Indigenous Governance Awards finalists announced

Nine high-performing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations and initiatives from around the country have been shortlisted as finalists in the Indigenous Governance Awards 2018.

In late September and October, an expert panel of judges will travel around Australia – from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, through central Australia and as far east as Queensland’s Stradbroke Island – to assess the finalists hailing from diverse sectors and language groups.

Effective Indigenous governance melds traditional governance and responsibilities, based on culture and kinship, with the requirements of mainstream organisations, including financial and legal accountability.

Each finalist organisation or initiative has been selected for its culturally-informed ways of working, which drive positive and long-lasting change in their communities.

Chair of the Indigenous Governance Awards Professor Mick Dodson said the finalists demonstrate the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations and projects around the country.

“They represent the best of what is happening across Australia, and their successes show us that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered to make decisions, substantial and sustainable change for the better is possible,” he said.

Professor Dodson said the success of the finalist organisations and initiatives lies in their ability to draw upon traditional governance models to effectively respond to contemporary challenges.

“By embedding culture at the heart of everything they do, all of the finalists are effectively finding solutions to complex issues that have long confounded governments and mainstream organisations.”

“It’s time that mainstream Australia takes notice of these organisations and projects, and adopts a new discourse focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success.”

Judging panel member Glenda Humes said she was particularly impressed by the innovative approaches the finalists used to produce socioeconomic and community development outcomes.

“The finalists this year stood out because in many cases they are using creative and original approaches to meet the needs of their communities,” she said.

“Whether focused on creating sustainable economies, heritage protection, encouraging school attendance or native title rights, the finalists are pioneering culture-smart solutions and self-determining answers that work in their communities.”

Delivered in partnership with the BHP Billiton Foundation, the IGAs were established by Reconciliation Australia in 2005 and are now co-hosted with the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute.

This year’s winners will be announced at an event in Melbourne on 23 November.

Indigenous Governance Awards finalists

Category A - Incorporated organisations

  • Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Ltd (Windsor, QLD)
  • Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (Dunwich, QLD)
  • Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd (Broome, WA)
  • Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (Perth, WA)
  • Marr Mooditj Training Aboriginal Corporation (Perth, WA)
  • Kuruma Marthudunera Aboriginal Corporation (Karratha, WA)

Category B - Non-incorporated projects

  • The Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (Alice Springs, NT)
  • CAYLUS Utopia Project (Alparra, NT)
  • Alekarenge Community Development Working Group (Ali Curung, NT)

For more information about each of the finalists, visit:

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

Skip to content
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap