Sustainable Victorian social enterprise and Aboriginal business sectors in 2022-23

Victorian social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses play an important role in driving employment participation and inclusive economic growth.

The Sustainable Victorian social enterprise and Aboriginal business sectors objective directs spending toward social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses, helping ensure they remain financially sustainable and to support vibrant and inclusive economic growth.

Up until 2022–23, there was an upwards trend for direct spend with certified social enterprises. In 2022–23 reduction in expenditure with certified social enterprises is primarily attributed to a refinement in the reporting criteria for identifying social benefit suppliers in scope for the reporting period. For further information on the refinement to reporting criteria see: Continuous improvement of policy implementation.

Direct spend with certified Social Enterprises between 2018–19 and 2022-23

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Graph 4: Direct spend with certified Social Enterprises between 2018–19 and 2022–2316

For Direct Spend with verified Aboriginal Businesses between 2018–19 and 2022–23, see: Opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians.

Case Study: Long term contracts contributing to Aboriginal business sector sustainability

For the last 5 years, the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (MCMA) has been working with Traditional Owners to restore the remnants of Buloke Woodlands. MCMA contracted a Kinaway certified Aboriginal business, Dalki Garringa Nursery (‘Good Growing’ in the Wergaia language), to provide seed collection, tubestock propagation and planting services. MCMA has helped contribute to the sustainability of the Aboriginal business sector by contracting the nursery over 5 years – providing a stable stream of income over that period.

A part of the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, the nursery specialises in the growth and propagation of native flora. They combine a modern approach with Aboriginal knowledge to provide economic and employment development opportunities for Traditional Owners and the broader community.

For 2022–23, the contract was valued at $120,000. In that year, Dalki Garringa collected 45 kilograms of seed, propagated 7,000 tubestock and revegetated 60 hectares of remnant woodland.

The length of the contract has been particularly appreciated by Dalki Garringa, with Elizabeth Mace, their Operations Manager, noting that the nursery “has appreciated being able to work with the MCMA on this Buloke Woodland project. The duration of the project allowed for assurance and continuity. We have enjoyed building relationships with the MCMA Team.”

This case study highlights how ongoing work can be crucial for helping Aboriginal businesses become more sustainable. Aside from financial stability, according to Elizabeth, the length of the contract allowed Dalki Garringa “to develop and enhance our practices and methodologies within our nursery to create a quality product and efficient team.”

Dalki Garringa staff hope this development will help generate further success. 

This photo of nursery plants includes a quote from Elizabeth Made, Dalki Garringa, “Being able to work with the MCMA in a space that was restoring our country and would have a direct and long-term benefit on our animals and birds was very rewarding and we hope to continue the partnership with them and other revegetation networks in the future. We feel confident now after working with the MCMA on this project to tender for other projects or work with other organisations to supply plants and work on Country.

16: In 2018-19, data for this cohort was collected between January and June 2019 only.