While the property markets and other parts of the economy may be slowing, a little-noticed sector has been quietly roaring­. Indigenous-owned business is booming and the ADC has launched a new national ADR body, the First Nations’ Mediation Panel, to support and take advantage of what looks to be a game changer in indigenous enterprise.

A 2018 report released by the indigenous consulting arm of Price Waterhouse Coopers found indigenous-owned business contributed up to $6.6 billion to the Australian economy in 2016, and this figure has almost certainly increased again.

“It’s incredibly pleasing to see a new breed of Aboriginal and Torres Islander entrepreneurs opening for business, and every one will benefit from effective and tailored commercial ADR processes,” says ADC’s CEO Deborah Lockhart, who is encouraging indigenous commercial mediators and ADR experts to register their interest to join the panel, as well as non-indigenous ADR practitioners to play a collaborative role.

“Our goal is to develop a pool of First Nations’ dispute resolution practitioners this sector can tap into. Building on this expertise we have an excellent opportunity to further develop First Nations’ dispute resolution methodologies, as well as cross-cultural ADR theory and practice to encourage more indigenous people into the ADR space.”

The Australian Disputes Centre invites nominations and applications for the First Nations Panel. Please contact Deborah Lockhart at the ADC to discuss. Tel. 02 9239 0700.