Business Investor Initiative

How We Work


Photographer: Benjamin Warlngundu Ellis

This Initiative brings together First Nations, business and investor communities to create a shared vision for strengthening Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage laws and standards for the private sector that uphold the human rights of First Nations Peoples, in line with international agreements and community expectations.

This Initiative is led by the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance in partnership with the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) and UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA).



Our principles for working together are:

  • To support the intent and integrity of Dhawura Ngilan
  • To be led by First Nations Peoples and their representative organisations
  • To optimise the long-term legitimacy and credibility of this collaboration among our key stakeholders: Traditional Owners (primary), UNGCNA participants and the responsible investment community.

Being First-Nations led is embedded in the Initiative’s governance:

  • The First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance is leading the Initiative. The Secretariat is hosted by the Alliance, under the auspices of the National Native Title Council (NNTC).
  • The Alliance can appoint three First Nations positions on the Steering Committee, the Secretariat 1 position, while RIAA and UNGCNA can appoint 2 positions respectively. 
  • The Steering Committee is chaired by a First Nations person.

The Steering Committee for the project is comprised of:

  • Cath Brokenborough – Lendlease (Chair)
  • Jamie Lowe – NNTC 
  • Josh Haynes – South Australia Native Title Services
  • Leon Yeatman – North Queensland Land Council 
  • Estelle Parker – RIAA
  • Kate Dundas - UNGCNA

The Initiative works with Aboriginal owned and run consultancies, including Terri Janke and Company for the drafting of the guidance in Stage 1 and Ninti Kata for the design of stage 2 of the Initiative.


The Initiative’s goal is for “business as usual” implementation of the Dhawura Ngilan Vision through 3 stages:

Stage 1. Developing guides (2022-2023)
In Stage 1, Terri Janke and Company have translated Dhawura Ngilan into a set of overarching principles and practical guides for business and investors respectively. These were drafted in consultation with First Nations groups and industry.

Stage 2. Uptake and adoption (2024- 2025)
In Stage 2, the Initiative will facilitate uptake and adoption of the guides and will pilot an engagement model between First Nations communities and their representatives, businesses and investors. We will assess the operation and outputs of the pilot and develop a set of key recommendations for scaling the model wider.

Stage 3. Sustainable implementation (2025 onwards)
In Stage 3, the Initiative will be scaled after implementing the above-mentioned recommendations to include larger numbers of investors and businesses.