Message from the Secretary

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A resilient and thriving Indigenous business sector is key to empowering Indigenous Australians — through job creation and delivering transformative economic outcomes for local communities and the broader Australian economy. In supporting economic growth and job creation for all Australians, the department is committed to inclusive economic growth for Indigenous Australians. To achieve this, we are changing the way we do business with Indigenous businesses.

I am pleased to present the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business Support Roadmap (the Roadmap) — our vision is to provide a cohesive approach that maximises our ability to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

The events of COVID-19 have brought into sharp focus the health, social and economic inequalities faced by Indigenous Australians. COVID-19 placed pressure on many Indigenous businesses, with some experiencing employee, cash flow and supply chain pressures. However, it has also demonstrated the resilience of Indigenous businesses to pivot to meet rapidly emerging challenges. A resilient and thriving Indigenous business sector is key to economic repair and empowering Indigenous Australians.

The Roadmap has three pillars: improving access to programs through policy development, review and evaluation; improving business outcomes through procurement; and building the Indigenous engagement ecosystem.

While there is still much to be done to address the inequalities faced by Indigenous Australians, our work — focused on building Indigenous business capability — is an important step towards economic transformation. Along with the actions outlined in this Roadmap, we will also deliver better outcomes for Indigenous Australians through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2019–21 and Reconciliation Statement.

I look forward to realising the vision outlined in the Roadmap and contributing to the growth of the Indigenous business sector.

David Fredericks PSM
Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
November 2020