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Dr Virginia Marshall

Executive Member of the Indigenous Peoples' Organisation-Australia

July 2022

Dr Virginia Marshall is an Executive Member of the Indigenous Peoples' Organisation-Australia, Wiradjiri Nyemba Educator, Legal Academic and Practising Lawyer. We asked her what her vision of a better future for Australia looks like. 

My vision is for an Australia that recognises the national treasure it shares in the world’s oldest living Indigenous culture, Indigenous Australians, and to learn about the unique Indigenous land and water knowledge systems that will inform Australia’s climate change response."

Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation-Australia (IPO) is a national coalition of 285 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and people who advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples. IPO addresses a wide range of concerns from cultural heritage, land and climate management, remote communities, welfare entitlements, housing and services, community well-being and self-determination as the key overarching right, that is the foundation of all other rights.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation is taking action because the impending reality of going beyond the tipping point in climate change and that it may occur in our lifetime is unacceptable."

Virginia is also involved at the Australian National University (ANU) Climate Change Institute in Canberra.

The goal of the ANU Climate Change Institute is to contribute to climate change solutions. We draw on the wealth of climate expertise at ANU and connect that expertise with governments, businesses, the media, the Canberra community and the general public. We’re focused on building and supporting a collaborative community of climate related researchers and teachers from every part of the university. In 2019, ANU signed up to the Global Universities Alliance on Climate Change (GAUC). GAUC has been designed to facilitate greater levels of collaboration on climate issues, greater engagement with climate stakeholders and the promotion of environmental practices by universities in line with UN conventions on climate change and Sustainable Development Goals."

The ANU-Optus Bushfire Research Centre of Excellence will undertake advanced research and develop novel hi-tech solutions to 2025 to predict, detect and extinguish blazes before they become deadly. The ANU Strategic Plan provides an environment for debating the big issues and partnering with Indigenous Australia to advance the status, recognition and lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples."

We asked Virginia what commitments she would like to see from the Australian Government. 

Australia should reduce emissions by taking effective actions in the energy, transport, agriculture, building and industry sectors. We should adopt policies that promote renewed investment in renewable energy and storage infrastructure and in new renewal energy technologies. Australia must make significant investment in Aboriginal fire management across the entire landscape to mitigate carbon emissions and protect biodiversity."

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