Amanda is an equity practitioner who has focused her career on reducing structural inequalities across political, social, economic and sustainability domains. She is currently the Executive Director of Pollination, a specialist climate change investment and advisory firm, accelerating the transition to a net zero, nature positive future. She is also a non-executive director of Oxfam Australia and Cufa.
Before Pollination, she was a Partnerships and Engagement Manager at the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity programme at the University of Melbourne. She has also been the Chief Executive Officer of First Nations Foundation, which researches the financial position and wellbeing of its people, builds financial skills using traditional cultural values, and conducts outreach events in the most remote parts of the country to reunite Indigenous people with their retirement savings. Her work at the foundation resulted in multiple award nominations, of which she won three.
She started her career as a practising criminal lawyer and worked in the field for eight years, which prepared her well for a career as an advocate and a public speaker. Keen to influence the change agenda, she then moved into government strategy and policy, where she worked across legal, social and political initiatives including reparations payments for the stolen wages of Indigenous workers. It is a cause for which she feels particular affinity, as her people were brought to Australia as slaves, working under similar punitive regimes during the British colonisation of Australia.
Amanda then shifted her focus to the economic needs of First Nations people, becoming a mentor and business consultant to an emerging Indigenous entrepreneurship sector. Amanda plans to shift the economic outcomes for First Australians dramatically and close the wealth gap between mainstream Australia and its Indigenous population. There are strong macroeconomic forces creating opportunities for the latest generation of this 65,000-year-old culture, which has given her people a home.
Amanda completed a postgraduate law qualification and has attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education programme and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Do you realise that 80% of the world’s biodiversity is in the hands of Indigenous people, less than 5% of the global population? We are the custodians of the past, the creators of the future and possibly the most important people in the world, a challenging notion to westerners who believe the natural world is something to be exploited rather than protected.