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 JULY 5 - 6, 2018  THE rEX HOTEL Canberra ACT



In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgment to country and to local Traditional Elders: “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting / attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.


Indigenous Conference Services acknowledges and pay our respect to the Traditional people of the Country. "Welcome to Country" ceremony and "acknowledging the traditional custodians" of the land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal cultures.



​Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandella:April 23 2013)



The Black Thunder: The Power of Black Voices Towards 2020 Conference will bring together many of this country’s indigenous leaders, academics, politicians, activists, Indigenous elders, cultural advocates and those who are making a contribution to the struggle of self-determination for Indigenous people in Australia through their leadership and actions from grassroots communities. It is designed to be both inspiring, self empowering whilst at the same time, providing the opportunities for delegates to evaluate what the future holds for Indigenous People.  At the same time, making a bold statement to the wider community that Indigenous self determination is both strong and gaining stronger momentum each day.


An old proverb is “It always seems impossible until it's done”. As Australia’s First Nations People, each day we demonstrate our pride in our communities and culture, and place them in our hearts and future, although nowadays, our children continually face an uncertain future as mainstream society in Australia tends to highlight the doom, gloom and negatives in Indigenous communities. The event is designed to shatter this myth and to inspire First Nations People with all the positives from the past, the present and importantly towards 2020 (our future). Whilst we may not know what the future has instore for us as First Nations Peoples, we do in fact have the power to control our future through our actions of the present.



Towards 2020 National Conference is designed to embrace our indigenous spirit, whilst at the same time empowering delegates through leadership and activism that drives us forward as a people.  The conference will also take in-depth look at present day  government policies and how they may affect our future.  Today we have the largest number of representatives ever elected.  This has in some way given indigenous people a voice to the highest  level in Local, Territory, State and federal governments.

The conference should be seen as information, insights sharing and a roadmap for First Nations People heading towards to 2020. We encourage all First Nations People of Australia to take part in this event by attending and have your voice heard, this event enables delegates to develop their own road map for the future and therefore, a framework that could be utilised in developing programs within your own community. Self-determination is only words, for after all, the important thing is the practice, implementation and drive, that us as individuals and First Nations Peoples have at our fingertips.



With the concept of knowledge is power, the core belief of the conference is the dissemination of information which provides power for clear and decisive thinking and planning.  What drives many of the discussions and debates around land rights, culture, justice, health and education, is the empowerment that indigenous communities impart to our First Nations leaders. This gathering also offers a unique opportunity to both delegates and speakers to meet, ground and establish contact with a wide diversity of First Nations Peoples from grass roots communities to our Indigenous politicians and leaders. The location of the conference is scheduled for Canberra, not by accident.


The event is located in Canberra, so even if politicians or parliament do not attend, the indigenous voices from around Australia will not be able to be ignored.  It is with this in mind we invite indigenous and non-indigenous people to become part of this event.



  • Australians’ recognition of its First Nation Peoples

  • Strengthening and keeping our “cultural identity”

  • Empowering and developing strong leadership

  • The complexity of funding Australian’s First Nations Peoples (Healing Circle discussion with National, State and Territory  governments and organisations)

  • Closing The Gap -Indigenous Health What will 2020 hold in the future?

  • Indigenous Education – Our pathway to education to 2020

  • Justice (What will our incarceration rates be by 2020?)

  • Strengthening our families, youth and elders and enhancing community resilience

  • Business – Economic development from a business perspective

  • Tackling racism now and towards 2020

  • A Treaty

  • Recognition of Aboriginal Land Rights


The Black Thunder Towards 2020 National Conference intends to working together through partnerships, networks and the dissemination of information. The “One size fits all' approach has never and will never fit the Indigenous culture and that is why this Conference will endeavour to highlight as many different POSITIVE Community and Government based programs as possible.

Today with the introduction of the internet and Jet Travel the world has become much smaller but more complex in the pursuit of information.  In our every day working life we develop a local network and as such, this event will provide delegates, Communities, Government Departments the opportunity to learn and engage with individuals, organisations, families and communities from not only state, nationally but also internationally.  The conference aims to develop creative collaboration, building bridges between agencies. 


  1. To promote a positive future in the years leading to 2020

  2. To promote Aboriginal self determination and self management

  3. To promote further First Nations economic, social and cultural development

  4. To highlight that First Nations Peoples are intricate part of the Australian fabric

  5. To highlight that we have not only survived as a people

  6. To promote our culture, our songs, our history and our future

  7. To promote leadership in Indigenous communities

  8. To highlight First Nations Peoples are succeeding

  9. To promote First Nations Peoples will remain a part of Australian society well past 2020

  10. Capture, disseminate educational knowledge and consolidate the latest developments

  11. Strengthen the existing networks of practitioners, policymakers, planners



The Black Thunder Towards 2020 National Conference presents an invaluable opportunity for individuals and communities to participate and share their stories, knowledge, challenges and experiences.  Furthermore, the conference is envisage to be the largest gathering of First Nations people in Australia for 2018. In our everyday working environment, the day to day stresses of our roles tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking opportunities. Whether you work at a community level or at a governmental level, the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside your local region tends to be limited, this is why this conference will be invaluable to participants.


• Lawyers, Legal Officers & Prison Officers

• Health workers and professionals

• Indigenous professional bodies and other organisations

• Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

• Aboriginal Legal Services, Aboriginal Community Organisations

• Education and Training bodies and organisations

• Researchers

• Policy makers

• Law enforcement workers

• Community representatives

• Government – Local, State/Territory and Commonwealth

• Aboriginal Youth Engagement Officers, Police Liaison Officers

• Students & Teachers

• All Interested Individuals with interest in Indigenous Affairs



​The Black Thunder Towards 2020 National Conference is designed as an educational tool for healing and professional development. ICS wishes to invite Indigenous and non-indigenous people from Australia and internationally to attend the conference to share and gather information in Canberra.  We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere conducive to networking and sharing experiences.


Come and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. So that we may share each other’s stories and ideas in an atmosphere that empowers and strengthens all delegates.


As an employee, professional development is an ongoing process and needs to be kept continually updated with the latest industry trends and methodology.  Listed below are valid points that can be put forward to the employer to justify your attendance at the conference.

  • Staff attending conferences regularly tends to become long term employees.

  • An event such as this adds to the positive morale of staff.

  • Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training.

  • Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisations knowledge base.

  • Allows delegates to showcase the organisation nationally and internationally.

  • Provide opportunities for organisations to develop new ideas and program innovations.

  • Gives organisations a voice at a national level.

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

  • The event is conducted over a 2 or 3 day period, hence staff are only absent for a minimal amount of time.



​Guidelines in Submitting Paper:

  • Papers should not contain offensive language and take into account cultural sensitivities of Australian first nation people.

  • Papers must treat the themes in a manner that contributes to further discussion of conference aims.

  • Conference papers must be presented in the finish format not less than 60 days prior to the event.

  • First round of calling for papers closing date will be on December 30, 2017; papers that are not chosen in the first round may be resubmitted in the second round

  • Papers MUST be submitted in Microsoft Word format.  Papers other than this format will NOT be considered.

  • Authors of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified of their acceptance in writing.

  • Registration fee of $650 will apply to all persons submitting papers payable within 7 days upon notification  acceptance of papers.

  • Papers should explore ways in which the themes show up in the philosophy of the conference.

  • All papers must be presented in a positive and informative light.

  • Paper most be in by 28th February 2018; with a second, if required which closes on 30thMarch 2018




8:30 AM                REGISTRATION    
9:00 AM                MC/HOUSEKEEPING      
9.30 AM                Welcome to Country & Traditional Performers
9:40 AM                Group photo with performers, Elders and all delegates
9:45 AM                JOINT OPENING KEYNOTE: Closing the Gap - Marching forward towards 2020
10:30 AM              MORNING TEA   Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
11:00 AM              KEYNOTE             Never Forget our History and Plan for our Future
11:45 AM              KEYNOTE             RECOGNITION: Changes to the Constitution
12:30 PM              LUNCH BREAK    Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
1:30 PM                KEYNOTE             Reconciliation Australia
2:15 PM                KEYNOTE             The Power of One: Strength Through Unity - It Is The Future
3:00 PM                AFTERNOON TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
3:30PM                 KEYNOTE             The Strength of Indigenous Women Demanding a Future
4:15 PM                KEYNOTE             Making Effective Changes In Parliament  

6:30 PM                CONFERENCE NETWORKING DINNER                            
DAY 2                  
8:30 AM                REGISTRATION  &  MC ANNOUNCEMENT             
9:00 AM                JOINT KEYNOTE (BT & IEC)    The Long Road Forward Strategic Partnership with Indigenous Organisations working towards 2020
9:45 AM                JOINT KEYNOTE (BT & IEC)    Improving Indigenous Education Changing the Conversation
10:30 AM              MORNING TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
11:00 AM              KEYNOTE             Could the Treaty be the Answer
11:45 AM              KEYNOTE             Enterprise Is Not A Dirty Word
12:30 PM              LUNCH BREAK  Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
1:30 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION A    It's Not Bloody Mindedness: It's Just Our Determination
1:30 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION B    Marching Forward by Empowering our Communities
2:15 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION A    Colonialism and Multiculturalism: Conflicts and Connections between Indigenous ‘Mobs’ and Southern European ‘Migrants’
2:15 PM                CONCURRENT SESSION B    Delivering Community Services in Partnership with Non-government and Government Organisations
3:00 PM                AFTERNOON TEA & Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors
3:30 PM                JOINT KEYNOTE (BT & IEC) Developing a career through sport
4:15 PM                INTERACTIVE PANEL            Discussion Panel - Where To From Here
5:00 PM                END OF CONFERENCE         Distribution of Certificates
DAY 3   

For 2018, we offer new and exciting innovation for our conferences. Day 3 is devoted to professional development workshop or masterclass. As such, we have introduced several exciting networking and professional development innovations which is an extra cost for your chosen masterclass and comes with a course certificate. Day Three is optional so please make sure you complete your registration form with the masterclass included if you intend to attend. This year’s program features a strong selection of Leadership and Empowerment topics for workers in Indigenous sector and practitioners at every level of experience and expertise.


(Please note the above agenda is subject to change without prior notice and is draft agenda only which is published to serve as a guide to those submitting paper). 




To register, please click on the registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at

​​​REGISTRATION FEES (REGISTER TO GET A DISCOUNT!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations which changes on a monthly basis. Hence, the earlier you register the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments, for registered delegates only.  Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation.  Payment for Registration fees must be received within 7 DAYS  upon issued invoice.  Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.



​As they say, all work and no play, makes for a dull conference. The conference dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further enrich and develop their personal and professional contacts whilst letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner is $150 per person for a three course meal which is additional to the conference registration fees and must be indicated under the section of the conference registration on-line booking form and must be made prior to the event. Additional tickets for an extra non-delegate guest are available at the same cost of $150.00 each, as such delegates are encouraged to bring a guest.



Canberra is Australia’s capital, inland from the country's southeast coast. Surrounded by forest, farmland and nature reserves, it earns its nickname, the "Bush Capital.” The city's focal point is Lake Burley Griffin, filled with sailboats and kayaks. On the lake shore is the massive, strikingly modern Parliament House, as well as museums including the National Gallery, known for its Indigenous art collections. When you visit Canberra, prepare to experience one good thing after another. Because whether it’s world-class wining and dining, iconic national treasures or breathtaking adventures, everything you’re after is just moments away.


The event secretary has come up with some great ideas on how to save money for you and your organisation.

1. ACCOMMODATION: We have negotiated a special room rate for delegates by using the below code:

Hotel Booking Code:   To access this price, you must contact the hotel directly and quote the event name.


2. TRAVEL: We have engaged Helloworld (formerly Harvey World Travel) Hervey Bay to negotiate with all the relevant airlines for special or discounted airfare rates.

One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. When asking for a quote through Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) you must pick:

  1. Airfares only

  2. Airfares & Accommodation

Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) can be contacted on 07 41281900  Toll free 1800 688993   



Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGOs or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to take into account the time that is required to obtain funding. Further advantage to using Hello World Travel for your airfares is that if something goes wrong, you have greater access to your travel agent, if required.



​If you are an international guest or speaker, please note that citizens of some countries require visas before entering Australia.  To obtain an Australian Visa, you may require a letter of invite from the conference secretariat.  To obtain the letter of invitation, the guest must have registered for the conference and paid the required conference cost.  This is refundable if visas are not approve, you should allow a minimum of 60 days for visa processing at the nearest Australian Embassy.  Please note, processing visa documents in some countries may take longer, depending on your country of origin. Visas can be obtained online by searching the Australian Government website and accessing the Department Of Immigration and border protection site. For your convenience we have added the link to our website, which is



Phone  07 4194 2803

From outside of Australia +61 7 419 428 03

Cell Phone 0455776668



Snail Mail: 8 Kiwi Court Point Vernon QLD Australia

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