Indigenous Governance Awards 2022

Category 1 Winner

Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council Human Research Ethics Committee (AH&MRC HREC)

The committee was established in 1996 to ensure that research conducted with and about Aboriginal people in NSW is conducted both ethically and culturally. It stood out to the judges because of their long and committed history in a space that is often overlooked.

Justice, self-determination and truth-telling in research and ethics is crucial to rectifying the historical devastation caused by this industry, and judges commended the AH&MRC for this work.

A group of people from Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council Human Research Ethics Committee stand together holding their award.

Category 2 Winner

Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council

In pursuit of social justice, the Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council aims to support the local Aboriginal community through strong governance and economic consolidation, as it seeks: the right to a distinct status & culture, the right to self-determination, and the right to land. Out of adversity and challenges, Brewarrina showed the judges that they have successfully built an organisation that is valued and respected in their community. 

Representatives of Brewerrina Local Aboriginal Land Council stand smiling and holding their award with Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Muindine.

By focussing on land rights and their history, they have helped create a sense of pride, ownership and identity for their Country.

Category 3 Winner

Wungening Aboriginal Corporation

Wungening Aboriginal Corporation (Wungening) is a progressive Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation based in Perth, with ten locations and over 200 staff to further its vision of a healthy, safe, strong First Nations community. Wungening stood out to the judges because of their distinctive and evident compassion, empathy and care for their clients

Representatives of Wungening Aboriginal Corporation pose for a photo holding their award.

Working with vulnerable and stigmatised groups of people, Wungening consistently demonstrated their deep respect for their community.

Their work is widespread, but they have fostered close-knit relationships, as well as invested in two-way partnerships with other Aboriginal organisations.

Finalists: Category 1

Highly commended: Strengthening of the Koling wada-ngal Committee to support community in the west

Koling wada-ngal (Walking together) Committee engages in an equal partnership with the Wyndham Aboriginal community and key stakeholders to work towards providing a culturally safe Aboriginal Community Centre.

Judges saw the commitment and resolve of the Koling wada-ngal Committee members directly resulted in the Aboriginal community of western Melbourne having a safe place to nurture and pass on culture for generations to come.

Representatives from Koling wada-ngal Committee and Reconciliation Australia stand holding their award.

Highly commended: South Australian West Coast ACCHO Network – SAWCAN

The SAWCAN network consists of five Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services who provide culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care services to approximately 5,000 Aboriginal people. SAWCAN demonstrated to the judges a combined strength to overcome challenges and issues in providing quality primary health care to their communities.

Finalists: Category 2

Mudjar Aboriginal Corporation

Mudjar Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) focusses on cultural education and preservation. 

It demonstrated to the judges how they are involving its whole community in cultural and environmental education and preservation, creating beautiful spaces for people to come together.

Naru Goori Groms

Naru Goori Groms encourages and empowers the younger generation to give surfing a go in a culturally safe environment.

It took the judges on their journey of how they have helped over 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people make healthy choices through their culturally safe and fun surf program, while also advocating for suicide awareness. 

Representatives from Representatives from Naru Goori Groms pose for a photo with their award.

Finalists: Category 3

Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation

Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists (ANKA) Aboriginal Corporation is the peak support and advocacy body for Aboriginal artists and Aboriginal-owned community Art Centres across over one million square kilometres of country in remote northern Australia, in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It showed the judges how they used influence and networks to bolster governance, helping to keep Aboriginal art and copyright under community control. 

Robe River Kuruma Aboriginal Corporation 

Robe River Kuruma Aboriginal Corporation (RRKAC) is the registered native title body corporate for Robe River Kuruma (RRK) native title determined areas.

They were unfortunately forced to withdraw before the judging process – but we still want to honour them for their strength in Indigenous governance and the good work they are doing.


Learn more about each of the 2022 finalists’ stories through their videos. 

Previous awards

Take a look at the winners and finalists from previous Indigenous Governance Awards:

The Indigenous Governance Awards 2020 were postponed due to the pandemic. 

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