BFU & UQ Human Rights present: Adani – A defining moment for Indigenous Rights?

When? 6pm – 8pm, Tuesday 2 October, 2018.

Where?  University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, Michie Building, St Lucia 4067

What?  Public lecture & panel discussion:

Adani: A Defining Moment for Indigenous Rights in Australia? 

Adani’s Carmichael mine, if it proceeds, will cause untold destruction to Wangan and Jagalingou country. With this threat, families from across the Wangan and Jagalingou nations are fighting to defend their internationally recognised rights to oppose the Carmichael mine from proceeding on their homelands. Their legal and political campaign has garnered global attention and exposed the racial discrimination embedded in the Australian settler colonial state. The battle continues, in the courts and on the streets. The future of Adani’s proposed mine and its potential devastation to Wangan and Jagalingou country remains unknown.

This battle against the Adani mine represents a defining moment in Australian history. Whether this moment will be harnessed to progress the cause of Indigenous rights and self determination – including for Wangan and Jagalingou – remains to be seen.

This panel discussion, bringing together some of the country’s leading thinkers and front line campaigners, will examine Australia’s love affair with coal. It will examine the flaws in the current legal and political system that consistently prioritises large scale, highly destructive developments rather than Indigenous sovereignty, land rights, the rights of nature and the rights of communities, and which allows the sidelining and silencing of Indigenous rights and interests. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current governments’ support for opening up the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, including to establish Adani’s mega Carmichael mine project. We are watching this play out despite the reality of dubious coal economics and climate constraint, and the energy transition that is well underway.


Introduction to the space and Acknowledgment of Country: Uncle Sam Watson

Facilitator and MC: Emily McConochie
Emily is a Wakka Wakka woman from ancestors who walked the South Burnett and Mary Valley Regions. She studies Development Practice at UQ and her passion and scholarship centres around decolonising community and social work practices, by learning from the work of our elders who preserve the traditions of custodianship and stories that keep our young people and communities strong.


Murrawah Johnson
Youth Spokesperson Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council, Activist of the Year (Ngara Institute) and on the 50 Grist list – acknowledging her place amongst the world’s best and brightest fighting for the planet.

Dr Michelle Maloney
Co-founder and National Convenor Australian Earth Laws Alliance

David Ritter
CEO Greenpeace Australia Pacific, and author of The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, Defeat the Big Polluters and Reclaim Our Democracy

Prof John Quiggin
Prominent Australian economist and UQ Vice Chancellors Senior Research Fellow

Snacks and drinks from 6pm. Discussion from 6.30pm – 8pm.


We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and future and to all other First Nations people and communities in Meanjin. Sovereignty over these lands was never ceded.

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