Mining and communities: An Australian case study of how national and international norms on CSR and Indigenous rights influence corporate practices

Please come along on Thursday 28th April (12-1pm) for a seminar presented by Dr Cathy Howlett (Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University) and Dr Rebecca Lawrence (Department of Political Science, Stockholm University) at Macquarie University.


This case study is part of a larger international research project investigating if, and how, developing international norms in regards to indigenous rights influence corporate behaviour in the extractive industries in Scandinavia, Australia and South Africa. The Australian case study focuses on the Mithika people and their responses to the behaviour of a large Australian based energy company – Santos – and the Queensland government. In 2014 the Mithaka lodged a complaint with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples regarding the Queensland Government’s intention to allow gas and oil development on their traditional lands without their consent. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy of the company clearly states that they abide by the normative principles underpinning the UN Principle of Free and Informed Consent (FPIC), however research to date indicates there is a dissonance between company rhetoric and their actual practices.


Cathy’s research focuses on the political economy of mineral and energy development on Indigenous lands in Australia. Cathy is committed to engaged and ethical research with Indigenous peoples and is the Indigenous research ethics specialist on the Commonwealth Scientific International Research Organisation (CSIRO) Social Science Research Ethics Committee.

Rebecca’s research concerns the rights of Indigenous peoples; ethical responsibilities of the corporate sector and the chain of accountability throughout global resource industries. Rebecca has also worked for the Human Rights Unit of the Saami Council, where she has provided advice to Saami organisations and communities in their negotiations with the proponents of resource developments.

When: 12–1pm Thursday 28th April

Where: W6A 107, Macquarie University

No RSVP required and all welcome!




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