February 13 2018 marked 10 years since Kevin Rudd's historic apology to the Stolen Generations. Some of our IPS staff shared their thoughts and memories on the day of this moment, and how things stand ten years on.
IPS Director Kristal Kinsela spoke with ABC Radio on February 13 about the Closing the Gap Refresh. Here's the audio from the interview, with thanks to the ABC.
Kristal Kinsela, during the Special Gathering of Prominent Indigenous Leaders who provided advice to Government on the Closing the Gap Refresh. Pictured with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Secretary Of the Dept of Premier & Cabinet Tim Reardon, General Manager of Aboriginal Affairs NSW Jason Ardler and the other five representatives who include Ray Kelly, Isaiah Dawe, Ruth Davys, Les Turner and Des Jones.
IPS Director Kristal Kinsela met and briefed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on Friday February 9.
Kristal was one of 10 Indigenous leaders invited to a special gathering in Canberra on the 10th anniversary of COAG’s pledge to Close the Gap in outcomes for Indigenous Australians. The group represented the views of a two-day Special Gathering of prominent Indigenous leaders from around the country held ahead of COAG, to provide advice to the government on refreshing the Close the Gap agenda.
Kristal said she hoped to demonstrate her commitment to Indigenous people in seeking the partnership of all governments to a process to close the gap.
“It is a history making event,” she said. “There has never been a group of representatives, let alone a group of Indigenous representatives permitted into a COAG meeting.”
The delegation presented COAG with a statement setting out priorities for the refresh, and collectively had 45 minutes to present their message to the assembled ministers. Kristal spoke on economic development, highlighting the success of the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) and that growing Indigenous businesses is a strengths-based approach, versus focusing on a deficit. She urged all States and Territories to implement similar procurement policies and to consider their role in supporting Indigenous business through start-up and accelerators.
Kristal later said she was happy with a statement in the COAG outcomes that they would publish jurisdiction‑specific procurement policies, and Indigenous employment and business outcomes annually.
SBS reported that states and territories would be given their own sets of targets to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
“IPS sees great value in this,” Kristal said. “Because you can’t take a national lens when you have vast differences between states, to states and urban, regional and remote communities.”
The following Monday, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet released the Closing the Gap – Prime Minister’s Report 2018, with a statement that all levels of government will work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in genuine partnership to develop renewed targets that are measurable and meaningful. The report, which can be found here, found that three out of the seven Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met. The Prime Minister’s statement can be found on you tube here.
The Close the Gap review is scheduled to be completed in October.
As well as working for IPS as a Business Advisor, Scott is the Chair of Mungalla Station, a working cattle station purchased by the Nywaigi Aboriginal people just outside of Ingham, North Queensland. The station was purchased 17 years ago through a grant from the Indigenous Land Corporation.
As well as operating a working cattle station, the Nywaigi People have been running an Indigenous Tourism operation at the Station. Mungalla Aboriginal Tours have won numerous Queensland and Australian Tourism awards, and recently received the Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Award for the restoration of the wetlands on the station.
Mungalla Station is just one example of what Indigenous business can achieve in Queensland.
“Queensland has significant opportunities for ongoing business development, particularly in the tourism industry, with the Commonwealth Games coming up in April 2018,” Angel said.
“On Palm Island we participated in the Creating Tracks workshops, an initiative of the Office of the Commonwealth Games in partnership with TAFE Queensland. The workshops offer support through business planning, marketing and mentoring for Indigenous businesses hoping to leverage opportunities and create sustainability from the Commonwealth Games.”
“The Commonwealth Games is an opportunity for Indigenous Business to get into the market - Indigenous Tourism is a big ticket item, especially for visiting athletes, officials and visitors to the region,” Scott said.
Palm Island has one of Queensland’s largest Indigenous communities. With a population of 3000 people, the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council is actively engaged in supporting Indigenous tourism development for the whole community.
“We’re instrumental in hosting the `Beyond Yarning’ workshops for Indigenous Businesses on the island,” Scott said.
2018 is a big year for the Palm Island community, as they are planning a range of events for their 100 Year Centenary. There are three major events planned for the Centenary celebrations – one focusing on the past, one on the present and one on the future.
“The tourism we have here is going to be able to create a lot of opportunities,” Scott said. “A lot of international people engage with Indigenous tourism. The demand is already there, our job is to help local businesses fill in the gap in supply.”
The IPS team got together in Bunbury, WA, on Tuesday January 9 to reflect on their achievements in 2017 and look ahead to what is possible in 2018.
Only one team member was missing from the gathering of consultants from the East Coast, South Australia, and WA, many of whom normally work remotely. They discussed the successes from last year, and priorities and goals for 2018.
“It was about sharing – and it was an opportunity for new staff members to get a better understanding of the directions and passions of IPS, as well as our values, which are Inspire, Purpose and Service,” IPS Consultant Bernadette Durrell said.
“The gathering was to congratulate the team on the successes, but also to talk about how as a team effort, we can achieve the goal we’ve set for ourselves, which is to showcase the capabilities of Aboriginal businesses in the government and private sectors.”
Bernadette said it was great to see a lot of commitment, energy and can-do attitudes in the room.
“We had fun, and we played some games and got to know each other, which helps build a more cohesive team,” she said. “It also helped to recognise the depth and breadth of experience and capability in the room.”
IPS Director Kristal Kinsela said the winning formula that has always worked for IPS Directors has been trust, respect and communication.
“We’ve demonstrated we can work remotely and at times in isolation, but equally contribute as a team. These were some of the messages we shared with our team in Bunbury - how important relationships are with each other and how important communicating is,” she said.
I arrived back in Sydney from Detroit, Michigan USA on Saturday October 28, having been part of the Supply Nation Study Tour that attended the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Business Opportunity Fair and Conference.
NMSDC is the sister council to Supply Nation, and where the supplier diversity movement first began. NMSDC certify and connect Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business enterprises and connect them to member corporations. This was the NMSDC’s 45th Conference, and my fourth time as a delegate attending. This time my experience was through the lens of a certified business, and the objectives far greater.
Our delegation included certified businesses, member representatives from corporate and government, and for the first time had representatives from New Zealand who are exploring establishing their own council.
My purpose with attending the study tour was simple:
As Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year, it was also important for me to learn as much as I could, to bring back and share as an advocate and expert.
The agenda Supply Nation prepared for us was jam packed with 12-13 hours days.
Saturday October 21 was International Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Day, and we had two events to attend. The first was NMSDC’s International MBE Forum. This event hosted three panel discussions with a diverse group of panellists that included USA Corporations, Supplier Diversity Professionals, USA MBEs and the President/CEOs of each of the Global Councils. The panels focused on globalisation and discussed the opportunities, risks and nuances of doing business in different countries. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing an update from the councils from South Africa, Canada and the UK, which demonstrated that although Supply Nation is similar in challenges, we are very fortunate to have government policy driving the agenda for us in Australia.
Our next event was the Global Supplier Diversity Alliance (GSDA) Connections reception. This event attracted more than 100 attendees and hosted three panel discussions. I was very fortunate to be invited as a speaker on a global supplier panel. The first two panels focused on the changing landscape of supplier diversity, how it drives the economy and the opportunities for growth. On my panel discussion, I was joined by James Wong (Canadian MBE) and Farida Gibbs (UK MBE) to explore using your council for growth and business success. I received great feedback for sharing my journey and how I have sought support from Supply Nation. Later that evening we gathered as an Australian and New Zealand delegation for dinner.
Later that night we attended the NMSDC Welcome to Detroit Reception, which was held at the Detroit Lions home ground, the Ford Field. NMSDC never fails to impress with their lavish themed events. The entry and along the path was lined with different styled food carts and bars. At the end of the path were round tables lined in front of a stage, with a Motown Band playing in honour of being in the home town and birth place of Motown music records. The band was flawless as they sang old favourites, and had a dance for every single song.
After breakfast the Business Opportunity Fair was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The tradeshow had more than 500 exhibitors. The money and time exhibitors had spent on their booths was mind blowing! This year there appeared to be more MBEs with booths. I made my way around to each on my hit list, but also took in the usual big-name corporations, because they have some awesome promotional gifts. I once shopped for gifts for my kids at the tradeshow, and many of our delegates understood why, as they walked out with as many as three bags full of freebies.
The conference workshops that followed had themes of digital, technology and going global. Later that afternoon we were joined by a team from Northrop Grunman to exchange ideas and learnings about Supply Nation and working in Australia, and learn more about their business and supplier diversity program. That evening we were joined by our GSDA counterparts for dinner with our delegation. The networking, connecting and sharing amongst the delegation was rich, and I feel like I’ve made many new friends and connections.
Wednesday October 25 was Conference Day 2. This was a half-day event as the Awards Banquet was being held that evening. The workshop session focused on innovation, development and commercial opportunities.
Thursday October 26 brought the end of the journey. I had some free time to walk the streets of Detroit and take in the sights of the river that joined Detroit to Canada. It was such a memorable journey with lots of learning, connecting, new friendships and relationships established, and lots of promising ideas for the future.
- Kristal Kinsela