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Gurehlgam Corporation is an Aboriginal Community Controlled not-for-profit Organisation that advocates for change. Our vision is to work closely with First Nations people and communities   who are empowered, strong and culturally connected to drive change.  Gurehlgam Corporation strongly believes that First Nations people and communities have the right to shape their own destiny and make their own decisions at a local level.


Gurehlgam Corporation delivers trauma informed community programs that focus on housing, domestic violence & legal advice, post-release support, arts & culture and a community Hub. 


Our culturally informed programs assist and empower our First Nations communities and people by supporting them to continue to increase their sense of belonging, providing opportunities to strengthen their connection to country and culture and to participate in health and wellbeing programs.

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from the ceo

Kenn Payne, who was the former CEO of Gurehlgam Corporation for more than a decade passed away in 2022.  Kenn was instrumental in pathing the way for Gurehlgam’s current success and we will be forever grateful for his passion, commitment and dedication to the organisation.


Gurehlgam Corporation continues to receive positive feedback and recognition every year for the programs and services we deliver across the Clarence Valley.  Gurehlgam has recently expanded our services, programs and team to ensure we have the ability to service the entire Clarence Valley. Gurehlgam has been awarded significant grants and funding over the years, and we are working on upgrading our management and administrative systems.


Gurehlgam has achieved full accreditation under the Australian Service Excellence Standard (ASES). This involved rigorous independent evaluations on all aspects of our service

Deliver policy, procedures and financial controls, and is like a gold star to support future applications for government funding and grants.


Gurehlgam has increased our program staff numbers to ensure that we have enough resources to effectively deliver our new programs.  One of our recent programs is a federally funded Village Hub program, which runs a healthy active seniors’ program. Another is the philanthropic CAGES foundation, funding to deliver culturally specific programs for preschool children.


Gurehlgam was successful with our application for funding to be extended for our family violence prevention legal service to the Clarence and Coffs regions. This has been many years in the making and brings an important outcome for these communities.  Gurehlgam has also submitted an EOI to the NSW Government under the Core and Cluster Scheme to establish a First Nations Women and Children refuge in the Clarence Valley.


Gurehlgam owns and manages the Yarrawarra Cultural Centre which is located in Corindi Beach.  Yarrawarra is a cultural hub which consists of an Aboriginal-led art space, gallery, and opportunities to participate in cultural tours.  Gurehlgam will continue to upgrade our Yarrawarra facilities with support from various Government Grant Programs.  To support the rate of growth across Gurehlgam, we have upgraded our technology and implemented new banking, accounting and human resources systems, digitising processes where possible.


Gurehlgam is also excited to be part of the conversation on constitutional enshrinement of the First Nations Voice.  My passion is for the voices of regional and remote Aboriginal people to be heard, and for us to have at least an equal say to our city counterparts in making decisions that impact our lives. 


Internally at Gurehlgam Corporation we are focusing on best practice in operations, and creating a workplace culture where staff feel that they are valued for their work, that their contribution is important, and that their voice is heard.

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"...The board has also been working on

our long-term strategy and repositioning for the next 10 years..."


This was a significant year for Gurehlgam Corporation. We have worked hard as a board to consolidate our organisation and set our vision and strategy to reposition over the next 10 years. We also farewelled our former CEO and welcomed a new CEO.


People are central to everything we achieve as an organisation.  The new CEO Julie Perkins CEO is a Gumbaynggirr woman and the first First Nations person to lead Gurehlgam, which is an important step in our growth and vision for representing the community we serve.


Julie started her role in 2022 taking over from Ken Payne (who passed away in 2022) after 15 years of service to Gurehlam Corporation.  Kenn sadly passed away soon after retiring from his role at Gurehlgam and is greatly missed by all in our organisation. We owe him a great deal of thanks for his contribution over so many years. Ken was completing a formal handover and support for Julie, and his passing left a great gap in organisational knowledge and resources, which Julie has worked hard to fill with help from the board and broader team and we acknowledge everyone for these efforts. This year we have been very successful in a range of grant funding applications.


With funding support Gurehlgam Corporation upgraded our IT, accounting and banking systems, implementing new programs and systems throughout the year. The next step is to add a training program for board and staff to improve our governance by making the most of these resources. With a Regional NSW grant, we began strategic development and corporate structure planning. A key part of the board’s strategy and vision for the future is to be financially sustainable and not rely on the support of grants and government funding to run our community enterprises, and we continue to investigate ways to make this happen. 


The board has also been working on our long-term strategy and repositioning for the next 10 years to deliver on our mission statement to create opportunities to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in our region. We are looking at partnering with universities to create leadership and business training closer to home, to make it easier for our future leaders to gain their qualifications. We also plan to further integrate our commercial enterprises to provide opportunities for employment and training, and we are looking at ways to provide aged care services for our community.


It is from a strong base that we move with new leadership towards the future of Gurehlgam.

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