Indigenous Ownership / Certification

Unique in the sandalwood arena, Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils Indigenous participants – the Dutjahn Custodians - are 50% stakeholders in the distillery, selling their wood to DSO at full market price and are also beneficiaries in the profits the new venture creates. DSO, as a 50% Indigenous owned company, will reinvigorate Indigenous Certification that was formerly pioneered in Western Australia. Profits from the oil distillation business will generate much needed work and funding to remote communities and will allow them to invest in community projects which will generate employment.  A new and improved Indigenous Certification Standard is being developed by Native Title Holders. The focus going forward is to show improved outcomes of Indigenous equity in the sandalwood supply chain.

Indigenous Certification

  • Re-invigorate Indigenous Certification. Rebuild the pioneering work of the Songman Circle of Wisdom founders that created Indigenous Certification of Australian sandalwood oil, supported by Aveda since 2002. Launched at the 2004 World Perfume Congress (France) with the support of Estee Lauder.
  • To respect Natural Origins.  Where a species is relocated to ensure the transfer respects the United Nations CBD 2006 Bonne and 2013 Nagoya Accords.  
  • To provide Material Transfer Agreements (MTA’s) to mitigate damage caused by such relocation of such species to new regions.
  • Establish a Treaty on Indigenous Land Rights. To use the legal determination on the Central Deserts, fought over the last 25 years by Dutjahn Custodians founders combined with public pressure to get justice.
The Songman 2004 (B. Randal Deceased) 

The Songman 2004 (B. Randal Deceased) 

Songman Founders 2002 (K. Farmer Dec.).

Songman Founders 2002 (K. Farmer Dec.).


This is a major step forward in joint partnerships and business relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous interests.



Plantation Certification

DSO and its partner companies work closely with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Forest Products Commission to ensure all wood processed by DSO is compliant and legally verified. 

WA Sandalwood Plantation's 13,000 hectare sandalwood estate is certified by the Australian Forestry Standard which provides its own legal verification and chain of custody certificate.



Associations, Memberships and Standards

Natural Origin Recognition Protocol

Through-out the world, multi-nationals will take traditional flora and generate either synthetic versions of it (eg rose oil) or take a traditional plant and cultivate and process it in a different part of the world (eg Santalum album) in both cases creating imbalances to regional communities and traditional Indigenous people. In 2010 Stephen Birkbeck crafted Natural Origin Recognition Protocol,   a new unique standard to the United Nations for the Santalum album industry,  with the support of David Hircock, a respected environmentalist from New York powerhouse - Estee Lauder. There is a real opportunity for the emerging Australian sandalwood plantation sector to unite under this standard and gain scale of economy and international impact. 


Natural Resources Stewardship Circle

Stephen Birkbeck was a regular speaker in France last decade and in 2008 presented the closing address at Cosmethica, the first global seminar on ethics in the luxury sector and conceptualised a not for profit body (NRSC)  that would bring together world leaders of luxury brands and regional community leaders that produce their raw materials. This concept was embraced and founded in Paris by Givaudan, Estee Lauder (Aveda) Clarins, Yves Rocher and The City of Grasse.  A New York Chapter was opened in 2012. 

It’s requires the President or Chairman of multi-nationals brands to personally attend Board meetings and AGM’s and membership fee’s are up to 50,000 euro’s per year (+ 2 billion euro of sales). In addition to fee’s it gets significant UN / NGO support as well as the combined might of the multi-national who are leveraged to supply additional inputs of HR, travel etc.


Provenance and Protection

Ranger Program through the Dutjahn Homelands

Using capital donations and the expertise of their joint venture partners company (WA Sandalwood Plantations), Indigenous leaders have finalised a blue print to establish a Custodian Ranger Role over the desert sandalwood forest on Native Title Lands.