The AIGI will a) develop tools for Indigenous communities to build and improve their own governance performance, b) commission research into Australian Indigenous governance, c) be a knowledge broker on best practice, d) create a recognized and credible benchmark in the Indigenous Governance area, and e) share information and raise awareness of the benefits of good governance as well as develop the profile of the AIGI itself. This work will result in the strengthening and sustainability of healthier communities that are better equipped to meet the challenges and significant demands within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Annamila Pty will provide a financial basis on which to establish and grow the AIGI over time. In the first twelve month period, Annamila funding will be used to support the development of a long term business plan, recruit an inaugural CEO and plan and implement an Indigenous engagement program.
The planning phase involved research and consultations with Indigenous community leaders and representatives, persons with existing expertise in the governance sector and representatives from the government and private sectors. The engagement program will involve re-engaging with all stakeholders previously involved to a) communicate that the AIGI is up and running and b) to invite ongoing collaboration and input to the development of programs and products. In the first instance the AIGI will re-establish the governance conversation with a summit that will bring together people from all over Australia to assist the AIGI in positioning itself and to assist in recruiting membership to the Institute.
The engagement program will be a critical and major task in the establishment phase, supporting and educating communities, governments, and the non-government sector on what governance is and how communities need to be supported. With the assistance of Annamila Pty Ltd, the AIGI will leverage Annamila's financial support in order to attract funds with the knowledge that this initial financial contribution will significantly boost community confidence and belief in the potential and values of this new organization. In addition to financial support, Annamila Pty Ltd will provide expertise in business planning and start-up companies.
National and international research in Australia has identified good governance as a key factor in healthy, functional Indigenous communities and organizations. While there are many Indigenous organizations with excellent practices in place, there are many who would benefit from improved governance.
The challenges Indigenous groups face in their governance practice has been captured by the former Northern Territory Minister John Ah Kit. During his address to the NT Legislative Assembly, he pointed out the 'stark' crisis facing Indigenous Territorians and their communities. He characterized them as having experienced 'organizational bankruptcy', 'institutional incapacity', and a 'historical legacy of poor governance'.
Improved and effective governance is of particular importance for Indigenous communities because many are largely dependent on local organizations and government funding to provide for their basic needs, including social services, health services, employment and housing. With such a high level of dependency on service delivery, it is of extreme importance that effective governance models are identified and adopted to ensure improved service delivery and outcomes.
AIGI has developed four governance workshops for delivery to Indigenous organizations. These are: 1)The Role of Directors and the CEO, 2) Managing and Reporting on Finance, 3) Managing Change, and 4) Succession for Boards and Staff.
AIGI would like to make these workshops available to selected groups of Indigenous organizations. The cost of delivering a rural workshop is $55,000 while the cost of delivering an urban workshop is $35,000. The costs include consultation with directors and staff, preparation, tailoring and production of workshop materials, travel costs, and professional costs of delivery.
AIGI tailors these workshops based on close consultation with individual board members and staff from the organisations who will be attending the workshops. Adaptations are made for educational experience, English language proficiency, cultural norms, location, and core business.
AIGI believes applied governance approaches address the real issues facing directors and staff at the time of delivery, help maximize the effectiveness and duration of learning.