Nominations open for Indigenous Governance Awards

Reconciliation Australia is looking for outstanding examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and projects to be part of the 2012 Indigenous Governance Awards.

Chief Executive Leah Armstrong said good work is taking place right across Australia by organisations and initiatives run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. “The Indigenous Governance Awards are the best evidence I’ve seen of what works—they provide solid examples of the positive things that are taking place across Indigenous Australia,” Ms Armstrong said.

The prestigious biennial awards program, held in partnership with BHP Billiton, showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and initiatives that demonstrate strong leadership, effective management, and a commitment to achieving lasting outcomes.

“Since 2005 the Awards have helped show us, and the nation, what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success looks like. They’ve given us the confidence to say that effective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governance is the foundation stone for real outcomes and sustainable change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

The Indigenous Governance Awards is the only national program dedicated to recognising excellence in Indigenous governance. In 2012 the Awards will focus on innovation and resilience and the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be self-determining.

“Indigenous governance is all about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples sitting in the decision-making seats, not governments or others. Our past Awards finalists demonstrate this by driving positive outcomes from the ground up.

“Good Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and projects incubate leaders, build community capacity, employ large numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and play a pivotal role in Indigenous economic development,” Ms Armstrong said.

Nominations for the fifth Indigenous Governance Awards will be open until 31 May 2012. Organisations and initiatives from a broad range of areas—including housing, education, health, media, sport and the arts—are encouraged to apply.

In 2012 for the first time non-incorporated projects and initiatives are eligible for the Awards, which will be focused on governance innovation and resilience.

The winners will be announced at a special event in Melbourne in October where $60,000 in total prize money and corporate mentoring packages will be awarded.

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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