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One of Australia's oldest and most respected Aboriginal organisations, the NPY Women's Council, and the West Kimberley youth program, Yiriman project, have won the 2012 Indigenous Governance Awards (IGAs).
A record number of over 100 applications was received from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and projects this year, more than tripling the number from the previous awards round in 2010.
An independent judging panel visited each of the eight finalists throughout August and September assessing them against five criteria including self-determination, cultural relevance and legitimacy and future planning and government resilience.
The NPY Women's Council was the winner for 'Outstanding examples of Indigenous governance in Indigenous incorporated organisations', while the Yiriman project took out the award for 'Outstanding examples of Indigenous governance in a non-incorporated initiative or project'.
'The NPY Women's Council has courageously tackled issues, but it is their governance and commitment to culture that allows them to take on tough issues,' IGA Chair Professor Mick Dodson said.
'The Yiriman project is addressing a vital community need in an innovative, well-structured and cost-effective manner. They have clear and effective ownership by the Elders with strong cultural underpinning. It's a model that could be replicated in other parts of the Kimberley and the country at large.
'Being a judge in these awards opens your eyes and your heart to the extraordinary work that is being done out there. I wish all Australians could visit these organisations on the ground and see and hear what we saw and heard.'
Source: Reconciliation Australia