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As an Aboriginal organisation, Indigenous Conference Services knows how important it is to work in a culturally safe and respectful environment wherein workers in the industry providing supports to our people genuinely understand the important of culture, country, history, community and family as well as achieve a level of cultural competency so that they can work collaboratively and respectfully alongside our people.

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 acknowledgement to country and acknowledgement to local Traditional Elders. All presentations must begin with words like, “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”.  


The 2019 National Indigenous Caring for Country Conference encompasses the belief that living on country positively impacts on Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples’ health and well-being. With the challenges of climate change nowadays, our caring for country traditions and methods are receiving greater recognition in partnership with various sectors in government, NGOs, community and in the private sector. The conference highlights that caring for country encompasses the holistic meanings and values of Indigenous people throughout Australia. However, caring for country for both land and sea is everyone’s business and should not be just an Indigenous tradition, but is a shared responsibility of all people in the world.

With this in mind, the conference will highlight successes, issues and challenges involving Indigenous Land Treaty Rights, Indigenous peoples as custodians and stewards of the land, environmental impact on food sustainability and food sovereignty, amongst others. Furthermore, the conference also aims to give a voice to Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples to share their concerns, their story and experiences whilst caring for country. This conference presents a chance for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander workers to engage with industry leaders and peers, to learn cutting edge innovations and techniques as well as hear firsthand experiences from Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples. 


The conference will also examine innovative ways to activate and engage people with employment opportunities and challenge delegates, individually and collectively, to identify the way forward for their organisations. This conference is for anyone who is interested in strengthening and upholding the rights of people living in country. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion of Caring for Country.


The conference philosophy is based upon the holistic model approach which requires collaborative partnership between local government, Aboriginal land councils, service providers and the wider community working together to support First Nations communities in environmental sustainability. The foundation of the conference is to share and discuss positive models of change and initiatives. The event is structured in such a way as to develop a wider methodology towards land and sea management programs that are culturally appropriate, and therefore more likely to succeed.  This conference is devoted to showing the positives in addressing successes and challenges in our communities today. Hence, the event has been developed with the belief that it is time to promote the positives and successes of programs implemented in various Indigenous communities all over Australia whilst still recognising that we will need to move fast to minimise the effect of climate change. 


The conference objectives are designed to empower and stimulate discussion in a positive manner that can and may be used back in our work environments to further develop strength, unity and education. Moreover, one of the most powerful objectives that Indigenous peoples have is the strength to overcome adversity through the power of sharing knowledge and therefore the conference will attempt to foster all of the issues set out in this conference. The conference believes that the participation of First Peoples in the consultation, planning, formulation of policies and programs for environmental sustainability is fundamentally important to achieve our desired goal in caring for country. Moreover, the conference also aims to:

  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussion

  • Network and lend support to individuals and communities

  • Help establish and grow a national network and resources through information sharing

  • Show that there are great efforts being made to make change

  • To bring together all sectors of the community as a united voice 

  • Bring together researchers, service providers, government agencies, policy makers & organisations

  • Foster partnerships between government, NGOs, community groups and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples throughout Australia



 The conference themes include:

  • Health & Well-being

  • Indigenous Land Treaty Rights

  • Indigenous peoples as custodians and stewards of the land

  • Land Management

  • Water & marine management

  • Environmental impact on food sustainability

  • Food sovereignty  

  • Technology & Innovations


The conference will highlight how service providers are working together with government and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples to find innovative ways to address the above topics. The conference will include key note speakers, practical workshops and concurrent sessions as well as yarning circles and interactive panel discussions. The conference is not politically based, rather should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. 



Indigenous peoples, nationally and internationally, will come together in an environment that can lead to the sharing of information via their cultural and historical values.  This conference is designed to inspire and enable Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples to take control, step up and lead the way to finding solutions to climate change. To honour and showcase the knowledge of our Elders and wisdom of our cultural responses, sharing successes and struggles to chart effective, evidence-informed ways forward. The conference provides a forum to discuss solutions by Indigenous peoples and to connect and acquire knowledge from each other to heal the spirit, heal the earth, and sustain cultural practices for this generation and for the future generations to come.


This conference presents a unique opportunity for delegates to participate in a positive environment that is dedicated to the sharing of information and the empowering of all who attend. In our everyday working environment, the day to day stresses of our positions tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking. Whether you work at a community level or at governmental level, the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside of your local region tend to be limited. This is one of the reasons why this conference will be so valuable to participants. All Indigenous people and non-indigenous people, whether professional or community-based, who have a vested interest in improving the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples are invited. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion to uncover solutions to ever-increasing climate change.


  • Indigenous Community Workers

  • Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Peoples  

  • Aboriginal Land Council Workers

  • Community groups  

  • Park Rangers

  • Elders and Community leaders

  • Indigenous women's and men’s groups

  • CEOs, Executive Management, Program Managers

  • First Nations groups, Human Rights Enthusiasts

  • Government and Non-Government Organisation Representatives

  • Field, Remote & Rural Health Workers

  • Economists, Researchers, Scientists



We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from Australia and throughout, to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. To ensure that delegates attend and participate in the conference experience, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation, each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition at the end of the conference, delegates will receive a copy of all papers & presentations presented at the conference through Dropbox.

Who: Individuals, Groups, NGOs, Government Agencies & Others

When: December 11-13, 2019

Where: Hilton Hotel, Darwin NT

Time: 9:00 am 

WARNING: Limited availability. Please register online or contact us via email, should you have any further queries.


​Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) is a privately owned, wholly self-funded Indigenous business that specialises in events and conferences. Even though we are a self funded enterprise, we come from grass roots backgrounds with a burning passion for social justice issues. As such, we seek to compliment the workings of community initiatives and organisations across a broad spectrum of Indigenous affairs. The events that we design seek not to have a political agenda, however to compliment local, state and national organisations. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) seeks to employ local community members wherever possible and gives a strong undertaking to adhere to local customs and protocols. As we are a not for profit enterprise, we are continually seeking to partner with organisations. ICS-MEES Pty Ltd is totally Indigenous owned and over time has helped establish Indigenous controlled organisations free of charge. Our next major project is to establish and develop a fully Indigenous Children Services within the Wide Bay region. Our vision for the service is that it will be a stand-alone, privately sponsored organisation in which the core values are the protection of our children through reducing the number of children entering state-controlled child safety and care.  

If you have any participation requirements (e.g hearing loop, interpreters, large print program) please advise us to ensure availability. Delegates will need to organise their own personal support. Family/carers attending will need to register as well. The venue is wheelchair accessible.​


Come and celebrate First Nations people & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. To share First Nations peoples stories and ideas about what has worked for you or your community and how we address life’s challenges. This conference is blessed with an abundance of highest calibre guest speakers from proud Indigenous peoples around Australia and throughout.  


As an employee we are often asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance:

  • Staff attending conferences regularly tend 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 organisation knowledge base

  • The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the short duration of the event

  • Allows delegates to showcase their organisation nationally and internationally

  • May provide organisations with new ideas

  • Gives organisations a voice at a national level

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

  • Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minimal number of days


​(Invitation to submit abstracts for presentations and workshops)

Guidelines for Submitting a Paper:

  • Papers should not contain offensive language and take in to account cultural sensitivities.

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

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

  • First round of call for papers will be closed by 30th December 2018; with a second, if required, which closes on 10th October 2019.

  • Papers that are not chosen in the first round may be resubmitted if there is a second round.

  • Papers should be submitted in IBM and Microsoft Word format.

  • A Brief Outline of Paper (maximum 350 words online).

  • Author/s of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified of acceptance.

  • Presentation time at the conference for your papers will be allowed a maximum of 45 minutes, this will include question and answer time.

  • Call for papers registration fee of $650 will apply to all persons submitting papers payable upon acceptance of papers.

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

  • A maximum of two presenters for each paper are eligible for the discounted call for papers registration fee. If 2 presenters, then 2 biographies are required. Two paragraphs outlining the proposed speaker’s Biography

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

  • A Head and Shoulders photo of papers’ authors/presenters are required within 30 days of confirmation of acceptance of paper.

  • Authors agree to have their paper published as part of the conference proceedings

  • Authors to agree to allow biography of themselves and their photo published as part of the conference promotion

  • Authors agree to consent to media interviews, if required

  • Authors and presenters must show due respect and acknowledgement to Traditional Owners. Hence, presentations and speech must begin with an “Acknowledgement To Country”.

  • The correct wording will be provided as part of your confirmation letter if chosen and successful in being accepted with due respects and acknowledgement to traditional owners of land where we will be convening.



The conference may or may not save you, or your organisation, time, money and manpower. However, one thing the event guarantees is the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base, thus empowering delegates to make greater informed decisions.



(This agenda is not final and published only to guide those who will be submitting paper. It will change without prior notice. Please visit this website for future updates)


8:00am    REGISTRATION        
9:00am    Welcome To Country, Cultural Performance & Group Photo     
9:30am    Formal Opening Keynote: First Nations Peoples Connection to Land, Sea & Country   
10:30am  MORNING BREAK~Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers  
11:00am  KEYNOTE   Partnerships in looking after country Developing collaborative multi-stakeholder partnerships in caring for country 
11:45am  KEYNOTE   Working on Country Indigenous Ranger Program                                               
12:30pm  LUNCH BREAK~Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers
1:30pm    CONCURRENT SESSIONS: Community-driven Initiative in sustainable food production  (Open to Community Papers & Organisations)                      
                  A.     Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 

                  B.     Bush Tucker Garden & Food Forest Program  (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 
2:15pm    CONCURRENT SESSIONS: Engaging First Nations Communities in Caring for Country                  
                  A.     Indigenous partnerships in managing natural resources (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 

                  B.     Building strong foundations with community engagement and awareness (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 
3:00pm    AFTERNOON TEA~Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers  
3:30pm    KEYNOTE Applying local traditional ecological and cultural knowledge for biodiversity conservation                        
4:15pm    YARNING CIRCLE ~ Reflections of the Day                           


8:30am    REGISTRATION           
9:00am    KEYNOTE   Building biodiversity resilience and connectivity - A strategic framework for environmental conservation                                                   
9:45am    KEYNOTE   Importance of Tourism to our Community & Country  
10:30am  MORNING TEA~Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers     
11:00am  KEYNOTE   Importance of Country to our Beliefs, Health & Well-being 
11.45am  KEYNOTE   Enhance urban and regional communities’ access to knowledge and skills to use natural resources conservatively.
12:30pm  LUNCH BREAK~Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers     

1:30pm    CONCURRENT SESSIONS: Working Within The Community   (Open to Community Papers & Organisations)                      
                  A.   Community-led solutions for a global problem – ghost nets dilemma (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 

                  B.   The Water is as Much as country as the land  (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 
2:15pm    CONCURRENT SESSIONS: New and innovative approaches to sustainable farming and fishing                
                  A.   Reinvigorate traditional ecological knowledge to underpin biodiversity conservation (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 

                  B.   Best-practice landscape conservation and sustainable land use planning to communities  (Open to Community Papers & Organisations) 

3:00pm    AFTERNOON TEA~Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers    
3:30pm    KEYNOTE Maintaining Country through cultural way of life
4:15pm    YARNING PANEL             

5:00pm    CULMINATION ~ END OF CONFERENCE: Distribution of Certificates  




The Gatekeepers Cultures and Spirituality

​Worrying about how your team, family and community effectively assist and manage clients experiencing intergenerational trauma? Indigenous peoples around the world endured several generations of trauma and other neurological effects and compromised behavioural immunity which leads to behavioural indicators such as substance-abuse and suicide.  Our current generation is impacted by structural violence, poverty, racism, governmental neglect and ongoing hostilities, and unfortunately our mob have learned our lessons in traumatization as well where in many situations, we have internalized the trauma imposed on ourselves and turned onto our own families, communities, and selves.   ​

The Presenters

Joseph B. Stone, PhD. Is an Amskapi-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge.  He is a clinical psychologist and with his partner, Amber Logan, owner of Indigenous Development Specialists of Havelock North, New Zealand.  Dr. Stone works at the Napier Family Centre in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.  He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA.  He is affiliated with the National Centre on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented to and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide.  Joseph's publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural / behavioural issues. 

Amber Logan is a traditional Kahungunu Māori wahine, a New Zealand Health Psychologist and a Doctoral Fellow in Public Health at Otago University.  She teaches health psychology course work at the University of Auckland and Otago University and is well-known in New Zealand for her work in Methamphetamine education and community activism.  Amber is a consummate grant writer, health services evaluator and health services program designer.  She has presented extensively in Australia, Canada, and the USA at Harvard University, the University of Washington, and to the US Federal Government under the Obama administration.               

This workshop will teach you:

  • The strong benefits of recapturing and revitalizing our languages, cultures and spirituality

  • How to become an interventionist to suicide in your communities

  • Understand and utilise trauma-informed care to heal ourselves, our clients, and our communities.

  • Strategies in managing clients and families affected by intergenerational trauma and break the cycle of suicide in our communities.


In Just One Day You Can Learn Strategies how to become an interventionist to suicide and work effectively with your clients who are experiencing inter-generational trauma and their families.

The Gatekeepers Cultures and Spirituality - Interventionist to Suicide Workshop is strictly limited to 30 people only.

Workshop Cost is $330. Call or email us to register for this workshop or CLICK TO BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE.


As they say, all work and no play makes for a dull conference. To overcome this, the secretariat has organised a conference dinner to be held on the first night of the event. This dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further network while letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner will cost $150 per person and is additional to the conference fees. Bookings must be made with our office prior to the event. 


It has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and with enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own or local community. Whether you are a park ranger, Indigenous health worker, community worker or in an administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you back in your community.  The opportunity that this conference provides to delegates is the sharing of knowledge and development of long term friendships/partnerships.  This conference is basically designed from an Indigenous perspective in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.


(Register early to get a discount!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. 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. Registration fees are non-refundable and must be received within 7 DAYS from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  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


Indigenous Conference Services is proud to announce that we have established a partnership with First Nations Travel Agency (FNT),  the first Aboriginal owned travel agency, offering a full range of travel and accommodation services. As we are all aware that the hidden cost of attending a conference is travel and accommodation, First Nations Travel Agency specialises in providing Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and individuals with the lowest available airfares and accommodation to delegates attending Indigenous conferences throughout Australia.

As the old saying goes the bigger the group, the lower the cost. This principle especially applies to travel and accommodation. In many areas of Australia, choice and selection of flights are limited due to the monopoly of regional airline companies operating in remote communities. Hence, we cannot do much in bringing the airfare costs down.  Also, upon arriving at your destination you then have to organise accommodation, and this is where the costs are starting to add up. However, First Nations Travel Agency strives to make bookings seamless and hassle-free for your organisation.

First Nations Travel’s business plan is based upon the principle that at any one time there is more than one Indigenous person / organisation requiring travel and accommodation. As such, First Nations Travel have negotiated and secured special rates with all of the major players within the travel and hotel industry.

First Nations Travel have secured an unbelievable special rate with the host venue for those delegates who wish the convenience of staying onsite. Your accommodation costs can now be added to your conference registration fees, reducing the amount of administration work in your accounting and acquittals.

It needs to be noted that your accommodation must be paid within seven days of the invoice.

For flight bookings and quotes, First Nations Travel please call us on (07) 4194 5168 or email or visit the website Find your best price then call First Nations Travel will see if they can match or beat it. Indigenous Conference Services and First Nations Travel highly recommends that your airfares component should be booked as an open, changeable ticket and that you buy travel insurance to protect yourself and belongings. Travelling interstate, overseas or to another city for personal or business reasons involves planning, expense and unfortunately, some risk too. Some of these risks could include the financial losses you experience due to travel changes, cancellation or interruption, medical expenses, baggage damage or theft, and more. A travel insurance policy can provide you with cover you may need for financial losses caused by a wide range of events that can affect your trip, whether they occur before, during or even after your trip. A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveller’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. Travel insurance should be a priority in all travel arrangements, whether you travel regularly, occasionally or you are setting off on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Some holidays, such as ski trips or voyages on cruise ships, may require special policies. When you’re travelling overseas, the Australian Government advises that travel insurance is as important as a passport, regardless of your destination. Please click here for more information about travel insurance in Australia.


Flexible sponsorship packages are available. Sponsorship opportunities are only open to businesses and private enterprise, not individuals. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by e-Mail:




Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court, Pt Vernon QLD 4655 Australia



Phone: 07 4194 2803, +61 4557 76 668

Please note this website is new and is continually being updated.

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