Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 15, 2022


Indigenous Business Month

The Hon. T.T. NGO (15:09): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister inform the council about the annual Indigenous Business Month and one of this year's winners, the Healthy Dreaming program from Port Augusta?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:10): I thank the honourable member for his longstanding interest in this area. Indigenous Business Month occurs every October and provides a month where we proudly celebrate our First Nations business owners and non-Indigenous allies to reflect on the individual actions that can be taken now and into the future to support such businesses.

It is an initiative that was first driven by the alumni of Melbourne Business School's MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class Program. Indigenous Business Month was established in 2015 as a way of providing positive role models for First Nations Australians and improving the quality of life in Indigenous communities. Running annually from 2015, each year has had a different theme. Since 2015, the themes have been 'Founding Year', 'Celebrating Leadership', 'Indigenous Business is BIG Business', 'Because of Her We Can', 'Indigenous Ingenuity', 'Invigorate. Build. Maintain.' and 'Powering the Indigenous Economy'.

The theme for this year's awards is 'Actions Today. Impact Tomorrow.' The aim is to inspire the next generation of First Nations leaders in our community. The theme explains that every action we take and everything we do today will impact on lives tomorrow. By embodying this theme, we can together have a huge impact on First Nations businesses and create opportunity and change in many communities across our nation. Through expansion and growth, we can unlock opportunities for our First Nations communities not just in South Australia but across the country.

With this common theme in mind, businesses this year were asked, 'What has inspired your actions today, and how will they impact tomorrow?', getting the businesses and those involved to think about how our contributions to these businesses and how running one of these businesses will provide greater opportunities in the future. This year, there were five awards given out: the Regional Business Award, the 121 Award, the Indigenous Digital Inventiveness Award, the Indigenous Ingenuity Award and, lastly, the PwC MURRA Boost Initiative Award.

I want to congratulate all the winners in these categories right across Australia, but I particularly want to congratulate the winner of the PwC MURRA Boost Initiative Award, which was Healthy Dreaming, a social impact support service from Port Augusta here in South Australia that provides culturally safe social, health and community care for NDIS participants. Healthy Dreaming is a 100 per cent Aboriginal owned and operated business with key representatives registered with AHPRA, specialising in Aboriginal community nursing and Aboriginal primary health care.

These services are invaluable to communities where accessing primary health care can often be difficult. Healthy Dreaming offers health and social care to those in our communities facing adversity who may not have been able to access, or may not have wished to access, this sort of care before. The actions that Healthy Dreaming are taking today will have a ripple effect and impact on our communities of tomorrow. Through winning the PwC MURRA Boost Initiative Award, Healthy Dreaming will receive $30,000 in skills and support from PwC and Melbourne Business School to support business practices and the capacity to grow in the future.