Sustainable Victorian social enterprises and Aboriginal business sectors
Victorian social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses play an important role in driving employment participation and inclusive economic growth. Victoria’s social enterprise sector, for example, is a significant contributor to the Victorian economy, creating jobs for more than 60,000 people (equating to approximately 35,000 full-time equivalent jobs). More than 30% of employees of social enterprises are from groups that face additional challenges in gaining mainstream employment.
The Victorian Aboriginal business sector is large and diverse and includes for-profit businesses, social enterprises and community enterprises. Aboriginal economic development is vital to growing Victoria’s wealth generally and to increasing overall economic productivity and competitive advantage. More importantly, Aboriginal economic participation and development is also a vital foundation for self-determination.
To help support these 2 vital sectors, the Framework directs spending toward social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses, helping ensure they remain financially sustainable over time. Using Victorian Government spending to help these sectors will ensure Victoria grows with a vibrant and inclusive economy.
Case Study: East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Moogji Nursery
The Victorian Government is improving market access and increasing the visibility of both the social enterprise and the Aboriginal business sectors in Victoria to support their sustainability. To meet this objective, East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (the Authority) utilised their long-standing relationship with Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation.
Moogji was established in 1993, providing a range of essential services such as dental services, a general practice clinic, a clinical nurse, counselling, outreach services and environmental health services to the surrounding Aboriginal community in East Gippsland. Moogji’s Aboriginal Economic Development – Social and Environmental Enterprises arm supports self-determination for Aboriginal people, enabling Moogji to create meaningful jobs for Aboriginal people that are connected to family, community, culture and Country.
The Authority’s revegetation works at Bluenose Creek required them to purchase many native plants to improve the health of the area. They turned to Moogji’s nursery, purchasing 9,000 native plants and the accompanying labour costs for a total spend of approximately $63,000. Four Aboriginal employees worked on the project, undertaking brush cutting and herbicide treatment and planting at Bluenose Creek.
The purchase of these plants enabled Moogji to expand their nursery, construct a greenhouse to grow more plants and establish a retail sales channel.
Purchasing from Aboriginal businesses like Moogji supports their ability to grow and develop into more stable and sustainable businesses, directly providing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and encouraging self-determination. Nursery Coordinator, Misty Anderson shared how great it has been for Moogji to receive the plant orders then undertake inspections of the local area to source seeds and see where the plants will be grown.
Nursery Coordinator, Misty Anderson shared how great it has been for Moogji to receive the plant orders then undertake inspections of the local area to source seeds and see where the plants will be grown.
We [Moogji] are really looking forward to watching the plants grow and for the river to be rehabilitated to its original state.
Reviewed 06 October 2023