Technical Updates

Monday, 07 June 2021
Expression of interest invited: FSC Indigenous Working Group

FSC NZ fOREST (© Phil Taylor)© Phil Taylor

Email EOIs to info at au.fsc point org by 7th July 2021

The Forest Stewardship Council Australia New Zealand (FSC ANZ) is looking for Indigenous leaders to become part of our Indigenous Working Group (IWG), to help improve communication, participation and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in all aspects of FSC certified forestry in Australia. Working Group members will be paid for their participation.

Background: The organisation

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation. Founded in 1993, the mission of FSC is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. In pursuit of this mission we undertake the following activities:

  • Develop standards for responsible forest management through inclusive and consultative mechanisms involving stakeholders with economic, social and environmental interests in forests;
  • Provide standards for maintaining the integrity of FSC certified forest products between the forest and the end customer through a Chain of Custody system; and
  • Offer a global trademark that allows customers to recognise products that meet FSC forest management and chain of custody standards.

FSC ANZ was established in 2006 to promote the international FSC mission locally. We are governed by our membership, which is divided into three chambers – environmental, economic and social. These chambers have equal representation and say on our Board.

Background: The IWG

Forests are important to the livelihood, culture and spirituality of Indigenous peoples and provide a critical source of income for many communities. Indigenous Traditional Owners have a unique, inherent right to be involved in decision-making about forests and plantations on their traditional country. The broader Indigenous community’s social, economic, health and environmental interests are intrinsically linked to and affected by the management of Australia’s forests and plantations. FSC ANZ recognises that it needs to engage with Traditional Owner groups and Indigenous communities to establish if and how they would like to be involved in FSC’s activities in Australia.

To ensure the spirit of FSC’s commitment to responsible forest management is upheld and authentically implemented, FSC ANZ in 2015 convened an Indigenous Working Group (IWG) which guides and supports its work. The IWG has absolute focus on ensuring Australia’s First Nation Peoples can benefit from the various components of the FSC system. To this end, the IWG has identified three existing community aspirations that align with FSC’s values:

  • Increase Indigenous engagement in the management of Australia’s forests including the forest and wood products sector;
  • Forest management that delivers economic, social, cultural, and environmental benefits to local First Nations Peoples’ communities; and
  • Utilisation and transfer of traditional ecological and cultural knowledge from the old to the young.

Objectives of the IWG

In its first years, the IWG focused on embedding and normalising the presence and work of the IWG as a vital, sustainable, and permanent part of FSC ANZ’s work in Australia. Most notably, the IWG played an integral part in the development in FSC ANZ’s first standard for forest management in Australia, which was published in late 2018.

Building on this, the next phase of the IWG’s work has seen it shift its focus to taking part directly in place-based projects that have an impact for local communities and can provide learnings and demonstrations for projects elsewhere. The community aspirations identified above are a focal point in this process. As part of this readjustment of its objectives, the IWG is currently involved in a number of exciting projects across northern Australia that aim to empower Traditional Owners to build a forest-based economy that respects ecological limits, values, people, and culture to the benefit of present and emerging generations.

The IWG also provides representational and expert feedback, advice and guidance to FSC ANZ’s various processes on Indigenous issues and forestry in Australia.

More details about the IWG’s objectives can be found in the working group’s ToR (see above).

Key Selection Criteria

• Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
• Demonstrated experience in working with Traditional Owners;
• Sound knowledge of Indigenous communities and the issues that affect them, including social, economic, health and environmental issues;
• Capacity to participate in meetings and other activities to further the IWG’s objectives

Highly Desirable
• Experience in forestry and/or environmental assessment processes;
• Knowledge of government, corporate and philanthropic funding opportunities.

Remuneration and expenses

FSC ANZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation with limited funding. Participation in the IWG will be remunerated at a fee of $500 per day for face-to-face meetings and $250 for 3-hour virtual meetings. Other participation, for example emails and phone calls, will be voluntary.

FSC ANZ covers all reasonable travel and accommodation expenses related to the workplan upon submission of the respective invoices and receipts, and if expenses are agreed in advance.

FSC ANZ will endeavour to provide an honorarium to IWG members where appropriate and feasible. The IWG may secure additional external funds through leveraging FSC ANZ’s allocated funds and then develop an annual work program and budget consistent with the ToR to utilise all funds.

How to apply

Written expressions of interest should be emailed to by 7 July 2021.
Applicants are requested to address the key selection criteria detailing relevant experience.

For further information, please contact FSC ANZ Policy and Standards Manager and IWG Secretary Stefan Jensen on 0407 606 633 or, or IWG Chair Rachael Cavanagh on 0408 731 087 or

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