Australia is leading the globe in Indigenous International relations with the Introduction of the Ambassador for First Nations People.
Gooreng Gooreng man Justin Mohamed will be leading the Office for First Nations Engagement in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The position is the first of it’s kind in the world and will focus on platforming issues facing Australia’s Indigenous communities, including trade and the environment.
Mohammed says he couldn’t believe it when he got offered the role.
“Three or four years ago, for a first a First Nations person to even have a role like this (you) wouldn’t even think it was possible, let alone you’re the person in the role,” he said.
As part of his duties Mohammed will be addressing global institutions such as the UN and other international forums that focus on Indigenous people, human rights, and health.
Before those conferences, Mohammed will travel domestically to hear from Indigenous communities across the country.
Mohammed says something that communities have been flagging already is increased opportunities in global trade.
“Australia’s trade commitments and the structure of how our international trade has been established, has been done without First Nations People
… The way we do business, the way we care for land, the way some of the products we have here domestically could be exported and taken overseas.
These are the areas were none of us can say here ‘yep we’ve reached our full potential on those,’ he said.
The appointment is already having an impact on other countries which Mohammed say are now considering establishing their own First Nations ambassadors .
Mohamed says Australia should feel proud of the world leading role.
“For a long time our country hasn’t been the best for First Nations People as far as globally and leading on First Nations issues.
I think in this space this is something we can all be proud of, he said.”
Listen to the full interview with the Inaugural First Nations Ambassador Justin Mohamed here:
Images supplied: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade