The Wollotuka Institute and Veolia Australia hosted a forum linking sustainable development with Indigenous knowledge’s and western technological advances.
Tom Farrell Institute's Dr Garry Ellem facilitated the discussion.
The discussion highlighted the case for Indigenous knowledge’s and practices and the opportunities to link western innovation across land, water, waste and energy solutions.
Sean Gordon from Darkinjung LALC outlined some of the challenges facing the LALC being the largest private landowner but being only 4% of the population on the Central Coast and how Native Title legislation limits the effectiveness of the council. Sean noted that 8 LALC's now have a common sustainability strategy spanning 700 sites in the Hunter and Central Coast region.
Simone Looi-Britton from Veolia discussed the 2050 Challenge - 9 billion people and only 1 earth's resources and noted that it took 300 people to design the moon boot!
Dr Blaze Kwaymullina from Veolia talked about the traditional knowledge around sustainability, and that the main challenge is idelogical not technological. Blaze noted the sustainability aspects of aboriginal law - how we are the stewards of our country. However, pragmatic compromises are difficult, where no go zones exist. Nothing is "inanimate" therefor not a resource to exploit. As wealth create gives self determination, sustainable development is very important.
Dr Allan Broadfoot discussed the establishment of tertiary education centre at Muswellbrook.
Sean noted that some of the common underlying principles with Aboriginal knowledge systems are that this is a diverse group - so you need to be careful in comping up with an Aboriginal solution. The community needs to be allowed to make mistakes in their development. Innovation and creativity are unfortunately crushed by "Despair, desperation and dis-empowerment" within the aboriginal community.
The Sustaining Our Country discussion disclosed one concept of ancient Indigenous knowledge that is arguably the chief keystone of development now and in the future. This idea is to model development to achieve the healthy permanent LEGACY of a project rather than to limit ourselves to completing the projects themselves.