Indigenous organisations ingenious leaders in governance

Eight of Australia’s top Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have been selected from a record pool of 113 nominees in the prestigious 2014 Indigenous Governance Awards (IGA).

The finalists hail from Australia’s remotest communities and busiest cities and represent a diverse range of sectors.

An independent judging panel chaired by Professor Mick Dodson had the unenviable task of selecting the finalists from what he described as “a truly outstanding field of applicants”.

“Since the inception of the Indigenous Governance Awards in 2005, the depth, breadth and calibre of the nominations has continued to increase,” Professor Dodson said

“From every corner of the country, the IGA finalists demonstrate that whatever the project—be it land and sea management, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, education and training or health—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are achieving impressive results in often challenging environments.”

Reconciliation Australia, in partnership with BHP Billiton, holds the Indigenous Governance Awards biennially to identify, celebrate and promote strong Indigenous governance.

“Our finalists represent the best of what is happening in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around the country,” Professor Dodson said.

“The reality is that we are starting to see consistency in the quality and quantity of highly successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait organisations across the country and it’s time that mainstream Australia took notice of their success.”

“These organisations indisputably deliver results and are examples of self-determination and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples leading positive change.”

The 2014 finalists are:

Category A – Incorporated organisationsCategory B – Non-incorporated projects
Australian Indigenous Mentoring ExperienceThe Marruk Project
Girringun Aboriginal CorporationMuntjiltjarra Wurrgumu Group, Wiluna
Institute for Urban Indigenous Health 
Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation 
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency 
Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation
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.

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