Indigenous Governance Awards

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success in leadership and governance.

The Indigenous Governance Awards (IGAs) were created by Reconciliation Australia in partnership with the BHP Foundation to identify, celebrate and promote effective Indigenous governance.

“Our communities are really committed to self-empowerment.  What we really want is to be in control of our world.'”

Matt Davidson, CEO Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation

About the Program

The Indigenous Governance Awards are about sharing success from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations around Australia.

The national awards highlight success in Indigenous Australia—strong leadership, good management, effective partnerships and brave, creative thinking.

The Awards have been running since 2005 and are now run every two years.

The BHP Foundation has been supporting Reconciliation Australia’s Indigenous governance program since 2002. Since it began, the partnership has seen the implementation of significant nationwide initiatives including the Indigenous Governance Program and the Indigenous Governance Toolkit.


Selection criteria and categories

There are two award categories:

Category A. Outstanding examples of Indigenous governance in Indigenous incorporated organisations

Category B. Outstanding examples of Indigenous governance in non-incorporated initiatives or projects

In each category, we’re looking for governance that demonstrates:

  • Innovation
  • Effectiveness
  • Self-determination and leadership
  • Cultural relevance and legitimacy
  • Future planning, sustainability and governance resilience.

Judging process

The judging process for the Indigenous Governance Awards involves:

Assessment of applications

A review committee of the judging panel will assess all applications based on the selection criteria and shortlist the best applicants in each category.  An independent panel of judges will then review all the shortlisted applications and select eight finalists across the two categories.

Site visits
Each finalist organisation will receive a site visit from members of the judging panel. If appropriate, the site visits will also involve photography and filming and may result in possible media coverage for the finalist.

Final selection
Following site visits the judging panel will reconvene to review the site visit reports and decide the Winner and Highly Commended organisations in each category.

Winners are announced at an Awards presentation.


Winners 2018

Winners 2016

Winners 2014