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.

Mario and Dereace play America


Mario liked the spicy Buffalo chicken wings; Dereace enjoyed the homestays with American families. Mario’s Toronto-based grandfather travelled to the United States for a visit and Dereace pondered the difference between New York City and Perth: the buildings were taller, the streets dirtier, and there seemed to be a mismatch between photos of the city and the grittier, smellier reality. 

Both young men, year 12 students at Melbourne’s Yiramalay Studio School, have been the recipients of Nipper Tabagee Scholarships. The scholarships were used to assist them to cover some of the costs of a three-week cultural and basketball exchange to America, where they visited cities including Buffalo, Washington DC, Syracuse, Albany and New York.

The basketball was a highlight, particularly learning to play as a cohesive team with the other students. They found the American school teams tough opponents, and were blown away by the standard of an NBA game, where they spied retired NBA superstar Dominic Wilkins in the crowd, a player regarded as one of the best dunkers in NBA history. 

All in all, it was an eye-opening trip, and Mario and Dereace are grateful for KRED’s support. 

We wish them the best of luck for year twelve! 

Should you be interested in applying for a Nipper Tabagee Scholarship, we welcome applications from Kimberley Aboriginal people who wish to pursue educational, artistic or sporting endeavours. Please follow the instructions on the scholarships page on our website to apply.

An education of the heart and mind: meet Jaru woman Madeleine Edwards

Maddie Edwards Crop test .jpg

Aristotle wrote that educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. 

If, by education of the heart, Aristotle meant cultivating wisdom to practically apply this knowledge of the mind, then he could rest assured that Nipper Tabagee Scholarship recipient Madeleine Edwards is well on the way to receiving a rounded education—and to putting her skills to good use once she graduates. 

Madeleine is a Jaru woman, who completed her schooling in Perth and is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Australia. She’s undertaking a double major in Human Biology and Marketing. All going to plan, she’ll graduate mid-way through next year. It’s a tough degree: the exams are hard, requiring hours of rote learning and endless, calming cups of tea. But the Indigenous support at UWA has been fantastic, and KRED has also been pleased to assist Madeleine with the purchase of a new laptop to help with her studies. 

At this stage, Madeleine’s a little indecisive as to the exact path she’ll take post-degree—perhaps dentistry, perhaps medicine, perhaps further research, or even something related to her second major in marketing. What she is sure of, is that she’d like to use her skills to give back to her community, most likely in the area of Indigenous health. Human biology, and in particular, reproduction, are key interests. 

“I'd like to be able to make a difference to current Indigenous health issues. I think one of the most pressing issues we face is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and if we can educate about, and eliminate this, then it will also help with a lot of other issues,” Madeleine says. 

KRED’s proud to support young people like Madelaine to achieve their educational ambitions—particularly when fulfilling these ambitions requires concentration of both the mind and the heart. For those who are interested in applying for a scholarship, please head to 'scholarships' link on the navigation bar above.