Date posted: 16/11/2017 3 min read

CAs attend international indigenous communities conference

A Canadian conference looking at prosperity for indigenous communities and attended by delegates representing Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Indigenous Accountants Australia and Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa.

In brief

  • An international conference, hosted by AFOA Canada, bringing together indigenous groups from all over the world
  • CA delegate presentations

Delegates representing Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Indigenous Accountants Australia and Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa had a strong presence at a Canadian conference which looked at prosperity for indigenous communities.

The international conference, hosted by AFOA Canada, was held on the land of the Squamish Nation (Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw) in Vancouver, British Columbia last month, bringing together indigenous groups from all over the world. The conference reinforced the importance of culture, networks and provided opportunities for groups to open economic doors and further promote indigenous trade.

AFOA Canada is a centre for excellence and innovation in Aboriginal finance and management.

Conference themes included human capacity building to unleash indigenous potential, community governance, finance and wealth management and the importance of integrated programmes targeting economic, social, cultural and environmental issues.

The conference heard that in all parts of the world Indigenous economies are outperforming the non-indigenous economies and that there is a ‘sweet spot’ for economic, cultural and social advancement over the next two to three decades.

Mark Jones, Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ) Indigenous Accountants Australia (IAA) Project Director said “one of the absolute highlights was a session which charted the future by learning from the past. It is remarkable how similar our indigenous pasts have been since either colonisation or invasion, no matter where in thi world it happened, and even though the future is bright, there is still much to achieve, change and fight for before true equality and reconciliation can be attained.

“While each group of first nation peoples has its own unique situation and perspective, there are plenty of areas where our experiences overlap and we can educate and learn from each other. The experience was invaluable.”

The conference had a great energy and a sense of whanaungatanga (relationship and connection), said Kateriina Selwyn, CA ANZ Māori Sector Manager. “It was inspiring to be part of an event that bought together different cultures, history, and discussions about similar issues that indigenous groups face and the paths others have taken to develop strategies to create better communities.

“The conference provided a great opportunity to connect, teach and learn off others as we look to further invest in our indigenous groups and leave a legacy for future generations.”

(Left to right) Tamati Smith CA, Mere George CA, Ariana Adams and Kateriina Selwyn.

(Left to right) Tamati Smith CA, Mere George CA, Ariana Adams and Kateriina Selwyn.

CA delegate presentations

CA ANZ members and delegates, IAA and Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (NKMoA) presented and discussed strategies at the conference.

Their presentations included:

  • NKMoA Elder and Rangatira (Chief), Matua Phil Tane CA and Christian Lugnan, IAA Advisory Committee member took part in a panel discussion at the Opening Plenary speech on community governance.
  • Kylee Potae CA, Advisory Partner, Māori Sector Leader at BDO Gisborne co-presented at a leadership workshop on “Indigenous Sustainable Economic Development and Community Governance – How to Connect Strategy to Economic and Social Outcomes”.
  • Mark Jones and Richard Hurst, IAA Relationship Manager, Indigenous Strategies presented strategies to increase the number of indigenous accountants in Australia, including engaging students and key stakeholders, involving indigenous accountants and raising awareness with a broader audience.

Mark spoke of the strategy to ensure that by 2020 the IAA will be a stand-alone, indigenous led, totally self-sustaining initiative.

  • Mark and Richard also presented at a workshop on Nation Building Through Human Capacity Development, calling the the indigenous economy in Australia the ‘sleeping giant’ and the need to equip Indigenous Australians with financial knowhow. Hinerangi Raumati-Tu'ua FCA,  Executive Director of Operations, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, was a key note speaker on the day 2 Plenary session on “Economic Prosperity: Hitching the Economic Horse to the Social Wagon”. 
  • Luisa Lombardi Senior Lecturer at Deakin University and Christian Lugnan from ORIC, both who are on the IAA Advisory Committee presented on “Education – Pathways to Indigenous Leadership and Economic Empowerment” which looked at the significant role that accounting and governance will have in the advancement of economic strength of indigenous peoples.
  • Riria Te Kanawa (Missy) CA , Director - Performance Consulting, KPMG in Wellington co-presented with Neville King, Governance and Capability Manager, Te Tumu Paeroa on –“A Collaborative Approach to Building Capability for Governance Roles”.
  • The question - Why are so few accounting and business graduates indigenous? - was discussed by Mere George CA, Partner, GHA Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants and NKMoA Deputy Chair; Ariana Adams, a student at the University of Waikato and former NKMoA student representative; Tamati Smith CA, Consultant, EY and NKMoA board member; and Kateriina Selwyn.

The conference-organising committee included NKMoA Chairperson, Elizabeth Richards CA. Elizabeth also took part in a panel discussion on Capacity Development: Unleashing Indigenous Potential.

Corporate programmes supporting indigenous Australians

Read how people in large corporates are committed to run programmes that can make a genuine difference in indigenous communities.

Read more

Search related topics