1 March 2021

Helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses thrive

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners in North West NSW are upskilling their businesses with the help of Whitehaven Coal and Business Australia.

Whitehaven’s annual Indigenous Business Workshop saw the company partner with two of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned contractors to equip them with the resources and advice to enhance, manage and sustain their businesses as they grow.

The workshop, held during NAIDOC week in late 2020, connected Whitehaven suppliers Wambali Fencing and Murris United with Business Australia – an organisation that helps Australian-owned businesses reach their potential.

Business Australia’s Growth Facilitator, Ross Carter, presented to Wambali and Murris on topics such as management systems, quoting and reporting, and delivering on client expectations. The contractors also had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Ross and Whitehaven General Manager of Procurement, Dean Lawrence, to discuss topics specific to their company.

Dean thanked everyone who attended the workshop, which established an important connection between the local businesses and Business Australia.

“Whitehaven’s Indigenous Business Workshop is a fantastic opportunity to assist new and developing local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses grow,” Dean said.

“The businesses were able to leverage the expertise of Business Australia and Ross, who provided unique insight into his decades of experience as a contractor in the Australian mining sector, covering skills such as quoting, contracting, invoicing and getting a clearly defined scope of works.

“Wambali and Murris have worked with Whitehaven for many years providing an exceptional service, and Whitehaven is proud to have played a part in their growth over this time.

“We look forward to continuing to provide further opportunities for local business to grow, and the knowledge gleaned during the workshop will help to prepare them to thrive and take the next steps on their journey.”

Wambali’s Simmone Moodie added: “The workshop was very well presented and informative, and I enjoyed meeting with the other vendors.”

As part of the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan, Whitehaven is committed to investigating and identifying opportunities to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander economic development.

In FY20, Whitehaven spent $3.15 million with nine Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander businesses, and worked in close partnership with Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Cultural Heritage practitioners, and Native Title Groups to continue provide a range of employment and other opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Pictured: Dean Lawrence (Whitehaven Coal), Kate Briggs and Simmone Moodie (Wambali), Ross Carter (Business Australia)

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