The Awards themselves are only part of the Reconciliation Australia and BHP Billiton Indigenous governance program.

Since 2004 we’ve brought together learnings from our outstanding IGA finalists, as well as findings from the broad ranging Reconciliation Australia and Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research’s (at the Australian National University) Indigenous Community Governance Project, to provide material to assist organisations, communities and groups to build and strengthen their governance.

Sharing success: Stories from the Indigenous Governance Awards 2012


The Sharing Success report on the 2012 Indigenous Governance Awards profiles the 2012 finalists and includes findings from research undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the 2012 applications. There were 107 applicants in the 2012 Indigenous Governance Awards, by far the most we’ve ever received. This is an indication that more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations now believe in themselves and are aware of the importance of effective governance. The report highlights the many excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations all across the country leading the way and making a real difference in their communities.

The Indigenous Governance Toolkit


The toolkit stands alone as the only comprehensive and freely accessible online governance resource targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities. It provides practical information and tools to strengthen governance in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. The toolkit covers all the key topics—from getting started on building your governance to dealing with disputes and managing staff to nation building and sustainable development.

Celebrating Indigenous Governance


Celebrating Indigenous Governance: Success stories of the Indigenous Governance Awards The Celebrating Indigenous Governance handbooks are packed with real stories and real case studies from our finalists and winners. Each chapter deals with a critical governance topic—leadership, future planning, making and implementing decisions—providing tips and examples on how you can adapt effective practices to your organisation or initiative.

The 2008 Celebrating Indigenous Governance handbook shares the stories and case studies from the 2008 IGA finalists, including winners Warakurna Artists and the Traditional Credit Union.

The 2006 Celebrating Indigenous Governance handbook shares the stories and case studies from the 2006 IGA finalists, including winners Gannambarra Enterprises and Wuchopperen Health Service.

The 2005 Celebrating Indigenous Governance handbook shares the stories and case studies from the 2005 IGA finalists, including winners the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.

Sharing Success Workshops


In 2007, 2009 and 2010 governance workshops were held at sites around the country to help bring the learnings and success stories of the Awards to organisations on the ground. The workshops have attracted attendees from 104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Sharing success workshop workbooks

These workbooks are excellent resources, containing tips, templates and tools to assist you in learning about, building and strengthening governance. Here you can view or download an example of the workbooks that have been used at our “Sharing Success” workshops around the country.

The Indigenous Community Governance Project


The Indigenous Community Governance Project, a partnership between the Australian National University’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) and Reconciliation Australia, undertook research on Indigenous community governance with participating Indigenous communities, regional Indigenous organisations, and leaders across Australia between 2004 and 2008.

The Project explored the diverse nature of Indigenous community governance in Australia to draw out common features on what works, what doesn’t work and why. Case study research was undertaken at 13 varied sites across Australia, in collaboration with participating communities and organisations. The Project aimed to make research ‘count’ by using a participatory community-based approach, and by directly informing the work of Indigenous organisations, leaders and government agencies in their practical efforts to build better governance.

The Project depended on guidance from an Advisory Committee with a significant Indigenous membership, which comprised experts from across Australia as well as international researchers from the United States and Canada.

Research findings are available on the project’s page at the Centre for Aboriginal and Economic Policy Research, ANU.

Read the Year Two Research Findings

Read the Year One Research Findings

Contested Governance: Culture, power and institutions in Indigenous Australia


This publication edited by Janet Hunt, Diane Smith, Stephanie Garling and Will Sanders brings together a collection of papers examines the dilemmas and challenges involved in the Indigenous struggle for the development and recognition of systems of governance that they recognise as both legitimate and effective.

It is gradually being recognised by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians that getting contemporary Indigenous governance right is fundamental to improving Indigenous well-being and generating sustained socioeconomic development. The authors highlight the nature of the contestation and negotiation between Australian governments, their agents, and Indigenous groups over the appropriateness of different governance processes, values and practices, and over the application of related policy, institutional and funding frameworks within Indigenous affairs.

The Harvard Project for American Indian Economic Development


The Harvard Project for American Indian Economic Development “aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations through applied research and service”. The Harvard project has its own awards program called Honoring Nations which recognises outstanding examples of tribal governance.

Honoring Nations


Honouring Nations is the Awards program of the Harvard Project for American Indian Economic Development. It identifies, celebrates and shares outstanding examples of tribal governance in Native nations in the US.