Economic Initiatives To Support Aboriginal Businesses And Employment

The Andrews Labor Government today announced a suite of major economic initiatives to support Aboriginal Victorians, including Government procurement targets, employment agreements and Tharamba Bugheen: Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy 2017-2021

Tharamba Bugheen – which means ‘clever makers’ in Gunaikurnai – will support Aboriginal businesses to grow, extend networks and build upon entrepreneurial skills within communities. The strategy was launched in Geelong at the first forum of the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board.

The strategy includes the establishment of a one per cent government procurement target from Aboriginal businesses. This is in addition to employment targets in a range of major projects and the Victorian Public Service.

The Geelong Aboriginal Employment Agreement was also launched today, with eight employers signing up to support career pathways for Aboriginal Victorians: Barwon Water, Barwon Health, City of Greater Geelong, Deakin University, Echidna Walkabout Tours, Gforce Employment Solutions, St Laurence Community Services Inc and the Gordon Institute of TAFE.

Recognising the barriers to employment for Aboriginal Victorians, the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board is a Government initiative to increase the opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians. A series of seminars will be held across the state. For more information:

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins 

The economic advancement of Aboriginal Victorians is critical for self determination.”

The commitment to employment agreements by these major Geelong employers is a positive step and I congratulate them.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Phillip Dalidakis 

“We are delivering on our election commitment to help the Victorian Aboriginal business community with this Strategy. Not only does it recognise the importance of supporting existing Aboriginal businesses in Victoria but it aims to drive innovation and entrepreneurship within the sector.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Finance Robin Scott 

“If we want to create opportunities for Aboriginal businesses, then we need to lead by example.”

“Our one per cent target will apply to core departments and key agencies, meaning we’re all signed on to boost growth for this important business community.”