Rockhampton launches bespoke First Nations Business Program

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Rockhampton Regional Council through their economic development agency, Advance Rockhampton has joined forces with CQUniversity to deliver a purpose-built business program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners.

The program aims to build the confidence and business capabilities of the Rockhampton Region’s existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners as well as First Nations participants seeking to get involved in business or even better to kick-start their own business.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor, Tony Williams said we’re delighted at the potential to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders grow existing businesses and to start new business ventures.

“More than 7% of the Rockhampton Region’s population is of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, which is a large proportion when compared to the national average of 3.3%,” Mayor Williams said.

“The Rockhampton Region is quickly becoming a hot spot for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, with several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses relocating to Rockhampton from outside Queensland to take advantage of the widespread opportunities for First Nations workers.”

Executive Manager of Advance Rockhampton, Mr Greg Bowden, said participants will have plenty of opportunity to meet a range of different stakeholders that will help support and grow their business.

“Advance Rockhampton is focused upon ensuring existing businesses thrive and new businesses have the opportunity to become part of Central Queensland as one of the growing regions in Australia,” Mr Bowden said.

“Bravus Mining & Resources, who are developing the Carmichael Mine and associated infrastructure, has publically set a target of more than 7% of its workforce being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

“Additionally, Laing O’Rourke, the head contractor for the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative facilities, has appointed a First Nations Participation Manager to ensure the project has significant part of their workforce made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers.”

Professor Kate Ames, Director of Learning Design and Innovation at CQUniversity, said this unique program has been specifically developed by CQUniversity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants and is excited to see the program unfold.

“Curriculum for the pilot program will be provided via CQUniversity’s Be Different Moodle learning platform in a self-paced online format, supported by weekly yarning sessions over a six-month period,” Professor Ames said.

“Participants will receive a Statement of Participation upon successful completion of the program.”

A maximum of 15 participants will be accepted into the pilot program with a projected completion date of December 2021.

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