Celebrating Victorian Aboriginal business achievements

Published: 10 July 2019

Representatives at the event
In this photo, from left to right:
Andrew Jackomos (DJPR), Simon Phemister (Secretary DJPR), Karen Milward (Kinaway Chamber of Commerce), Minister Gavin Jennings, Janine Coombs (Aboriginal Treaty Working Group Member, Mick Harding (Ngarga Warendji).

Victorian Aboriginal business owners and leaders joined the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings, Department of Jobs, Regions and Precincts (DJPR) executives and staff at a NAIDOC Week reception on 3 July to celebrate the achievements of the Victorian Aboriginal business community.

The work of the Kinaway Chamber of Commerce in growing the capability and diversity of the Aboriginal small business sector was highlighted by the minister in his speech. Kinaway is a key partner in the Victorian Government’s Aboriginal business strategy Tharamba Bugheen and co-hosted the event.

Representatives at the event
In this photo, from left to right:
Kylie Belling (DJPR) and Elly Patira (DPC).
Kinaway membership has grown to 125 from just 25 late last year, driven largely by female owned businesses.

The event was kicked off by the meditative sounds of the Yidaki (the Yolngu Matha-speaking people’s word for didgeridoo) played by Dharug man Kiernan Ironfield, who was later joined by Ngiyampaa man and First Nations singer-songwriter Pirritu (Brett Lee).

Attendees also heard from Yorta Yorta woman and Kinaway Chair Karen Milward, DJPR Secretary Simon Phemister, and Wotjoboluk woman and Aboriginal Treaty Working Group member Janine Coombs, who spoke on behalf of the Treaty Advancement Commissioner.

The department took over responsibility of the Victorian Government's Aboriginal Economic Strategy on 1 July and will be developing a new strategy that will further promote economic development for Aboriginal communities and traditional owner groups.

Find out more about Aboriginal businesses in Victoria on the Business Victoria website.