Message from the Minister
The Hon Gavin Jennings MP, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
As the Victorian Government builds a path towards Treaty in Victoria and continues to support Aboriginal self-determination, we recognise the importance of creating economic opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians.
We acknowledge that many Aboriginal people have missed out on the economic benefits Victoria has to offer.
We want to make sure Aboriginal people get better outcomes from government spending, not just as recipients of government services and grants, but as our partners and suppliers.
This commitment is behind the development of Tharamba Bugheen: Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy 2017-21. It’s also why we have set a 1 per cent Aboriginal procurement target from 2019-20.
Social procurement can help to level the playing field for Aboriginal people in Victoria, so that we can all share the opportunities that come along with being Victorian.
The newly established Aboriginal Economic Development Branch within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will lead the achievement of this target, in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal community. It is a key part of our commitment to ensuring a prosperous, thriving and strong Aboriginal community through employment and economic development, as a pathway to self-determination.
‘The implementation of the Social Procurement Framework is a positive step forward in the recognition of the range of goods and services that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses can provide across State Government departments. As the Framework is further embedded, we expect to see the positive outcomes with larger and longer-term contracts providing the economic benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and people.’
Chair, Kinaway Chamber of Commerce
In the twelve months from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, Victorian Government departments and core agencies spent:
- $11.1 MILLION with 53 verified Victorian Aboriginal businesses; and
- $5.6 MILLION with a further 41 Aboriginal organisations identified by departments.
- $0.47 MILLION with Victorian Aboriginal businesses through state purchase contracts
- Under the rail industry's Training for the Future skills program, five Aboriginal people completed the GROW1 and TRANSIT2 programs and 16 Aboriginal people completed the GEN443 program in 2018-19.
- All Major Transport Infrastructure Authority projects4 have a target of 2.5% Aboriginal employment hours as a proportion of total hours. Seven of the 13 active projects had met or exceeded this target as at 30 June 2019, the remaining projects are still in progress. This target is a point-in-time target, based on actual hours worked.
- The major road and rail projects (delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project , Major Road Projects Victoria, North East Link Project, Rail Projects Victoria and the West Gate Tunnel Project) spent $67.6 MILLION with Victorian Aboriginal businesses5 and organisations and recorded 415 392 Aboriginal employment hours in 2018-19.
- Kinaway Chamber of Commerce is the peak Aboriginal organisation supporting Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners and entrepreneurs. Since its official launch in October 2018, the number of certified businesses listed on its directory has increased from 15 in September 2018 to 102 businesses by 30 July 2019.
- Supply Nation, Australia’s largest database of verified Indigenous businesses, reports that the number of Victorian suppliers increased from 54 Victorian Aboriginal businesses in 2017 to 126 by 30 June 2019.
‘At Supply Nation our own research and feedback from the sector has shown that there are many benefits that flow through to Indigenous families and communities for every dollar of revenue generated in an Indigenous business. Government focus on opportunities for Indigenous businesses through policy and target setting is a critical component to fostering change and building a prosperous, vibrant and sustainable Indigenous business sector.’
CEO, Supply Nation
1 GROW provides training and employment opportunities in the transport and construction industries to people from marginalised or disadvantaged backgrounds.
2 TRANSIT program showcases employment opportunities in transport to workers from declining industries, including former automotive workers.
3 GEN44 is the Future Smart Leaders program providing opportunities to university students from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds.
4 With the exception of former VicRoads projects that transferred to Major Road Projects Victoria.
5 This figure may include spend with Aboriginal organisations that do not meet the current definition of Victorian Aboriginal Businesses in the Framework.
Case study: Metro Tunnel Partnership creating social change
The Rail Infrastructure Alliance is partnering with Aboriginal social enterprise Zancott Recruitment to provide opportunities for Aboriginal people in the city-shaping Metro Tunnel project.
Rail Infrastructure Alliance has provided close to 40 employment opportunities for Aboriginal people as well as 50 other roles for priority jobseekers, including refugee and asylum seekers, people with a disability and other groups who have traditionally faced barriers to employment.
- 40 employment opportunities for aboriginal people
- 50 roles for priority jobseekers
Zancott recruits Marlon Mitchell, Joelinda Roberts and Rene Dewey are supporting the project’s commercial and administration functions and enjoying the unique opportunities to learn and upskill on the project.
Rail Infrastructure Alliance Social Procurement Manager Greg Rafferty said the Alliance was working to expand its partnership with Zancott to provide both blue-collar and white-collar opportunities for local Aboriginal people.
‘At Rail Infrastructure Alliance, we’re proud to be actively helping under-represented groups, including Aboriginal people, get a foot in the door with meaningful employment opportunities on major construction projects such as the Metro Tunnel,’ Greg said.
Case study: building the next generation of skilled Aboriginal talent
An example of how social procurement is having an impact for communities is through the Mernda Level Crossing Removal Project. The project delivery partners subcontract to Mooney’s Corp Pty Ltd, an Indigenous business that provides a range of services to the rail industry. There are three generations of the Mooney family – Darrell, Sonny, Nakeila, Janaya and Gratton – all working on this project, who share their skills on-site and in the project office.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, in partnership with Supply Nation, held two Aboriginal tradeshows in April and July 2018 where 17 small-to-medium Aboriginal businesses had the opportunity to showcase their work to government buyers.
Reviewed 13 December 2019