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With thanks to our Sponsors

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Bringing the Dingo home

Rebuilding the relationship with our Countrymen the Dingo.


The Dingo a deeply significant animal that is intrinsic to First Nations People across Australia.

Through our oral histories and storytelling, rock paintings and dance the dingo transcends as a creator being who formed mountains, rocks, waterholes, waterfalls, star constellations and mapped our ancestral song lines across the continent from one waterhole to another and yet there is more to discover about the First Nations cultural perspective of the Dingo.

Over thousands of years, as First Nations people we developed a deep relationship with the Dingo but colonisation has impacted this relationship.

Currently across Australia in all states except Tasmania, the Dingo is legislated as a pest.  The Dingo is not afforded any protections as some First Nations people have always thought.

First Nations People
for the Dingo

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First Nations Voice

Since the arrival of the first fleet there has been many misconceptions about the Dingo that have led to them being eradicated through shooting, baiting, and trapping and that lethal controls are an only means to protect the meat and livestock industry.

The ongoing National Dingo Debate has never identified First Nations people as a stakeholder to this debate or provided a space for First Nations people to express their voice or concerns regarding the cultural and environmental values of the Dingo and how we as First Nations people may wish to be involved.

The National Inaugural First Nations Dingo Forum is designed to address topics on both sides of the dingo fence with a primary focus on providing a space and platform for First Nations people to come and have their say.

This platform will enable a strong First Nations perspective on the Dingo with the potential to develop a culturally appropriate policy framework and National Statement that concretes First Nations peoples voice and their cultural values across current legislations that the Dingo is managed by.



Investing in Traditional Owners, Indigenous ranger groups and IPA organisations to manage dingoes on country and legislate their protection based on key cultural and environmental evidence and the role the dingo plays in sustaining biodiversity of eco-systems.


Provide a unified Aboriginal Voice across Australia to advocate and influence change in policy across all legislations relating to management of the Dingo across all states of Australia except Tasmania.


To provide the First Nations perspective and to lead a debate on the Dingo based on their cultural and environmental knowledge.

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Create a First Nations National Statement for the Dingo with the insight to form a First Nations National Steering Committee to develop best practice and bring dingoes back to country.



Pullman Cairns International
Cairns, Queensland

book your ticket here

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Key Guest Speakers

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Tessa Waia
Communication and Education Officer, Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation

Wongari (dingo) are smart animals that have adapted to life wherever they are found – whether they are out in the bush, held in captivity or like ours on K’gari, fully wild and pure to the island. For us, it’s a battle of getting the wider community and visitors to understand that K’gari is the wongari’s island, their place. How do we make sure that wongari’s needs are put first in visitor management and safety?

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Roma Award-winning Film Director and Author.

As our Mother, the Earth, burns physically and metaphorically, it requires a coalition of conscience to douse the flames. We teeter upon this precipice in large part because the First People of the land are always the last to be heard. The Dingo Forum is an opportunity to expand the coalition of conscience with voices from today becoming messengers for wisdom keepers from generations of yesterdays.

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Augustine Badal
Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Ranger


Presenting on Wartaji on Warrarn (Dingoes on Country) 

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Juliette King
Special Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright


Juliette King is an environmental lawyer based in Brisbane.

Juliette has a particular interest in the legal protection of native vegetation, plants and animals, waters and soils.

Juliette has qualifications in both law and environmental management, and worked in the conservation sector prior to becoming a lawyer. Juliette is recognised by Doyle’s Guide as one of Queensland’s leading environment and heritage lawyers. 



Angus Emmott
Former Cattle Grazier 

It’s great to see the traditional owners getting involved in a national discussion around dingo management


Darren Blake
Fire Coordinator, Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation

Over the years I’ve been working on K’gari, I’ve learned that wongari are so smart. They evolve and constantly problem solve - from learning how to open eskies to removing occy straps just to score a feed. Sadly, wildlife and people never mix.


Sam Stuart
Head Ranger, Arabana Ranger Program

Dingoes are culturally significant to Arabana people but dingoes are excluded from some of our country by the dog fence. We’re keen to share our ideas and work with others on looking after dingoes.


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Edward Badal
Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Ranger

Presenting on Wartaji on Warrarn (Dingoes on Country)

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Dr Kylie Cairns
Research Fellow – Canid and Wildlife Genetics

I am deeply honoured to be invited to talk to the inaugural National First Nations dingo forum about my scientific research on the wild dog myth and the genomic identity of dingoes. This is an important and ground-breaking initiative to bring First Nations voices and a cultural perspective to dingo management and conservation.

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Dr. Louise Boronyak
Wildlife Campaigner, Humane Society International

Humane Society International Australia is very proud to support the inaugural First Nations dingo forum. First Nations people are critical stakeholders for dingo management and conservation whose roles as change makers have been suppressed too long.  


Mel Browning
Director - Australian Dingo Foundation

I feel extremely honoured, excited and humbled to be invited as a presenter at the National Inaugural First Nations Dingo Forum. My presentation aims to provide forum participants with an insight into some of the little-known facts about 1080 poison and its devastating impacts on wild dingo populations.

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Sheila Hollow Horn
First Nations Advocate for Mexican Grey Wolf

International guest speaker Sheila Hollow Horn is Diné (Navajo) and Oglala Lakota and was born and raised in Tuba City on the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

She is a strong advocate for the protection of Mexican grey wolves and the lead actress in the recently released 'Almost Ancestors' a film about a young Hopi woman facing displacement in a changing landscape, threatening her connection to the land and her family. Her kinship with a lobo and her call toward community guide her on an incredible journey to a sacred place called home.


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Operations Manager for the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation

Ash will be presenting on “The importance of the Dingo to our people”

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Elliot Hunter
Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Ranger

Presenting on Wartaji on Warrarn (Dingoes on Country)

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Dr. Barry Traill
Global Warming and Conservation Advocate and Ecologist

Many beef producers have found they have higher profits and healthier landscapes when they stop killing Dingoes on their properties.  We need to re-consider nationally the assumption that Dingoes cause only costs and not benefits for farmers and graziers.

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Alix Livingstone
Founding Director  – Defend the Wild

I feel so honored to have the opportunity to attend the National Inaugural First Nations Dingo forum. I believe hearing First Nations perspectives on protecting country, and the wildlife who call it home, is the key to ensuring a bright future for our natural world.

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