Brisbane’s largest ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural markets will continue as part of a Commonwealth Games legacy initiative supported by the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said the Meeanjin Markets, which were first held during the 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018), would continue to be supported by the government until 2021.
“The Meeanjin Markets created more opportunities to share Queensland’s unique Indigenous cultures with the world,” she said.
“By invest in the Meeanjin Markets, we’re making sure this legacy lives on.
“The markets were held in April last year during the Commonwealth Games and again in December – delivering strong economic benefits and helping to support Indigenous businesses.
“Sales revenue in December almost doubled to more than $122,000. We hope to see this continued growth into the future.”
Leading up to the Games, about 160 Indigenous businesses in the hospitality, tourism and arts industries across Queensland participated in the Creating Tracks small business training program.
Thirteen of the participating businesses went on to offer their wares at the inaugural Meeanjin Markets.
More than 10,000 people have visited the markets so far, supporting 59 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Jackie Trad said the government’s continued backing until 2021 supports economic development pathways for the community for years to come.
“Queensland was the first Commonwealth Games host to ever introduce a Reconciliation Action Plan,” he said.
“The RAP was designed to ensure the Commonwealth Games left a great legacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
“The Meeanjin Markets are a great example of how the Commonwealth Games can give us new ways to promote our rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.”
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said it was important to support Indigenous small business in Queensland.
“It’s fantastic to see Indigenous small business is a thriving sector in Queensland that will only grow stronger, with Indigenous businesses 100 times more likely to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff,” she said
“They are a source of local, skilled employment with a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective that enriches workplaces.
“And it’s great to see the first Meeanjin Markets to be held this year will be on May 31 and June 1 during Queensland Small Business Week and National Reconciliation Week – this will be an opportunity to show the significant role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders businesses play in building reconciliation within our community.”
South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce president Leesa Watego said she looked forward to hosting the markets next month.
“The Meeanjin Markets will be an excellent opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture businesses in south-east Queensland to develop and grow market opportunities,” Ms Watego said.
Delvene Cockatoo Collins, a local artist from North Stradbroke Island, said the Meeanjin Markets was the perfect opportunity for anyone wanting to experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
“For people visiting the markets it’s such a great opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures first-hand by meeting the vendors in person, while also supporting local businesses,” Ms Collins said.
“Visitors can enrich themselves with local knowledge by purchasing items directly from local artists.”
The Queensland Government is supporting the markets to be held bi-annually at Redacliff Place until 2021.
The next Meeanjin Markets will be hosted on 31 May and 1 June 2019.