How EDQ is honouring its Statement of Commitment

Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) is committed to fostering thriving, sustainable communities across the state.  This vision is anchored by a Statement of Commitment, emphasising the social, economic, and cultural inclusion of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people.

How is this achieved?

EDQ recognises that good intentions must be matched with thoughtful, well-informed actions. This is achieved by firstly creating a narrative that resonates with EDQ’s core values and the humanity of First Nations people – the storytellers, knowledge holders, and keepers of culture on Country.

EDQ NAIDOC Week event with Birrunga Wiradyuri (2nd from the right), 2023.
EDQ NAIDOC Week event with Birrunga Wiradyuri (2nd from the right), 2023.

A journey of truth and learning

EDQ’s journey with First Nations is one of mutual respect and continuous learning.

Recognising the profound impacts of our shared history, EDQ collaborates with historians including Dr. Ray Kerkhove to discover the Indigenous site histories of its development locations, as well as ground truthing this research with Traditional Custodians for projects including Songbird Oxley and Northshore Brisbane. These partnerships are not just about uncovering facts; they are about embracing the narratives, the resilience, and the vibrant cultural tapestry of the original custodians.

EDQ works alongside First Nations enterprises, actively supporting the expansion of the Indigenous businesses sector. EDQ’s goal is to not only meet, but exceed the Queensland Government’s procurement mandates for engaging First Nations businesses.

This approach includes supporting established First Nations suppliers and mentoring emerging businesses.

Biodiversity Australia team
Biodiversity Australia team

EDQ’s partnership with Biodiversity Australia, a leading Australian environmental management consultancy and First Nations-owned business, has helped achieve a balance between economic development and ecological management in key EDQ-led infrastructure projects throughout Queensland.

The team also facilitated the procurement process for a new Gladstone-based First Nations’ weed spraying business. This included offering guidance on business setup, certification, and insurance, and linking the business with Many Rivers for seed funding. The business has secured a contract in the Gladstone State Development Area.

Collaborating with community leaders

EDQ is proud to actively collaborate with community leaders to ensure First Nations' legacies and perspectives are embedded in development projects.

The Northshore Traditional Owner Engagement Protocol, is a first of its kind for the Queensland Government - guiding the EDQ Northshore team to engage and build trusted relationships with Traditional Owners.

It is partnered with the project’s Indigenous Participation Plan, which focuses on future development opportunities within the Northshore Hamilton Priority Development Area. The Engagement Protocol aims to support the formation of trust-based relationships and mutual understanding, highlighting the significant potential for Indigenous representation, economic growth, and cultural celebration in precinct and community projects.

As part of the Northshore Indigenous Participation Plan, EDQ’s approach at Northshore includes incorporating First Nations’ artwork and designs in construction and landscaping. This plan, guided by the Traditional Owner Engagement Protocol, echoes the importance of visibly integrating First Nations patterns, stories, and languages into our spaces.

Duncan Kerslake speaking at the 2022 EDQ First Nations Expo.
Duncan Kerslake speaking at the 2022 EDQ First Nations Expo.
Jabin Project Management team speaking at the 2022 EDQ First Nations Expo.
Jabin Project Management team speaking at the 2022 EDQ First Nations Expo.

Cultural capability and community engagement: a two-way street

Engaging with First Nations People is a two-way conversation.

This is why EDQ hosts First Nations Business Expo’s, inviting First Nations guest speakers, celebrates important events such as Reconciliation and NAIDOC week, and participates in the 'Conversations that Matter' program for staff to understand and connect with the truths of First Nations people.

EDQ is thrilled to have First Nations voices within its First Nations Trainee Program and the inclusion of a senior leadership position designated for First Nations representation.

The internal First Nations Steering Committee and yearly staff surveys are crucial to shaping a policy framework for EDQ that is inclusive and responsive.

“At EDQ, we are committed to building cultural awareness and promoting inclusivity, and we believe that our efforts will lead to a more respectful, diverse, and thriving workplace.”

- Brooke Walters, Director of Sustainable Futures, Economic Development Queensland

Ready for the path ahead

EDQ is dedicated to championing Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development across Queensland. Its vision is to honour our past and plan for our shared future, ensuring that those with the longest history on this land are at the heart of our journey forward.

EDQ is seeking partners in this vision and invites First Nations suppliers to join in the journey.

For more information visit:

  • Discover Opportunities: Explore how your business can align with our projects.
  • Get In Touch: For details on the Queensland Indigenous Procurement Policy and to access business support.
  • Stay Updated: Register on QTender to receive alerts on new tender submission opportunities.
  • Join the Network: Register with Supply Nation, the Australian government-endorsed Indigenous business directory.

Last updated: 3 July 2024