03.07.2020 Lisa McAuley

As Australia celebrates National Reconciliation Week, the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA) recognises the contribution Indigenous Australians have made to Australia’s culture, identity and achievements.

Reconciliation is about a mutual strengthening of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to create a more just, equitable and reconciled Australia. Trade and commerce play an integral role in this.

Celebrating Indigenous business achievements

Lisa McAuley, CEO of the GTPA said “Indigenous Australian business achievements should be celebrated this week. There are many Indigenous success stories that have achieved individual accomplishments and are helping to give back to their communities, including Carey Mining, Noongar Land Enterprise Group, PSG Holdings, and Muru Office Supplies.”

Carey Mining is a leading mining and civil contractor, servicing major clients in the resources, energy and government sectors. They pride themselves on being 100% Aboriginal owned and are an Indigenous leader in establishing and managing strategic alliances with clients, employees and suppliers, providing a diverse means of sustainable economic participation for Indigenous Australians.

Located in Western Australia’s South West, Noongar Land Enterprise Group is a non-profit Aboriginal-led grower group – Australia’s first. NLE currently has eight (8) Noongar organisations under its umbrella that own and manage contemporary primary production and exploring innovative enterprises on its land, such as bush foods, honey, cultural tourism and social services.

PSG Holdings is a successful Indigenous Australian construction and services company with a vision to achieve reconciliation through business. Their approach is to increase Indigenous participation through direct employment of Indigenous people and sub-contracting of Indigenous-owned businesses or businesses with significant levels of Indigenous employment.

Muru Office Supplies is a purpose-driven community-focused office supplies provider from south-east Sydney. The company was founded to make a difference and create a pathway for future generations of Indigenous people in business. A percentage of all profits is contributed to education, employment and well-being initiatives that support Indigenous communities.

Toward a more just and inclusive trading future

“Recognising the important role that Indigenous businesses play in national economies around the world, the GTPA is working to promote a more inclusive international trading ecosystem so that the gains from trade flow to all members of society,”said Lisa McAuley

For example, we are working with our partners including Bloomberg New Economy Solutions to promote greater SME integration into global value chains (GVCs).

Going forward, GVCs present avenue through which Indigenous businesses can access international markets for growth, especially Indigenous SMEs. Despite current trade tensions, GVCs will remain a crucial element of international trade and plugging into them is a cost-effective way to integrate into production chains without the need to produce a complete and final good.

Opportunity exists not just for producers of tangible goods. Indigenous service providers can also benefit by providing the multitude of ancillary services that go into completing and shipping final goods in modern value chains.

Many indigenous businesses are already taking advantage of these opportunities in areas like construction, facilities management and other professional services. Government procurement programs in various countries including Australia have had a big impact in facilitating indigenous procurement opportunities.

“As we manage the challenges of the post-pandemic economy recovery, we have an opportunity to evaluate the structure of the international trading system, its faults and shortcomings, while not losing sight of the fact that trade has been a force for peace and prosperity for decades. “ said Lisa McAuley

At the GTPA we are studying the issues, opportunities and best practice examples of companies and organisations helping to promote and foster more inclusive trade to be detailed in an upcoming report.

We join Australia in celebrating National Reconciliation Week and look forward to making our contribution to a more inclusive trading future.