Who is involved in Empowered Communities and where are they from?

Who is involved in Empowered Communities and where are they from?

Empowered Communities is being led by the following Indigenous leaders from the 8 Empowered Communities regions:


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  • Denise Bowden – North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
  • Andrea Mason – NPY Lands, Central Australia
  • Ian Trust – East Kimberley, Western Australia
  • Nolan Hunter – West Kimberley, Western Australia
  • Fiona Jose – Cape York, Queensland
  • Noel Pearson – Cape York, Queensland
  • Paul Briggs – Goulburn Murray, Victoria
  • Shane Phillips – Inner Sydney, New South Wales
  • Chris Ingrey – Inner Sydney, New South Wales
  • Sean Gordon – Central Coast, New South Wales

These Indigenous leaders are working in collaboration with representatives from Federal, State and Territory governments and corporate Australia, to develop the new Empowered Communities model of engagement and governance.

Empowered Communities is an ‘opt-in’ model for Indigenous organisations. Indigenous organisations in each of the 8 Empowered Communities regions can learn more about the model and choose if they want to accept the opt-in criteria and participate in this new way of doing things. For organisations who decide not to participate in Empowered Communities, it will be business as usual. The key principles of the opt-in process for our region are transparency, accountability and responsibility. Accordingly, the opt-in criteria will include supporting all 5 long-term Empowered Communities goals and a willingness to work together with other organisations in the NPY Lands to achieve these goals.

Participation in Empowered Communities will require commitment from organisations, communities and individuals; this participation will bring with it unique opportunities to influence and drive better decisions and outcomes for Anangu. We believe that an ‘opt-in’ model acknowledges the diverse history, experiences, goals and agendas of individual organisations in the NPY Lands, whilst also promoting shared regional responsibility and a stronger regional voice. Our expectation is that, over time, more organisations will see the success of the Empowered Communities model and will want to be a part of building on this success, leading to increased collaboration and commitment across the NPY Lands.

As shown above, there are 8 Empowered Communities regions – from right across the country, including remote, regional and urban places.

Currently, the Empowered Communities region for Central Australia is the NPY lands, which includes Alice Springs as a regional hub providing service to the NPY lands (see map below). Empowered-3 map

Under Empowered Communities, we will take a united, cross-border approach for NPY Lands. Anangu see past the borders and we want government to see this too and to work with Anangu organisations across the NPY Lands towards a common pathway for all of the tri-state region (WA, NT, SA). Kulira nyakula kutjutu palyantjaku – Empowered Communities is about everybody working together for a common vision and shared strategy.

Empowered-4 ppl map