Response regarding 'Pieces of Australia' apparently gifted at The Oscars 'goodie bag'
This statement is in response to an article featured in The Guardian on 9 March 2023 that we were not contacted to comment on.
The London Telegraph first alerted us to this issue on Friday in the course of research for an article they have since published.
A version of the statement below was originally published on our website on 10 March and The Guardian were notified in writing. Since then, The Guardian has updated its article to reflect our official response.
The Indigenous Carbon Industry Network is a 100% Indigenous-owned charitable company owned by 23 Indigenous organisations across Australia.
It has no connection whatsoever to Pascha Pty Ltd, Envirocean, Distinctive Assets or the brands referred to in connection to the Oscars ‘goodie bag’ - including 'Pieces of Australia' or the 'Aussie Mate Conservation Pack'.
The ICIN has no relationship with Niels Chaneliere and, to the best of our knowledge, we have not been contacted by him in any way.
The ICIN has not been approached in any way in regards to The Academy Awards (Oscars).
ICIN has not granted permission for any of our information, publications or photos to be reproduced to support the Oscars ‘Goodie Bag’ or ‘Pieces of Australia’. In particular it has not granted permission for any photos on our website or publications featuring Aboriginal people undertaking fire management to be reproduced by a third party to support the Oscars 'Goodie Bag’ or ‘Pieces of Australia’ in any way.
ICIN does not agree with its brand or the hard work of our members being linked to the 'Pieces of Australia' scheme. We take our own commitments to the rights of Traditional Owners and Free, Prior and Informed Consent very seriously.
It is also important to note that the ICIN does not have any direct relationship with Traditional Owners of the Western Downs region or Barunggam Nation, where the 'property' purchased by Mr Chaneliere is apparently located.
We refer media to the Queensland South Native Title Service regarding any media enquiries directed at Traditional Owners of that area.
ICIN has engaged probono legal advice regarding this matter, thanks to Allens legal and has contacted Envirocean and Distinctive Assets seeking an explanation for their actions linking our work, brand, good reputation and materials to this concept without our knowledge or consent.
As you can imagine, this incident has placed a great deal of pressure upon our small organisation (with just 4 staff working across Australia) and other persons and parties affected. It highlights the need for any third party to conduct thorough due diligence regarding any claims of connection to an Indigenous organisation.
Oscar nominees and media outlets covering the The Academy Awards must be aware that the ICIN has had no input into items for their 'goody bag' and certainly does not gain from it or support it in any way.
We will be able to provide further statement once more information comes to light.
CEO, Indigenous Carbon Industry Network
Co-Chair, Indigenous Carbon Industry Network