Business the new frontier for history-making Noongar Chamber
Noongar businesses have embarked on a new drive towards economic success today, as Australia’s first culturally-based Chamber of Commerce and Industry was officially launched by WA Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt.
Cannings Purple is proud to be a supporting partner of the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), an advocacy group and referral network for businesses operating in the South West of WA.
NCCI was formed by a group of passionate and like-minded Noongar business leaders with a clear purpose to build the capacity and wealth of Noongar people.
The group is led by chair Gordon Cole and includes other well-known business operators such as Aboriginal performer and consultant Dr Richard Walley, Oral McGuire, Karen Jacobs, Michael Hayden and Danny Ford.
The launch, held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA, was attended by NCCI members and corporate partners who have provided assistance in establishing the organisation.
Mr Cole said the economic opportunities to increase Noongar participation in the South West, across all industries, had never been greater.
“We believe the commercial economy, contracts and jobs, is the answer to addressing social disadvantage in our communities,” he said.
“Our purpose is to promote the capacity and capabilities of our people to service the contracting opportunities we see coming out of government and the business sector on a regular basis.”
NCCI’s launch is well-timed with the State Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy coming into effect on 1 July. The policy established a mandatory target for Government departments to award up to 3 per cent of supply and service contracts to Aboriginal businesses where the total value of the contract is greater than $50,000.
While other Aboriginal Chambers of Commerce have been established in Queensland and New South Wales, NCCI is the first to be based on a single cultural bloc, and the values of the organisation pay tribute to Noongar trading and commerce practices pre-dating European settlement.
NCCI hopes to bridge the gap between Noongar businesses and the goodwill of the wider business community, which has expressed interest in increasing participation rates but often failed to translate plans into contracts.
The organisation will provide Noongar-owned businesses with access to advocacy, mentorship, support and information on available work packages, which in turn will lead to more jobs.
“We know an Aboriginal-owned business is 100 times more likely to employ Aboriginal staff than a non-Aboriginal owned business,” Mr Cole said.
At the heart of the NCCI is the implementation of sustainable wealth creation strategies. These strategies will allow the next generation of Noongar businesses to build and create sustainable wealth and long-term business opportunities.
Cannings Purple managing director Warrick Hazeldine congratulated the NCCI leadership team on the launch.
“We are proud to have provided strategic support and assistance to NCCI. We look forward to seeing the organisation thrive as it contributes to further economic success and independence among the Noongar .”
For expert advice on Aboriginal engagement and participation plans, contact us to find out more.