A new partnership between Mineral Resources (MRL) and the Goldfields Aboriginal Business Chamber (GABC) is set to support more Aboriginal businesses to succeed across the region.
GABC is an Aboriginal-led Incorporated Association comprised of Aboriginal business owners based in and representing the Goldfields. Based in Boulder, it now offers a designated space for businesses to connect, build relationships and seek advice.
As Principal Foundation Partner, MRL’s three-year commitment will help the GABC develop a functioning office environment and employ a full-time project officer to support members and strengthen local community connections.
MRL General Manager Environment, Communities and Land Access, Les Purves, said the GABC partnership stemmed from a shared passion for supporting Aboriginal businesses to succeed.
“We’re committed to building positive relationships and engaging with the communities where we operate, including employment and procurement opportunities for Aboriginal businesses and communities working with and alongside MRL,” Mr Purves said.
“MRL and GABC share an ongoing focus on supporting Aboriginal businesses to grow and deliver tangible community benefits including employment, economic growth and cultural awareness and understanding.”
MRL continues to increase Indigenous participation in its business – growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment by 76 per cent in the past financial year – and has also appointed local community engagement officers to support further employment and procurement opportunities.
GABC emerged from industry feedback on the lack of visibility of Aboriginal businesses, the barriers experienced by these businesses in engaging in commercial opportunities, and the community’s desire to define its own narrative on Aboriginal business matters.
GABC vice chairperson Judd Harris said the chamber’s 22 members together boasted more than 50 years’ experience owning and managing successful Aboriginal businesses in the region.
“The group has extensive expertise in a wide range of services including mining, industrial, commercial and civil industries, with new members adding to collective capabilities,” Mr Harris said.
“The demonstrated leadership skills and experience from our members will be transferred to the next generation of Aboriginal leaders across our region.
“We’re thrilled to have the long-term support of MRL, which shares our passion and commitment for supporting and growing Aboriginal businesses across the Goldfields.”