25 March 2024

Cape York entries needed for Indigenous Governance Awards

| Cape York Weekly

The call has gone out for nominations for the 2024 Indigenous Governance Awards, with winners to be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony later in the year. Photo: Joseph Mayers.

First Nations-led organisations looking after communities in Cape York are being encouraged to nominate for the 2024 Indigenous Governance Awards as a way to celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Held every two years since 2005, Reconciliation Australia and the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute have hosted the awards to honour such organisations for their strong governance practices and operational success.

The awards publicly recognise and celebrate outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations and projects that use effective governance models to make extraordinary contributions to communities and to the nation.

Over the past 19 years, the awards have been won by organisations working across the country, from the centre of the big cities, to small community-run groups in the remotest parts of Australia.

With no winners hailing from Cape York or Torres Strait communities for many years, event organisers are urging local groups to throw up their hand and submit a nomination.

Previous winners and runners-up have included women’s organisations, sporting clubs, land and sea councils, health promotion bodies, drug and alcohol services, native title bodies, childcare centres and arts organisations.

Applicants are judged on a number of criteria, including self-determination, effectiveness, cultural legitimacy, innovation, and sustainability.

A spokesperson for Reconciliation Australia said winning an Indigenous Governance Award had the potential to make a significant difference for an organisation.

“Apart from substantial prizemoney, winners receive mentorship from some of Australia’s most successful companies and organisations,” the spokesperson said.

“The reputations of winners are also enhanced, as they travel to Canberra to meet politicians and speak to media.

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The winner of the 2022 prize for small to medium incorporated organisations was the Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council (BLALC) based in western New South Wales.

BLALC chief executive officer John Reidy said winning the award had made a big difference in building an effective organisation.

“It changed everything,” he said.

“Winning the IGA had a far bigger impact than we had ever imagined.

“After being in administration for years, there was a lack of faith from funding bodies and potential partners in our organisation’s capacity for financial management, but once we won the award, everything changed.

“The award was fundamental to that change; winning encouraged them to have another look at us, and we now have strong partnerships and collaborations with local and national agencies.”

Good governance will be celebrated in three award categories: Indigenous-led non-incorporated initiatives or projects, Indigenous-led small to medium incorporated organisations (under $1 million annual revenue) and large Indigenous-led incorporated organisations ($1m and over annual revenue).

Winners in each category receive $20,000 and opportunities for further development and engagement as part of the prize package.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on 3 April, 2024.

For more information about the biennial awards, visit www.reconciliation.org.au/indigenous-governance-awards.

Cape York Weekly

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