Australia’s Governer-General to open First Nations Economic Opportunities Conference

23 Jun 2006

The Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, will officially welcome Indigenous delegations from Canada and New Zealand when he opens the inaugural First Nations Economic Opportunities Conference in Sydney next month.

Hosted by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) with support from the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Mr Kevin Andrews, the conference marks a whole-of-government initiative to advance the economic cause of First Nations peoples.

The Indigenous Land Corporation chaired by Ms Shirley McPherson is the major sponsor of an event that will see more than 500 delegates discuss Indigenous participation in sectors such as mining, tourism and property development with joint venture partners.

To be held at the Sydney Hilton from 17-20 July, it will start with a Youth Forum that is expected to attract up to 100 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from all parts of Australia. The focus will be on how to prepare Indigenous young Australians to engage in business.

“It is an opportunity for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to learn about the challenges they are likely to experience in business and to encourage them to have a go,” said IBA chairman Joseph Elu. “At the same time IBA is looking to share local knowledge with delegates from Canada and New Zealand for the economic upliftment of First Nations people everywhere.”

Celebrity chef Mark Olive, otherwise known as the Black Olive, opera diva Deborah Cheetham and AFL star Adam Goodes are among a range of Indigenous Australians involved in the four-day event. Among the keynote speakers in the tourism sector will be former Senator Aden Ridgeway, now Executive Chairman of Indigenous Tourism Australia.

For further details contact conference organiser Ms Trudi Ridge on (02) 6121 2703 or email at

Contact Youth Forum co-ordinator Darren Knight on (02) 6121 2606 or by email at

Media enquiries to

Australia’s Governor-General to open First Nations Economic Opportunities Conference

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