BHP Billiton has become Australia’s first major corporate to make a significant contribution to Reconciliation Australia’s project on good Indigenous Governance as a crucial element of reconciliation.
The relationship was launched in Canberra today by co-chairs of Reconciliation Australia, Ms Jackie Huggins and Mr Fred Chaney, Mr Mick Dodson, Board Member Reconciliation Australia and Mr Graham Evans, Vice President Government and Community Relations and Mr Peter Rush, Indigenous Affairs Manager BHP Billiton.
The issue of good governance is of major importance in order to develop the management, transparency and accountability of Aboriginal community organisations, councils, government departments and institutions. It is critical for the sustainability of communities.
The central focus of the three-year partnership will be to establish a program that works with indigenous organisations and communities, and where appropriate with governments, to tackle indigenous governance issues through a series of specific initiatives, including:
- Good Indigenous Governance Awards to encourage, reward and promote best practice in Indigenous Governance
- A best practice manual on good governance in Indigenous communities and regions
- Establishing a framework for a major research project into ‘What works and what doesn’t in indigenous governance in Australia’.
‘This brand new and exciting relationship with BHP Billiton is a great example of what we hope will be a growing corporate commitment to reconciliation through constructive relationships which produce tangible outcomes’ - Jackie Huggins
‘Good governance is as vital in the Indigenous community as it is in the corporate sector. We hope that through our relationship with Reconciliation Australia we can help create healthy and sustainable communities that can actively participate on a local and regional level.’ - Graham Evans
Reconciliation Australia is an independent non-profit body that provides a national focus for the process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.