“We’re at a really crucial time right now, on this planet. We’re at crisis situation. And we need to act now. To stop big industry coming in, fracking, putting poison in the ground, taking resources out of the ground, messing with the natural balance and flow of Mother Nature. We need to be able to create a new way forward for our kids. We need to make sure that the water is maintained strong, fresh, clean – with no contamination. The film ends here. But the work doesn’t end.” – Josie Alec, proud Kuruma Marthudunera woman and ACF’s First Nations Lead.

The film Heart of Country takes you on a journey to hear from First Nations people on their connection to Country, filmed across Australia in places where coal, gas and nuclear projects risk fracturing that connection while destroying nature and damaging the climate.

When the film ends, our work continues.

Read on to learn more about speaking up for laws that respect First Nations rights, respecting what Country you are on, and supporting First Nations groups, organisations and initiatives near you.

Speak up for laws that respect First Nations rights and knowledge

We see in Heart of Country that rivers, forests, animals and communities are under threat from bulldozing and the floods, fires and droughts caused by climate change. The laws that are meant to protect nature are failing. 

Right now the Albanese Government is re-writing Australia’s nature protection laws, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. We expect to see new laws in the parliament next year.

The government must create strong new nature laws that stop this destruction.

ACF is making it clear to the government that new laws must respect and acknowledge the knowledge and aspirations of Australia's First Nations people, and ensure that their rights and interests are recognised.

Strong new nature laws must also prevent climate harm by rejecting gas and coal proposals that damage our climate and maintain the current ban on nuclear energy generation in Australia.

It’s up to all of us to let the government know ambitious action is needed. If we don’t get these laws right, we’re failing to protect nature now and into the future. Read more about the need to ensure laws that champion First People's rights, and actually protect the rivers, wildlife, forests and animals that make up this beautiful country, in our blog on What nature needs from the Albanese Government.

Complete the Have Your Say survey on the federal government's website to speak up for strong nature laws that work for people and planet. 

Then send a personalised email to your Member of Parliament (MP) to urge them to act to protect nature and ensure justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Email your MP

Learn about what Country you are on

Heart of Country takes us from Kuruma Marthudunera Country in WA, to Gomeroi Country in NSW, to Gunditjmara Country in Victoria, to Adnyamathanha and Barngarla Country in SA.

But do you know what Country you are on?

One important and foundational way to take action is to learn about the Traditional Owners of the lands on which you live, work and play. There are resources to help, like Whose Country am I on? and the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia.

Your local council website may also be a good place to start.

Share what you learn with people you know, or during times that you acknowledge Country, so that knowledge is passed on.

Support First Nations organisations, initiatives and campaigns

As we confront the urgent climate and nature crises, we have much to learn from the country’s original, enduring custodians.

There are so many incredible First Nations organisations, speaking out and caring for Country. Educate yourself about these organisations’ work, support and share their campaigns and content, and donate.

Here are just a few groups and organisations to look into:

  • Save Our Songlines – a group Josie Alec helped found in Murujuga to stop new industry on the Burrup from damaging songlines, rock art, health and climate.
  • Seed Mob – Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network, building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people for climate justice.
  • Southern Ocean Protection Embassy Collective – Gunditjmara-led collective fighting to protect sacred sea Country, including from plans by companies such as Beach Energy and Cooper Energy to expand gas drilling along the coast. The Otways Climate Emergency Action Collective (non-First Nations group) is also involved in this campaign.
  • We Stand with Gomeroi – campaign led by the Gomeroi people against Santos’ Narrabri gas project.
  • Country Needs People – a growing group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people campaigning for Indigenous Ranger and Protected Area programs.
  • The Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council – protecting the sacred river, the Mardoowarra in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and representing Traditional Owners of the entire river catchment.
  • Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council – the proud Traditional Owners of a vast area of land in central-western Queensland, including the site of Adani's destructive coal mine.
  • Olkola Aboriginal Corporation – Olkola Aboriginal Corporation now holds and manages 869,822 hectares of its Traditional Lands, making it one of the largest landholders in the Cape York Peninsula.
  • Wuthathi Aboriginal Corporation for whom the struggle to return and protect their ancestral homelands took nearly 100 years. ACF stood with them for 40.
  • Mirarr people via Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation – the Traditional Owners of land in the north of the Northern Territory. They are powerful advocates against uranium mining, speaking out in the famous Jabiluka campaign, and for Kakadu.
  • Australian Nuclear Free Alliance – formed in 1997, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance brings together Aboriginal people and civil society groups concerned about nuclear developments in Australia, particularly on Aboriginal homelands.
  • First Nations Clean Energy Network – a network of First Nations people, community organisations, land councils, unions, academics, industry groups, technical advisors, legal experts, renewables companies and others, working in partnership to ensure that First Nations communities share in the benefits of the clean energy boom.

Add your name to stop coal, gas and nuclear projects

Coal, gas and nuclear projects risk fracturing First Nations communities’ connection with their land, while also destroying nature and damaging the climate.

It's up to all of us to push our government to deliver bold climate action now, and keep Australia free from dangerous nuclear energy.

As well as learning about and supporting incredible First Nations organisations and groups, you can take a minute now to add your name – alongside tens of thousands of others – to stop dirty coal, gas and nuclear projects in Australia:

  • Sign the petition urging the Australian government to end new climate-wrecking coal and gas projects and infrastructure in Australia.
  • Sign the petition to make Australia nuclear-free, keeping uranium in the ground and our communities safe.

Run a Heart of Country screening

Share Heart of Country with your friends, family, colleagues and community, and help build the movement of people across Australia deepening their understanding of First Nations’ resistance – and standing with First Nations people as they protect Country. Heart of Country is free to watch on our YouTube account, so you can invite friends, family and others in your community to watch it with you.

If you're part of an ACF Community group or another local group, you could run a screening for a social event. 

This 4-page guide steps you through some ideas for sharing this film with others in your community, and turning their viewing experience into powerful action.

View guide

By encouraging more people to experience this powerful film, you’ll spark important conversations about advancing First Nations justice, and shift those around you towards hope.

After the film, encourage some discussion and reflection time, with questions like: 

  • How do you feel after watching the film? 
  • What part of the film resonated with you? Why? 
  • What actions would you like to take next, to protect Country? 

Creating important story-telling moments like Heart of Country wouldn't be possible without the support of our community. You can help to support more truth-telling stories like Heart of Country with a gift today. 

Donate now

An aerial photograph of a coastline. The land is hilly and deep green. The ocean is deep blue and turquoise, with white waves crashing against the shore. Explore stories of First Peoples protecting Country in Heart of Country.