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Governor hosts launch of new WA Aboriginal Leadership Institute

Thursday, 1st February 2018

A new organisation that brings together current, future and emerging Aboriginal leaders from across the State was launched today by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia.

Her Excellency stands with guests

Her Excellency with WAALI Board Member Ms Angela Ryder, WAALI Board Member Mr Gary Smith, Chevron Australia Human Resources General Manager Kaye Butler, WAALI CO-Chair Robyn Smith-Walley, WAALI Co-Chair Rishelle Hume, WAALI Patron Professor Colleen Hayward, Chevron Australia Managing Director Nigel Hearne and WAALI Board Member Dr Richard Walley OAM

The Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI) aims to overcome Aboriginal disadvantage by building leadership and governance capacities amongst Aboriginal people, and inspiring participants to affect meaningful change within their families and communities.

WAALI Co-Chairperson and 2016 Aboriginal Western Australian of the Year, Rishelle Hume, emphasised the significance of instilling autonomy amongst Aboriginal communities.

“We need to nurture a new generation of Aboriginal leaders and invest in their leadership development, to create a robust future for my people where there is no longer a need to talk about ‘closing the gap’.”

One of the Institute’s core focus areas is the expansion of the WA Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Initiative supported by Chevron Australia.

In her welcoming address, Her Excellency spoke about the importance of WAALI and the profound impact it stands to have on the wider community.

“The launch of the Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute is an exciting milestone for our State.

The Institute not only helps Aboriginal women realise their personal potential, but integrates Aboriginal culture and professional life based on a deep understanding of the responsibilities of family and community.” 

During the event, guests were moved by a traditional smoking ceremony and stirring performances by Gina Williams, Guy Ghouse and traditional Aboriginal dancers.

A number of Aboriginal Elders from across the Whadjuk Noongar area were in attendance at the launch, joining several high-profile members of Perth’s corporate, government and philanthropic sectors including WAALI Patron and senior Noongar woman, Professor Colleen Hayward AM were in attendance.

The Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute will offer a range of programs focusing on key areas of development such as financial literacy, personal development, reconciliation and performance management.

Expansion of Yorga Djenna Bidi into the WA Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Initiative

The Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Initiative was designed by Aboriginal women, for Aboriginal women. Its pilot program, Yorga Djenna Bidi (meaning women’s movement or women’s journey), commenced in 2015 with 42 women successfully completing the five-month program in the years following.

Yorga Djenna Bidi was run in partnership with Leadership WA and sponsors and was initiated by Rishelle Hume and Robyn Smith-Walley, with the support of Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC Governor of Western Australia, in response to a gap in available leadership mentoring.