Business School

Indigenous Business, Corporations and Entrepreneurship Conference: New models and stronger communities

© 2011 Bambatu Napangardi licensed under Aboriginal Artists Agency Painting. Image photographed by Visual Arts Photographer Sabine Haider, Central Art - Aboriginal Art Store

The Centre for Social Impact (UWA) inaugural Conference theme was Indigenous Business, Corporations and Entrepreneurship—New Models, Stronger Communities.

The day provided a platform to discuss the significant growth in Indigenous business in Australia providing new opportunities for employment, income and wealth generation. Indigenous business activity represents one of the most promising strategies available to address the chronic gap between the economic, social and health outcomes of Indigenous Australians and those of non-Indigenous Australians.

Over 260 delegates from a wide variety of backgrounds, including the corporate sector, Indigenous business, community enterprises and government programs attended the Conference, which was hosted by the UWA Business School.  Kim Collard, a representative of the Nyoongar community, conducted the Welcome to Country and keynote speeches were given by Wayne Bergmann, CEO KRED Enterprises & CSI (UWA) Advisory Council, Natalie Walker, CEO Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier and Ian Trust, Executive Chairman Wunan Foundation and Vice-Chair of Indigenous Business Australia and the Indigenous Land Corporation. 

Key themes discussed were opportunities for Indigenous Corporations through Native Title Agreements, the new measures being taken by business and government in terms of Indigenous contracting and procurement policies, how the Indigenous housing sector is contributing to improving housing outcomes for Indigenous people, collaborative and creative partnerships within the resource sector and how microfinance is providing opportunities for growth.

Throughout the day various social and community enterprises showcased their work in remote communities across the nation whilst the art and tourism sectors addressed the role they play in creating employment and enterprise opportunities for individuals and communities.

Finally the role of the education sector was examined and how the achievements and success in this area have improved education, social and employment outcomes for Aboriginal children and youth.

The post event function allowed many delegates to continue their discussions while being entertained by Natalie Gillespie and her band. 

Next year's Conference is Tuesday 4 December 2012. Make sure you put this in your diary and watch this space! Please register your interest to be kept up-to-date.  

2011 Conference themes

  • Indigenous business in action
  • Creative partnerships in the resource sector and Native Title Agreements
  • Indigenous social and community enterprises and micro-finance
  • Indigenous housing corporations and Indigenous housing partnerships
  • Indigenous art, tourism and education
  • Closing the gap in social, health and economic outcomes
  • Research presentations, roundtables and research student presentations

2011 Conference speakers included


Wayne Bergmann – CEO, Kimberley Regional Economic Development Corporation (Enterprises)
Natalie Walker – CEO, Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC)
Ian Trust, Executive Chairman, Wunan Foundation & Director, Indigenous Business Australia

Simon Hawkins - CEO, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation
Kevin McLeish – Managing Director, Argyle Diamonds
Peter Callaghan - CEO, Cape York Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
Brenda Love - Director,Strategic Partnerships,DEEWR
Shane Hamilton - WA State Manager, Community Housing Limited
Julia Shadlow-Bath - CEO, Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation
Ashley Taylor – Executive Officer, Murchison Region Aboriginal Corporation
Jeanice Krakouer – CEO, Southern Aboriginal
Maggie White – Director, Herculeia Consulting
Laura Egan - Director, Enterprise Learning Projects
Anthony Martin – General Manager, ALM Contracting
Tony Connors – General Manager, PL WA Group
Neville Stewart – Managing Director, GLH Contracting
Greg Dodd – Ngarluma Aboriginal Sustainable Housing
Victor Hunter - Foundation for Indigenous Sustainable Housing
David Bagheri – National Development Manager, Many Rivers Microfinance
Elliot Anderson – Manager Community Finance and Development, NAB
Dr Boyd Hunter – Research Fellow, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU
Michelle Evans
- Research Fellow, Melbourne Business School
Kimberley Kohan – Principal Advisor Aboriginal Business Development, Rio Tinto
Danielle Nazzari – Social Consulting Services Manager, WorleyParsons
Rosie Southwood – Manager, Aboriginal Affairs, Wesfarmers
Jason Quin - Social Enterprise Hub Manager, Desert Peoples Centre
Peter Renehan -  Chair, Centre for Appropriate Technology
Dale Jones - Vice Chair, Centre for Appropriate Technology
Johnny Edmonds - CEO, West Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC)
Dale Tilbrook - Owner, Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery
Alisha Nelson and Tahn Donovan - Directors, Deadly Divas
Nancy Rees – CEO, Pindan College
Tim Acker - Principal Research Leader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Economies Project, CRC for Remote Economic Participation
Ilana Eldridge – CEO, Larakia Nation
Wendy Dawson – National Indigenous Manager, Sodexo
Winthrop Professor Cristina Gibson - Management & Organisations UWA Business School
Neil Jarvis – CEO, Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation
Alan Beattie – CEO, Nyaarla Projects
Josie Janz – Deadly Sista Girlz Program Manager, David Wirrpanda Foundation
Kodie Blay – Operations Manager, David Wirrpanda Foundation
Christian Stenta - Lead Venture Support, Tjungu: Learning Country (APY Lands), The
Australian Centre for Social Innovation
Reverend Peter McDonald -Tjungu: Learning Country (APY Lands), The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
Deidre Tedmanson - Lecturer, University of South Australia,Tjungu: Learning Country (APY Lands)
Duncan Ord - Deputy Director General Operations, Department of Indigenous Affairs,
Richard Aspinall - State Manager, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs (FacSHIA)
Gabrielle Sullivan – Manager, Martumili Artists
Christine Scoggin – Coordinator, Aboriginal Art Hub
Mark Chielewski – Program Manager Indigenous Landholder Service, Department of Agriculture & Food
Joe Procter, Founder and Managing Director, IndiEnergy
Warren Mundine, CEO, NSW Native Title Services