Yirri Global provides counsel to senior executives and their companies, primarily in the extractive sector, on stakeholder risks and management strategies. We work in the interface between formal economic activity and communities, particularly in the developing world.
‘Yirri’ is a Kuku-Yalanji word (an active Australian Aboriginal language from North Queensland, spoken by a group of people with whom I have had very close contacts for more than 35 years). The word can be defined as ‘flowing water’ but it is also the name of the father and grandfather of my great mentor, brother and friend, Kuku-Yalanji elder and senior traditional owner, the late Bob Yerry.
As some of you know, I left Rio Tinto after a great few years with a great company to set out on my own, as the Principal at Yirri Global. I have also chosen the Ashanti adinkra symbol for ‘reconciliation’ as a logo for our company.
My experiences over the years with Australian Aboriginal people, with Ghanaians in West Africa and other communities around the world have taught me an enormous amount about culture and the human experience, and both gave me the passionate belief and the commitment that only wise and sustainable business can overcome poverty – as long as local communities are convinced that the business activity can be done in an environmentally safe manner, that they have a say in decisions that impact them and that they benefit from it. This is also a recipe for generating and maintaining business value for shareholders as well.
Assisting business and communities to come to engagement and agreement that embodies this is my renewed mission and passion!