The Palaszczuk Government celebrated a successful Indigenous Business Month with an event tonight at Parliament House to highlight this year’s theme ‘Powering the Indigenous Economy’.
Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy, and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch joined Minister for Employment and Small Business, and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer, along with their Parliamentary colleagues and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural businesses to mark October’s Indigenous Business Month in Queensland.
“Indigenous Business Month, now in its seventh year, profiles the growth of successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and showcases the creativity of First Nations peoples’ arts and cultural companies across Queensland,” Minister Enoch said.
“As home to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures, the Palaszczuk Government is uniquely positioned to elevate the growth of the First Nations business sector, create collaborative partnerships, jobs, career pathways, and a demand for authentic Indigenous products, services and experiences.
“Indigenous Business Month provides a vehicle towards self-determination, developing positive role models for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through innovation, leadership and mentorship and improving quality of life by building thriving local First Nations communities.
“Culture is at the core of First Nations businesses and our Government has long invested in First Nations arts and cultural companies, Art Centres and cultural tourism initiatives for positive economic outcomes,” Ms Enoch said.
“Elevating First Nations arts is a priority in the Palaszczuk Government’s Creative Together 2020 – 2030 Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity, and as we move towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are ready to highlight First Nations arts, heritage and cultures from across Queensland on a global stage.”
Minister Enoch said the Parliament House event featured a range of local First Nations businesses.
“It was fantastic to have Tribal Experiences Brisbane deliver a Welcome to Country, with Wagga Torres Strait Island Dance Company also presenting a traditional music and dance performance and Digi Youth Arts performing two songs and contemporary dance.
“First Nations caterers Birrunga Gallery and Dining provided Indigenous canapés while Aboriginal Art Co. presented a pop-up exhibition of authentic First Nations art and crafts,” Ms Enoch said.
As Indigenous Business Month draws to a close, which saw nine Yarning2032 business information events held across Queensland, Minister Farmer said the Parliament House event was a fitting celebration of the month’s program.
“The Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games present a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase our most creative and talented First Nations’ businesses to the world,” Minister Farmer said.
“Indigenous Business Month marked the start of the Queensland Government’s ten-year goal to support First Nations’ businesses to take advantage of opportunities in the lead up to and beyond the Brisbane 2032 Games.
“To help kick-start these important conversations, Yarning2032 events were held in Brisbane and Toowoomba, and along the coast from Cairns to the Gold Coast to help First Nations’ businesses start preparations for the Games and will conclude in Townsville and Rockhampton in November.”
Minister Farmer said supporting First Nations’ businesses means their communities benefit too.
“First Nations’ businesses contribute more than $1 billion a year to the national economy, with revenues growing on average at 12.5 per cent annually and are 30 times more likely to employ other First Nations people,” Minister Farmer said.
“It’s vital we continue to support First Nations’ business owners as providers of high quality, value for money services and products and to be positive role models for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Alethea Beetson, Lead Artistic Director of Digi Youth Arts said First Nations creative businesses are the most innovative, adaptive and disruptive in the State.
“Showcasing these businesses plays a vital role in continuing the storytelling of some of the oldest surviving cultures in the world,” Ms Beetson said.