A NEW organisation to bring together emerging Aboriginal leaders was launched this week by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson with a ceremony at Government House.
Indigenous women Robyn Smith Walley and 2016 Aboriginal Western Australian of the Year Rishelle Hume founded Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI).
The organisation aims to overcome Aboriginal disadvantage by building leadership and governance capacities among Aboriginal people, and inspiring participants to affect meaningful change within their families and communities.
Ms Hume said it was important to support the next generation of Aboriginal leaders.
“(We need to) create a robust future for my people where there is no longer a need to talk about ‘closing the gap’,” she said.
Ms Smith-Walley said she was confident WAALI would gain community support and become “a strong link in our cultural chain”.
During the ceremony, which featured a traditional smoking ceremony, performances by Gina Williams, Guy Ghouse and traditional Aboriginal dancers, Ms Sanderson called the launch of the organisation a “milestone” for the state.
One of the institute’s core focus areas is the expansion of the WA Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Initiative supported by Chevron Australia.
Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne said the company was proud to be involved in supporting a program aimed to strengthen and encourage inclusive leadership in the community.