Indigenous Governance Awards 2016 winners announced
Reconciliation Australia in partnership with BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, have revealed the winners of the Indigenous Governance Awards 2016 and celebrated the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations and projects across Australia.
Following a rigorous judging process, Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (Western Desert Dialysis) was selected as the winner of the Category A Award for incorporated organisations, while Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly (Murdi Paaki) was honoured as winner of the Category B Award for non-incorporated projects.
Commenting on Category A winner, Western Desert Dialysis, Chair of the Indigenous Governance Awards, Professor Mick Dodson, said: “It’s their humanity that stands out in their governance. They strike me as a family that really cares for every member of that family in the way they deliver services. Aboriginal culture has been wrapped around access to modern medicine and allows it to be administered in a holistic and culturally appropriate way.”
Category B winner Murdi Paaki’s success “Comes from the fact they’re made up of community members, which gives them power to advocate”, said Professor Dodson. “They show leadership, vision, and fearlessness, and they are practicing self-determination.”
A highly commended honour was awarded to Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa in Category A, for its work strengthening Martu people’s connection with Country and leadership capacity; and Ara Irititja in Category B, for its dedication to digitally archiving culturally significant materials from the APY Lands.
BHP Billiton Chief External Affairs Officer Geoff Healy said good governance is critical to BHP Billiton and it’s engagement with Indigenous peoples around the world.
“Good governance delivers better, more transparent and accountable decision making and builds confidence in organisations and their leadership.”
“BHP Billiton has been proud to support the Indigenous Governance Awards since they began in 2005. These finalists are great examples of the benefits that flow when good governance standards are in place.” Mr Healy said.
The calibre of the finalist organisations from which the winners were selected was the most outstanding in the twelve-year history of the Awards.
“This was certainly the highest standard of finalists we’ve ever had. They’ve all got the administrative nuts and bolts of good governance in order and are taking innovative approaches to community leadership. Across the board, we have seen the governance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations improve exponentially and these finalists could teach non-Indigenous organisations many things about innovation and success”, reflected Professor Dodson.
Remarking on significance of the Awards, Professor Dodson said “It’s time that mainstream Australia takes notice of these outstanding organisations and projects, and adopts a new discourse focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success.”
In total, $60,000 prize money will be distributed through the Awards. The winner in each category will receive $20,000, and the highly commended organisations will each be awarded $10,000. Additionally, all nine finalists will be partnered with a high profile corporate organisation for 12 months, which will provide mentoring and assistance in an area identified by the finalist.
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