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The Indigenous Governance Awards (IGA) were created by Reconciliation Australia in partnership with BHP Billiton in 2005 to identify, celebrate and promote effective governance within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Reconciliation Australia is the national organisation promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community. Fostering good governance in communities is a key priority for BHP Billiton, given the powerful relationship between effective governance and economic empowerment for the community.

The awards recognise efforts to promote and improve governance success across Australia for the social and economic wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

The awards have grown increasingly popular in recent years, jumping from 27 applications in 2010 to a record 107 in 2012. The 2012 finalists included some of Australia’s most well-known and respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, such as Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) and the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation.

Finalists have been consistently recognised elsewhere by third parties, including being noted as indicators of success in the Productivity Commission’s 2007, 2009 and 2011 Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Reports.

In 2010, BHP Billiton and Reconciliation Australia launched the Indigenous Governance Toolkit. The kit stands alone as the only comprehensive and freely accessible online resource targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities.

BHP Billiton and Reconciliation Australia have recently signed a new agreement to ensure the IGAs continue for at least the next four years.

‘My work on these awards has changed my view of the world, changed my approach to what I do. What these people are achieving and how they do what they do has come to inform everything I say and everything I stand for in promoting the wellbeing of my people.’ Prof Mick Dodson, Chair, Indigenous Governance Awards

‘In building our governance community, BHP Billiton has been with us every step of the way. Their support enables us to not only identify and promote effective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governance, but to build a store of invaluable knowledge about what works and why. Our job is to share this around the nation, to help breed that success and see it replicated in all our communities.’ Leah Armstrong CEO Reconciliation Australia

Read more on our community investment activities in the BHP Billiton Community Review (PDF 3.6 MB)

Timing Investment

​2005 to 2017

US$1.2 million over four years

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