Gawura Aboriginal Corporation / Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group

The Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group was founded in 2003 through conversations held by some local elders and Aboriginal men in local support services. This conversation commenced at Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service with Uncle Gerald Brown (Elder), Uncle Cedric Connelly (Elder / Dec), Jimmi Bell, Eric Winch, and Darryl Brown. The idea was to form a local men’s group to support the local men dealing with personal trauma and family issues. The group commenced by gathering once a month in a local park in Wollongong and at IAMS and discussing men’s business, networking, and peer-to-peer connections with other men working in essential local support services which could assist our men or referring to appropriate services. After a couple of years of gathering support from IAMS, IKSMG members decided to form a board and become incorporated through the Dept of Fair Trading. In 2006 the committee submitted an application seeking funding to employ a coordinator to support the groups’ growth and to help with program development. In 2007, James Mulholland was hired as the first coordinator.

In 2007 three programs were created: Brothers against Domestic Violence (BADV), Illawarra Aboriginal Men’s Physical Health and Training (IAMPHAT) and School Kids Indigenous Peer Program (SKiPP). Through the next ten years, IKMSG had a few Coordinators – Greg Potts, Michael Winch, Shane Venables, Brendan Fitzpatrick, and Michael Willis. Moving forward to 2019 through the covered period and until 2023, IKMSG has transitioned from an association to incorporation under ORIC. James Mulholland has managed this procedure and is once more the IKMSG Manager and the President of Gawura Aboriginal Corporation.