Australians as a people are enriched by the cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This cultural heritage is at the core of our First Nations’ identity, spirituality and well-being. It is also at the core of the identity of modern Australia that can trace its origins well before colonial incursions. It is the shared joy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage that leads to our collective responsibility to protect and celebrate it.

Dhawura Ngilan (Remembering Country) is a vision that embodies the long-held aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for their heritage. It aims to collectively work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit for future generations the unique heritage of Australia.

Rio Tinto on the traditional lands of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (Binigura) peoples marked a turning point in the broader awareness of the value and importance of Country and cultural heritage for not only First Peoples but for all Australians. As a result, new and unlikely partnerships are being formed. These partnerships aim to reconcile and build a collective understanding of place, that recognises the significance of Country and heritage as foundations for a more resilient, dynamic and connected society.

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

Led by the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance, Responsible Investment Association Australasia, and the Global Compact Network Australia, this initiative acknowledges that protecting cultural heritage is the responsibility of all Australians, inclusive of investor and business communities.

The enterprise aims to build partnerships and deliver resources to enable investors and business to engage with First Nations Peoples more respectfully and effectively in a way that upholds the human rights of First Peoples to self-determination and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).