American tribe Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa received standing ovations from the delegates.


Ms Karen shared the struggles and achievements in Native American tribes’ fight to become financially independent and be recognised by the government.

Herb Smith from Dreamtime Tuka in New South Wales was another speaker who greatly moved the audience. Mr Smith started his business from scratch and has in short period of time become a  leading supplier of bush food products. One of the company's achievements is its successful partnership with Qantas to deliver bush food products on flights.

Although the message of Indigenous economic development remains the same, it is vital to come together to keep fighting for improved outcomes within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 



Mimmie grew up in Sweden and first came to Australia as a backpacker after high school. After travelling around the country for two years she returned to Europe and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in London. But the longing for Australia and the sun became too strong. After having worked for some time in the media industry, Mimmie decided to make a change and swap the news for conferences. She now gets to do what she loves the most, meeting new people and keep learning about cultures and issues while producing conferences on current topics.

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