Emerging Leader 2012 – 2013
Rueben Berg studied Architecture at the University of Queensland and then worked in the public service for ten years. During this time, he worked with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Unit in Queensland, the Indigenous Employment Unit at DEEWR and with Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV). He was lucky enough to be eligible for Long Service Leave in 2012. He took the opportunity to pursue avenues of employment outside of the public service.
With the support of the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership, Rueben was able to implement several key programs, such as Discover Architecture Day and the Gathering of Indigenous Architects in 2012 with one of the not-for-profit Indigenous corporations he co-founded: Indigenous Architecture Victoria. Rueben has also continued to drive the other not-for-profit Indigenous corporations he co-founded: the Indigenous Ultimate Association (IUA). Rueben has established a private consulting business as he does not receive any income from the two aforementioned corporations. With that business, he has been facilitating Cultural Safety Training Workshops with Monash University, as well as several Heritage-related workshops for the State Government.
Rueben’s vision for the Indigenous community in Victoria is that all Indigenous Victorians are fit, healthy and living meaningful lives, and have the tools to continue to be the longest continued culture in the world. He believes a key aspect to the continuation of the culture is to ensure that all Victorians understand and embrace the Indigenous culture. To do this, he believes that we all need to embrace the values of the Indigenous culture and use them to guide our everyday decisions. This will lead to strong role models in the community for both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous members.
In November 2017 Rueben was appointed as the first Aboriginal Water Commissioner to the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH).