The Western Sydney Indigenous Business Summit (the Summit) is a unique forum bringing together over 100 key stakeholders from the Indigenous business sector, government, corporates and industry to collaboratively look towards harnessing the economic opportunities arising in Western Sydney.
This gathering is about creating a genuine two-way dialogue within the Indigenous business sector built around an exchange of ideas, challenges and progressive thinking anchored by subject matter experts, panel discussions, and a space for real conversations. Recognising the benefits of community engagement, The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and the Yarpa Hub are finding new ways to collaboratively engage with their stakeholders in the development of solutions that are not only considered, but actionable.
- Key feedback that came from the research participants related to greater accountability being required across the wider business sector when it comes to Indigenous procurement. This includes Indigenous businesses but more so, the various domestic and international corporations that will benefit from the enormous commercial opportunities in the region.
- Most of the research participants indicated that having true visibility of the available work packages is critical, and in addition to this, ensuring there is ample time provided to respond to Request for Quotations and tenders to effectively articulate their value.
- A number of the respondents identified that the Indigenous business sector needs to become more outcomes focus and understand, research and evaluate what impact the sector has on Indigenous communities.
- In terms of collaborating with other peak bodies, one participant highlighted that there are too many resources working in silos and the market is growing so rapidly that it is hard to make time to collaborate with each other.
There is sometimes a disconnect between diversity or social Inclusion functions and procurement, commercial and project teams. It can be difficult to convert good intent into action due to a lack of capability to engage with Indigenous businesses and community. Whilst there is a good general understanding of the requirements from a policy and strategy perspective for Indigenous engagement, there is still a growing need for more support for organisations, including procurement specialists and project managers, on the ‘how to’. This extends beyond the availability of Indigenous business directories, internal policies and strategies such as Reconciliation Action Plans and first level Supplier Diversity training from peak bodies.