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Decolonising the economy: what is it, why do we need it and how you can get involved

Tom Zaunmayr -

Australia's societal stability is dependent on long-running efforts to rebuild the economy to work for First Nations people, according to Indigenous entrepreneur Dean Foley.

Baramayal founder Mr Foley said decolonising the economy would dismantle structures which favour non-Indigenous people to the detriment of Indigenous Australians.

Doing so would mean First Nations people would no longer be "forced" to give up their lands and mineral resources for economic benefit.

"A decolonising economy will allow for a relationship between Indigenous nations and non-Indigenous people in which mutual respect is the norm," Mr Foley said.

"It will also mean we can move beyond the tired narratives of oppression and victimhood and begin to create an honest, open relationship with all Australians in which the past can be dealt with appropriately and compassionately.

"Creating awareness and social pressure is critical to decolonisation because it shows those who have invaded Indigenous lands that they cannot ignore Indigenous demands for self-determination."

Decolonising the economy will be the focus of the First Nations Economic Forum, to be held online on August 9.

Mr Foley said under a decolonised economy, Australia would become more accountable for its treatment of Indigenous people, and economic exploitation would diminish.

"An economy free from the constraints of imperialism, colonialism and (hard-core) capitalism will undoubtedly require significant overhauling," he said.

"Although overhauls are complex, many citizens are already working to improve economies for the benefit of all, instead of just a select few with all the wealth and opportunities.

As climate change's effects become more apparent, different nations are beginning to appreciate the importance of sustainable economic growth that respects the environment and biodiversity."

Mr Foley said the increased awareness of climate change was an economic opportunity for Indigenous people, who he described as the most prominent conservationists.

He said Indigenous people should lead decisions on allocation of resources and have control of their own lives.

The forum is still accepting speakers.

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