Illawarra Wingecarribee Alliance Aboriginal Corporation

What Is IWAAC?

IWAAC is the short name for the Illawarra Wingecarribee Alliance Aboriginal Corporation registered by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) in November 2015. It was formed to progress the LDM interests of Aboriginal communities in the Illawarra and Wingecarribee areas.

The idea of IWAAC was developed between 2013 and 2015 by the Illawarra Wingecarribee LDM Advisory Committee or LDMAC. It successfully applied in 2013 for the Illawarra and Wingecarribee areas to become one of the initial LDM sites.

LDMAC then continued to consult local Aboriginal leaders and community organisations on how LDM should be implemented, on the communities’ service issues and priorities and then on an appropriate organizational structure for the communities to manage the LDM process. The result of this was IWAAC.

How Does IWAAC Operate?

What Is LDM?

LDM – or Local Decision Making - is a NSW Government initiative that allows Aboriginal communities to have greater control over how programs and services are conceived, developed and implemented.

LDM Accords are negotiated between community representatives and NSW Government agencies reflecting community priorities and agreed outcomes. Over time, as communities grow in their capacity to manage these programs and services they gain greater authority over funding and delivery.

The current formal LDM groups are Murdi Paaki (western NSW), Three Rivers (Central West), RADA (North Coast), Barang (Central Coast), and IWAAC (Illawarra and Wingecarribee). Murdi Paaki LDM is the only one that has an operating Accord. The other groups are all in different stages of developing their Accords.

Developing a Statement of Claim

The first formal step in negotiating the Accord involves developing a Statement of Claim that outlines the specific policy and service outcomes that the community wishes to see negotiated via the LDM Process.

This does not necessarily guarantee that all these outcomes will be achieved, but indicates to the NSW Government the priority issues for the LDM communities.

Over 2014-15 the LDMAC conducted 10 community forums and 3 community workshops that were open to all Aboriginal community members in Illawarra and Wingecarribee.

Based on this community input, the IWAAC Board determined five priority policy areas for its Statement of Claim lodged with the NSW Government in June 2016.

What Is In the Statement of Claim?

The policy areas and intended actions / outcomes are:

IWAAC membership is open to all Aboriginal persons or organisations operating in the Wingecarribee, Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong local council areas. Members can be either corporate members or individual members. (Note – individual members must not also be members of corporate member organisations.)

There are currently 9 IWAAC corporate members and 2 individual members. The corporate members include Korewal Elouera Jerrungarugh Tribal Elders AC, Coomaditchie United AC, Shellharbour Aboriginal Community Youth Association Inc., Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation, Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service AC, Illawarra Koori Mens Group Association Inc, Kullila Housing and Cultural Heritage AC, Yamanda Aboriginal Association Inc, and Koori Kulcha AC. (Three of the initial corporate members have since ceased operating or resigned their membership: Families Sharing Culture AC, Moyengully NRM Group Inc. and Gibbergunyah Aboriginal Association Inc.)

There is currently an interim Board of 7 directors who elected a Chairperson (Mr William Henry) and Deputy Chairperson (Mr Geoff Maher) and who meet monthly. The Board employs a Project Officer (Mrs Maria Maher) who provides administrative and operational support. The Board has resolved to continue to use the informal processes of LDMAC as its main community sounding-board for LDM issues.

IWAAC is governed by and operates under the terms of the Corporations (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander) Act and its ORIC-approved Rule Book.

IWAAC relies on annual funding from Aboriginal Affairs (Department of Education) for its operations.

  • New local school suspensions policies.
  • New Alternate Learning Centres in the northern Illawarra and Wingecarribee.
  • Locally tailored community-based educational support programs and a MoU with the Department of Education.
  • A review of local NAPLAN results to identify locally specific literacy and numeracy needs.
  • Development of an Aboriginal School.
  • Building Aboriginal parents’ capacity to support their children’s education.
  • New local literacy and numeracy programs that target preschool to Year 2 and for Year 6 to Year 7 transitions.
  • An audit of all available Aboriginal and other social housing.
  • Development of Aboriginal Housing Strategic Plans for Illawarra and Wingecarribee areas.
  • More hostels for short-term and long-term accommodation for Aboriginal families and young people.
  • A review of homelessness services and development of new local responses.
  • Reinstate Aboriginal student health checks - dental, ear and eye – in local schools.
  • Ensure the employment of Hospital Liaison Officers in each major hospital.
  • Establish a new Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation centre.
  • Renew Aboriginal elders’ support programs such as Aunty Jean’s.
  • Develop local healthy eating and lifestyle programs for Aboriginal children and families.
  • Advocate for Aboriginal Health Units in community health service providers.
  • Establish a new Community Police & Justice Committee to discuss local policy matters and contentious issues.
  • Better Police Aboriginal Consultative Committee meeting locations.
  • More Police Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer services for the Illawarra & Wingecarribee.
  • Refreshed IPROWD and MURRA police and emergency services employment programs.
  • More secure funding for Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor callout services.
  • An audit of local skills and existing businesses in the Aboriginal community, and identification of new business opportunities.
  • Establishment of new building enterprises.
  • Establishment of new cultural tourism enterprises.
  • Monitoring of all NSW agencies’ local Aboriginal employment strategies.
  • An audit of NSW agencies’ procurement from local Aboriginal businesses.
  • Development of local Aboriginal business directories.
  • Investigate the establishment of an Aboriginal-specific “Jobactive” Provider in the Illawarra.

Our Logo

The IWAAC logo 'Communities Together' by Aunty Lorraine Brown and Narelle Thomas

The hands in a circle represent UNITY
The ladder in the centre represents EMPOWERMENT - which comes from all different areas - represented by the tracks, eg. Education, Employment, Acceptance etc
The two meeting circles in the centrepiece represents COLLABORATION with the New South Wales Government
The ladder also has black and white on either side - 'you have to work together on the way to empowerment'
The whole picture represents OCHRE
The green represents the escarpment and beyond, the colours move down towards the land and Wollongong and then to the ocean - 'our place'.

Lorraine Brown is the premier artist of the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation. Lorraine is a Jerrinja woman born in Bega, Narelle Thomas is one of her sisters and they paint together.

Member Organisations

There are currently 5 IWAAC corporate members. The corporate members include Shellharbour Aboriginal Community Youth Association Inc., Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation,Kullila Housing and Cultural Heritage AC, Koori Services Australia AC and Koori Kulcha AC. (Three of the initial corporate members have since ceased operating or resigned their membership: Families Sharing Culture AC, Moyengully NRM Group Inc, Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service, Bellambi Aboriginal Corporation and Gibbergunyah Aboriginal Association Inc. )" Groups who have ceased operating or resigned their membership: Coomaditchie United AC, Illawarra Koori Men's Group Association Inc, Yamanda Aboriginal Association Inc.

Kullila Housing and Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation


Shellharbour Aboriginal Community & Youth Association Incorporated


Contact Us


  • (02) 42010603

  • 3/18 Church Street, Port Kembla NSW 2505

  • ABN: 93 362 145 286




Ph: (02) 42010603

Address: 3/18 Church street, Port Kembla NSW 2505

ABN: 93 362 145 286