Community-led organisations honoured in Indigenous Governance Awards

Reconciliation Australia, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute, and the BHP Foundation proudly announced the winners of the 2022 Indigenous Governance Awards tonight.

The Awards share and promote success from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations around Australia.

Normally held every two years, this is the first time the Awards have taken place in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After the unavoidable disruptions and postponements throughout the past two years, it’s our honour and privilege to showcase these finalists and their stories of uncompromising strength and resilience.” CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine said.

Following a rigorous judging process, the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) Human Research Ethics Committee based in Sydney was named the winner of Category 1 – Outstanding examples of Governance in Indigenous led non-incorporated initiatives.

The AH&MRC is the peak body for Aboriginal controlled health services in NSW and the Ethics Committee helps ensure that Aboriginal people are at the centre of Aboriginal health research.

“The Ethics Committee helps ensure that Aboriginal people are at the centre of Aboriginal health research, and provides an Aboriginal lens to make sure that research is conducted ethically and in a culturally safe way,” Committee Co-chair, Dr Summer May Finlay said.

The other two finalists in this category were both highly commended for their work:

  • Strengthening of the Koling wada-ngal Committee to Support Community In The West; Wyndham VIC and
  • SAWCAN (South Australian West Coast ACCHO Network)


Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council (Brewarrina, NSW) took out Category 2 – Outstanding examples of governance in Indigenous-led small to medium incorporated organisations.

In pursuit of social justice, the council aims to support the local Aboriginal community as it seeks the right to a distinct status and culture, the right to self-determination, and the right to land.

“Cultural preservation of our land and our environment is the first priority of business for our local Aboriginal Land Council. That sets the platform for very strong governance,” Chairman David Kirby said.

Wungening Aboriginal Corporation was named winner of Category 3 – Outstanding examples of governance in Indigenous-led large incorporated organisations.  

Wungening provides culturally secure, confidential health, housing and healing services to Aboriginal people in the Perth metro area, working from the understanding that historical factors impacting on Aboriginal healing, health and wellbeing are key to healing spirit, mind and body.

“The Wungening way is really about connecting, and keeping our families connected, so that families can have culture handed down, and that we can really live with a strong community, strong families, and strong individuals,” Wungening CEO, Daniel Morrison said.

Judging panel co-chairs Dr Eddie Cubillo and Janine Mohamed praised the unwavering leadership, tenacity and cultural pride displayed by all Awards applicants.

“The finalists model standards that other organisations can observe and build on, and that will help to advance First Nations peoples in Australia and internationally.”

More than 300 people – including politicians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, corporate partners and community members – attended the gala dinner at the ICC, Sydney. Among the guests were representatives from the nine finalist organisations, who travelled from five states and territories.

Learn more about the winners and finalists of the 2022 Indigenous Governance Awards, in their individual videos.