Online Book Launch – Declaration of Peace for Indigenous Australians and Nature

May 21, 2024
12:00 pm (AEST)
Online (via Zoom)

Join us on 21 May, to celebrate the launch of an amazing book - "Declaration of Peace for Indigenous Australians and Nature".  The online launch will feature short talks and selected readings by several of the book's authors, including: Anne Poelina, Tyson Yunkaporta, Chels Marshall, Ross Williams, Michelle Maloney and Michael Davis.


This groundbreaking book delves into the lived experiences and collective wisdom of Indigenous communities impacted by colonialism. Through collaborations with non-Indigenous colleagues, this book seeks to inform current legal practices and advocate for a transformative shift toward justice, equity, and the recognition of First Law and Earth-centered law. By presenting Indigenous stories as case studies and incorporating the collective wisdom gained through extensive discussions and exchanges with non-Indigenous colleagues, the authors highlight the ways in which Australian law falls short in upholding holistic principles and fails to align with First Law and Earth-centered law. The book invites readers to consider alternative legal futures that are rooted in respect, justice, and the well-being of both Indigenous peoples and the natural environment. Through its thought-provoking analysis, literature reviews, and insights from Indigenous leaders, this book serves as a powerful resource for legal practitioners, policymakers, scholars, and anyone passionate about social justice and environmental sustainability. The book aims to ignite meaningful dialogue and inspire concrete actions to address the historical injustices faced by Indigenous peoples while fostering a more inclusive and equitable legal framework for the generations to come.




Professor Anne Poelina is a Nyikina Warrwa woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She is an active community leader, human and earth rights advocate, film maker and a respected academic researcher. PhD, PhD, MEd, MPH&TM, MA. Anne is the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) inaugural First Nations appointment to its independent Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences (2022). She is also a member of the Institute for Water Futures, Australian National University, Canberra. She was awarded the Kailisa Budevi Earth and Environment Award on International Women’s Day (2022) as recognition forher global standing. She is also the ambassador for the Western Australian State Natural Rangelands Management (NRM) (2022). In 2017, she was awarded a Laureate from the Women’s World Summit Foundation (Geneva). Anne is a Peter Cullen Fellow for Water Leadership (2011). Anne believes we can dream together, as human beings, and start to live in harmony with each other and with our non-human families - otherwise, Mother Earth will be lonely. To read more about Anne's work, please visit her profile page here.


Dr Mary Graham is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Queensland. She grew up in South-East Queensland, and is a Kombu-merri person through her father’s heritage and a Wakka Wakka clan member through her mother’s heritage. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Mary has worked across several government agencies, community organisations and universities. Mary has been a dedicated lecturer with the University of Queensland, teaching Aboriginal history, politics and comparative philosophy. Mary has written and published many prominent works including – publications in the Aboriginal Encyclopaedia, training modules for Cross Cultural Awareness and a host of academic papers. To read more about Mary's work, please visit her profile page here.


Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. His first book, Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Change the World, was awarded the Ansari Institute's Nasr Book Prize awarded to an author who explores global issues using Indigenous perspectives. His second book 'Right Story, Wrong Story' is now available. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.


Ross [Timmulbar] Williams is a proud Bindal descendent of the Mt Elliot, Townsville and Cape Cleveland clans and the Juru people of Bowen region on his father’s side, and Erub and Mer in the Torres Straits through his mother’s side. Ross has worked for more than four decades on a range of land management and governance projects, including working with First Nations organisations and the Queensland Government. Ross is also involved in youth mentoring and cross-cultural training and education. Ross lives and works on the lands of the Yuggera and Turrbal clans and peoples (Brisbane/Meeanjin), and recognises them as the rightful Traditional Owners of their traditional estates.


Dr Chels Marshall is a cultural systems ecologist belonging to Gumbaynggirr Jagunfrom the Baga Baga/Ngambaa clan (Northern NSW). Dr Marshall has extensive experience in environmental science and marine science and management and a PhD on traditional knowledge systems and climate change in the Pacific, with the school of International Governance at the Australian National University. She currently holds a Masters in Marine Science and Management from the National Marine Science Centre /University of New England on Spatial Analysis of Indigenous Marine Associations in Gumbaynggirr Nation. Chels also has Degrees in Wildlife Management and Cultural Resource Management. She has worked within the NSW Government for 27 years in coastal management, karst (Caves), wildlife management, policy and protection development, operations and co-operative and integrated cultural land/sea scape management. Over the last 28 years Chels has also been actively involved locally and nationally in increasing the capacity of Aboriginal people to participate in land & Sea Country management, planning, research and monitoring. Dr Marshall also sits on a number of ministerial councils that provide advice, analysis and direction to the NSW and Australian Government on Fisheries and Marine research, Protected Management regarding policy, legislation and initiatives that affect Aboriginal cultural values, providing advice and analysis on the Ecological and Cultural values of marine estate as it relates to technical, ecological, climatic and cultural engagement of Aboriginal people and associated cultural values and issues. Dr Marshall is a Senior Research Fellow in the Deakin University Indigenous Knowledges Systems (IKS) Lab of the NIKIRI Institute, implementing cultural ecological knowledge and First Nations science frameworks to creating virtual and physical environments for sharing knowledge through art, science and Indigenous metaphysics.


Dr Michelle Maloney is Co-Founder and Director of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) and Future Dreaming. She has more than 30 years’ experience designing and managing programs  aimed at supporting Earth-centred systems change, to respond to climate change, build Earth-centred governance and support cross-cultural ecological knowledge sharing. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and History) and Laws (Honours) from the Australian National University and a PhD in Law from Griffith University. Michelle lives and works on the traditional lands of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi clans and peoples, in what is now Narangba, in South East Queensland. To read more about Michelle's work, please visit her profile page here.


Dr Michael Davis is a historian and interdisciplinary researcher. He holds Honorary Research positions with the University of Sydney and with the MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Michael works in environmental humanities, climate change, including its impacts in Australia andthe Pacific, Indigenous/European histories of encounter, history of anthropology, and postcolonial studies. His work engages with academia and government, and with Australian Aboriginal community, and other non-government organisations.Michael is well published, and recent works include ‘River thinking: towards a holistic approach to watery places in the human imaginary’, inVoicing Rivers, Special Issue of River Research and Applications Journal. Michael’s works also include a co-edited collection (with Joni Adamson), Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledges, Forging New Constellations of Practice (Routledge Earthscan, 2017), and Writing Heritage: The Depiction of Indigenous Heritage in European-Australian Writings (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2007).


Donna Bagnall is an Australian lawyer and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) who has worked in the field of taxation policy and advocacy for the past 15 years, and prior to that asa taxation specialist and professional adviser for more than 12 years. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland, and postgraduate Accounting qualifications from the University of NSW. Donna has Indigenous ancestry from Biripai Country (Boolumbahtee / Manning River), as well as First Fleet convict ancestry. Her passion is advocating for healthy and fair tax, legal and economic systems to deliver sustainable outcomes. She is asystems-thinker and a problem-solver who is focused on fixing broken systems in Australia and globally by identifying and addressing the structural flaws in our laws, policies and decision-making processes that underpin our democracy. She holds a Master of Sustainability and Climate Policy from Curtin University, WA. Her Masters dissertation was on the intersection of native title law and Equity (rights and remedies)to create pathways for sustainable economic development on Country for native title holders. She also volunteers with the Environmental Defenders Office and was on the Board of the Australian Conservation Foundation.


Shola Diop's heritage combines Nigerian Yoruba ancestry from his father and Australian South Sea Islander descent from his mother with heritage to Tanna, Santo and Ambae Island, Vanuatu. This background has shaped his approach in both personal and professional spheres. Professionally, Diophas extensive experience in investment management, working with institutions like Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young, and PIMCO in areas such as asset management and social finance. He currently holds the position of Infrastructure Finance Manager for an Australian impact investment firm, where he applies his financial expertise to produce social and environmental outcome globally. Since 2009, Shola has also acted as treasurer and co-founding board member of Australian South Sea Islanders - Port Jackson (ASSIPJ), an Australian NFP focused on social justice and community development across Australian South Sea Islander, Pacific Islander and First Nations communities. His role in ASSIPJ has been concentrated on human rights advocacy through the Australian Pacific labour mobility programs and fostering social impact initiatives for community development. Shola’s academic qualifications include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy from The University of Oxford (UK) and Bachelor Degree Finance from Winthrop University (USA).


Dr. Nadeem Samnakay is an environment and sustainability policy specialist and has worked in land and water management policy domains in Australia and internationally. He has worked extensively in public policy and undertakes environmental consultancy projects relating to policy reforms, seeking to improve policy and governance processes at the nexusof environment and society. He has a casual lecturer in environmental policy and environmental governance courses at the Australian National University and a researcher in areas of water and climate policy.


Regenerative Songlines Australia is an Indigenous led initiative, working to create continent wide connections, conversations and initiatives that enable people to Care for Country and build regenerative economies and societies. Visit RSA's website here.


All donations over AU$2 to Regenerative Songlines Australia are tax deductible. Regenerative Songlines Australia is auspiced by Future Dreaming Australia to receive donations and gifts to support its work. Future Dreaming Australia is a not-for-profit organisation registered with ASIC and the ACNC, and is managed by Indigenous and non-indigenous community leaders. Its mission is to share ecological knowledge and build an Earth-centred culture in Australia. Future Dreaming has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status and Income Tax Exempt Charitable Status (ITEC). Read more about Future Dreaming here.