Wayne Bergmann finalist in Western Australian of the year awards

Wayne Bergmann .jpg

Wayne Bergmann, Chief Executive of KRED Enterprises, has been selected as a finalist in the 2018 Western Australian of the Year Awards. As a Kimberley Aboriginal person, Bergmann’s proud and humbled to be considered for such prestigious awards. He says he wouldn't have been able to make the contributions he has, if it wasn’t for the vision of senior Kimberley Traditional Owners.

“Our senior Aboriginal people had a vision to create independent Aboriginal economic development. From the early days, I have committed my time to realising this vision.

“During my tenure as CEO of the Kimberley Land Council, native title was determined over 65% - 70% of the Kimberley region, we were successful in lobbying government to grant National Heritage Listing over 19 million hectares of Kimberley land and sea, and I was involved in numerous negotiations between Traditional Owners and proponents. The senior people taught me that any development must be undertaken with respect to cultural and environmental heritage,” Mr Bergmann says. 

Growing up as a young man in Derby shaped the work ethic that Wayne brings to his current role as CEO of KRED Enterprises. 

“When we were kids, we would hunt and fish on the Fitzroy River, catching food for the family. If we caught a lot of fish, we would share what we caught with other families. These are the cultural values—of sharing, looking after each other, and giving back to the community—that I try to bring to my work at KRED,” Bergmann says.  

Bergmann is a proud Nyikina man, boilermaker-welder and former lawyer. In addition to serving a ten-year term as CEO of the Kimberley Land Council, Bergmann is the current CEO of KRED Enterprises, Chair of Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation, Chair of the Kimberley Agriculture and Pastoral Company (KAPCO), Patron of Madalah, and was Chair of the Expert Indigenous Working Group for the COAG Investigation into Indigenous Land Administration and Use.

All of these appointments have brought Wayne closer to realising the vision of the old people. 

“I think if we can wake the sleeping giant—if we can encourage Aboriginal participation in the modern economy—then our region and our country will see an unprecedented economic boom. Including, rather than excluding Aboriginal people from our modern economy, will create positive benefits for our whole society,” Bergmann says. 

Bergmann is one of four prominent Indigenous leaders selected as finalists.

The winner within each category will be announced at the Western Australian of the Year Awards Gala Dinner on Friday, 1 June, 2018 in the Crown Towers Ballroom. This year’s overall Western Australian of the Year will be announced by our Patron, the Governor of Western Australia.