A Message Stick for International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Professor Anne Poelina is a Nyikina Warrwa woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

She is a Peter Cullen Trust Fellow (2011) and an active community leader, human and earth rights advocate whose water and climate justice leadership focuses on the Martuwarra, Fitzroy River Watershed and the public interests of all people.

Professor Poelina recently published ‘Just-Us for All’ – Indigenous wisdom for human and planetary well-being in Minority and Indigenous trends 2023: Focus on water which tells her story from the frontline of the climate war. She advocates for the importance of listening to the wisdom of the oldest living culture on the planet.

“Indigenous leaders are some of the clearest voices recognising that it can’t be business as usual,” Professor Poelina says.

“As they stand, Western laws are inadequate for the task of preventing climate change and ensuring protection of Indigenous sacred sites and the cultural, spiritual, environmental, social and World Heritage values of these unique places.”

“But the solutions are right before our eyes. If we are to survive, we need to understand how different systems work together; and the relative roles and responsibilities of participants in integrated systems. Those include biological systems, such as ecosystems, but also human systems, such as law.”

“Indigenous philosophy and First Law can help build better legal and institutional systems for all.”

Anne’s vision is shared in a podcast on climate conversations from the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

See her publications and films on her websites: and

Featured image: Professor Anne Poelina (supplied)
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