Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation from Alice Springs last night topped the 2014 Indigenous Governance Awards for the best run Aboriginal organisation or project in Australia.
At a gala dinner last night at BHP Billiton’s headquarters in Melbourne, Waltja – delivering services to families and communities – tied with Swan Hill’s The Marruk Project for the gong decided by a high-calibre judging panel, including the heads of the Business Council and Productivity Commission.
They assess the finalists against criteria including self-determination, cultural relevance and legitimacy, future planning, and resilience.
Awards chair Professor Mick Dodson says: “To me it is clear, when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered to take the lead in decisions about their lives and draw on culture as a source of strength and resilience, anything is possible. The 2014 finalists are perfect examples of this.”
Reconciliation Australia, in partnership with BHP Billiton, holds the awards biennially. In 2014, a record 113 high-quality applications were received from a diverse range of organisations, hailing from some of Australia’s remotest communities and busiest cities.
PHOTO by Wayne Quilliam shows Waltja staff Sonja Dare, Erin Turner, and James Fielding.