Fire Circle

Elders

We collaborate with Elders from First Nations and other wisdom traditions from all around the world.

Listen like you're listening to a song. This is the way that we like to invite our guests to experience the wisdom sharing of our Elders.

To acknowledge the rich cultural IP that underpins all Fire Circle experiences, we contribute 20% of earnings from every event to a community regeneration project nominated by the Elder. For example, proceeds from events featuring Elder Djapirri Mununggirritj go towards Buku Art Centre, an Indigenous community-led initiative which nurtures the thriving of Yolngu culture in North East Arnhem Land, Australia.

We also have clear cultural safety protocols that protect the custodianship of cultural IP by our Elders as well as guide guests in the appropriate application of their learnings.

Featured Elders

Djapirri Mununggirritj

Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land, Australia

Elder Djapirri’s ancestors are from Australia’s North East Arnhem Land, and she grew up as part of the Yolngu First Nations community. We believe there are few people in the world that command the powerful presence and wisdom Djapirri has. She is deeply connected with the Earth, her ancient culture and has spent many decades serving her community, reconciling relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, sitting on many Boards and advising the Australian Government. She is eager to share her rich wisdom with the business world as we re-imagine our future and cultivate an economy that truly serves the well-being of All.

In Matt’s words … “I met Djapirri in 2017 at the Garma Festival while sitting around a campfire and listening to her share Yolngu wisdom. Her ability of connecting people and speaking from the Earth are a feeling that has reverberated ever since. I’ve heard some people describe her as the female Dalai Lama.” In Yolngu culture, the name ‘Djapirri’ means the carrier of sacred knowledge.

Elder Djapirri supports Buku Art Centre, an Indigenous community-led initiative which nurtures the thriving of Yolngu culture.

Donna Kerridge

Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand

Elder Donna is a humble advocate, healer and leader, passionate about Indigenous practices that focus on healing and restoring our people and our Whenua (land). Donna is able to walk with ease in the corporate and policy circles, bridging Western approaches with Indigenous Māori approaches to enable us to bring the best of our collective gifts forward. She advises the New Zealand Ministry of Health to shape policy, lectures and educates people of all ages in Rongoā, has studied Western health science and a range of Indigenous healing practices and is a sought after leader.

 

Elder Donna supports Tiwawaka, a collective of people committed to healing the life force of the land. They bring together their gifts and abilities, skills, experience and networks throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand), all committed to realising that commitment regardless of culture, religion, belief, history, etc.

Dr Anita Sanchez

Colorado, USA

Elder Dr Anita Sanchez is a visionary woman with Mexican American and Indigenous Nahua (Aztec) ancestry. Over the past four decades Anita has woven indigenous wisdom, business, and science into her global consulting and training with world and corporate leaders and their teams. She also guides journeys into the Amazon rainforest with the Pachamama Alliance to support business leaders and their families to learn about their connection to Spirit, earth, and indigenous people, as well as build understanding of the importance of preserving indigenous cultures for us all.  Dr. Sanchez’ recent recognitions include the World Woman Foundation's Woman of the Hour Campaign / #ShesMyHero initiative with other luminaries such as Jane Goodall; and she is one of 43 women named by Conscious Company Media as a 2020 World Changing Woman.

 

Elder Anita supports White Bison, a Native American operated 501(c)3 nonprofit company (based in Colorado Springs, Colorado) that is dedicated to creating and sustaining a grassroots Wellbriety Movement that provides culturally based healing to the next seven generations of Indigenous People.

Louise Marra

Waiheke Island, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Elder Louise is from the Ngai Tuhoe iwi (tribe) of the indigenous Māoriand her practice is deeply grounded in indigenous principles. Her leadership experience has spanned a broad range of sectors having held senior leadership and governance roles within the Government, the private sector, philanthropy and the NGO sector. She has been an advisor to the Prime Minister, led a collaborative government office and has guided the set-up of social innovation labs both for Government and philanthropy.

Elder Louise works both globally and locally and is the director of the Leadership New Zealand programme and a catalyst and advisor for the Centre for Social Impact. She opens the door for individuals, organisations and communities to undertake deep experience and learning. Her facilitation has been described as soulful, transforming, joyful and enables a process of self-realisation. She is passionate about building the next generation of conscious leadership within individuals and organisations. She has post-graduate university qualifications in environmental management, public policy and Jungian and transpersonal psychology and is a certified coach.

Mac Macartney

Devon, England

Elder Mac’s ancestors are from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia. He grew up on the land of the Cornovii people close to the borders of what is now Wales. Mac has been working with First Nations people from over five countries during the last four decades. His journey of tracing his own pre-Roman, British tribal roots is an excellent example of how we can all find deeper connections to our Earth. He brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in bridging western and Indigenous worlds, including experience consulting for prominent organisations like Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

In Lorna’s words … “I met Mac because I had heard about Embercombe and then watched his Children’s Fire talk and was smitten. He was gracious enough to serve on the advisory board that I set up to help us through B Corp certification at Danone North America. Mac was a voice of courage, innocence and love through every conversation we had. Simply put, Mac is the voice of the children.”

Elder Mac supports Buku Art Centre, an Indigenous community-led initiative which nurtures the thriving of Yolngu culture in North East Arnhem Land, Australia.

N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM

Melbourne, Australia

Elder N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM is a Boonwurrung Yaluk-ut Weelam Elder from Melbourne, Australia. She is a prolific and respected leader with a unique ability to combine traditional knowledge with contemporary storytelling technology, which is expressed through her PhD and work with augmented reality. Her career has harnessed the diverse fields of public art, academia, advocacy, tourism and business in an effort to build a rich platform that raises the profile of Melbourne’s First Peoples.

In Matt's words ... "N'arweet is incredibly inspiring in her ability to work with such a diverse range of people across the community, at every opportunity honouring the living legacy of her ancestors."

N'arweet Carolyn supports the Kummargii Yulendji / Rising Knowledge Project which combines is a cross-cultural education platform designed to exchange Boonwurrung Yulendji (knowledge) about caring for Parbin-ata (Mother Earth) in new and innovative ways.

Partho

Chandigarh, India

Elder Partho’s inner journey began with an intense experience with the great Indian Master, Swami Vivekananda about thirty years ago. After a brief sojourn in the Himalayas, where he discovered Sri Aurobindo, Partho joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Delhi. Since then, he has been practicing Vedanta in the light of Integral Yoga. Partho works as an educator and leadership development practitioner with businesses in applying ancient Vedic wisdom in modern day contexts. He conducts retreats on Vedanta internationally and has written many books and articles on the topic.

Vedanta, literally, means the end (anta) of knowledge (Veda): it is when one comes to the end, or consummation, of knowledge that reality begins to unfold. And this reality is not something abstract, something that only Yogis or mystics can access in the forest or their mountain caves: it is a reality that we can live in our daily lives, bring to our work, relationships and efforts to create a more just and regenerative future. Practising this wisdom of Vedanta leads to greater inner and outer peace, harmony and joy.

Elder Partho supports the Auromir Community Development Project which is a program that seamlessly integrates education, skills training and revival of handmade arts.

Pedro Tarak

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Elder Pedro co-founded Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales in Argentina and was Managing Editor of the first environmental law journal in Spanish. He facilitated preparatory processes for the UN Conference on Environment and Development by Latin American civil society organizations and media-bridge building between business and government. He launched and led the first AVINA Representation in Latin America and helped start-up in Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Colombia, focusing on democratic governance, arts and social transformation issues.

Elder Pedro co-founded Emprendia, the first B Corp in Argentina, and became a board member and shareholder of Guayakí, a beverage firm that includes ecosystem regeneration and social inclusion in its core business. He is co-founder of Sistema B, an organization dedicated to promoting B Corps in South America, and he is highly engaged in the globalization of the B Corp movement together with B Lab from the U.S.

Elder Pedro supports Fundación Agroecologica Yguazu (Iguazu Agroecological Foundation). They empower local communities through culture, innovation, and respect, creating life system models in harmony with the natural environment.

Acknowledgement of Earth

We acknowledge our Mother Earth and the daily services that her ecosystems provide us. We acknowledge the First Nations people of the lands and waterways from where we gather as well as their Elders past, present & emerging. We acknowledge the many paths of migration and wisdom traditions that enrich our global community through culture, trade and stories.