Some of Australia’s biggest businesses will collectively spend over $3 billion with Indigenous suppliers over five years under the Business Council’s Raising the Bar initiative, launched this week by Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, in Perth.
This is a landmark collaboration between Business Council members and Indigenous supplier diversity organisation Supply Nation. Businesses like Dreamtime Tuka, who supply Qantas, and Jilpanti Enterprises, who supply Fortescue Metals Group, are already creating local jobs and boosting their communities thanks to Indigenous supply agreements, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Businesses aren’t just creating economic value, they’re helping build economic capacity in Indigenous businesses,” Ms Westacott said. “We’re already working to foster entrepreneurship, economic partnership and building lasting links with Indigenous suppliers and this is a chance to do even more.”
Ms Westacott said that procurement agreements have already helped boost Indigenous-owned businesses like Dreamtime Tuka who started supplying Qantas in 2015 and grew to supply 500 per cent more in just four years.
“Economic advancement at an individual, family and community level is one of the best ways to create the type of opportunities that can deliver real, genuine and lasting change. We want to help build diverse Indigenous businesses with the capacity to invest in creating the jobs and opportunities their local communities want.”
Ms Westacott also stated that business council member companies are already some of the biggest employers of Indigenous people, employing more than 20,000 Indigenous Australians.
“Business has a pivotal role in ending the economic exclusion that deprives some communities of the opportunities that only economic growth can provide. Every Australian should be able to realise their full potential.”