This media release:

·        Supply Nation’s most successful Conference and Tradeshow illustrates the growth of the Indigenous Business Sector

·        Announcing the Supplier Diversity Awards winners for 2016

Over the 2nd and 3rd of May 2016, Supply Nation hosted the most successful Conference, Indigenous Business Tradeshow and Gala Awards Dinner on record. Since its inception 6 years ago, the 2-day Connect event has been a highlight in the calendar of supplier diversity advocates and Indigenous business-people alike.

This year’s event, with the theme ‘Innovation for Impact’ has blown away previous results with over 1800 attendees.

The Conference – Sponsored by Staples

Over 280 attendees represented 149 organisations both Indigenous-owned, corporate and government, at this year’s Connect Conference, held at Australian Technology Park. This year’s conference was opened by a keynote from CEO of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott. Ms Westacott highlighted the centuries of Indigenous innovation and reminded everyone of the innovative nature of Supply Nation itself as a conduit to help change the way corporate and government organisations engage with Indigenous-owned businesses.

Read the full transcript here:

Laura Berry, Supply Nation’s CEO said in her opening address, “Supply Nation’s vision is of a vibrant and sustainable Indigenous business sector. We do that for a reason. It’s to achieve real and lasting generational change. To give all Australians equal opportunity to achieve success.  And I’m proud to be leading an organisation that is making a real difference driving supplier diversity within Australian organisations.”

The Indigenous Business Tradeshow – Sponsored by Compass Group (with Networking Lounges sponsored by NAB)

Since the first Connect 6 years ago, the Tradeshow has grown 1000% from 13 in 2010 to 113 Indigenous-owned businesses and 17 corporate and government organisations exhibiting this year. Over 550 buyers from Australia’s most successful organisations – both corporate and government – attended the Tradeshow. 

Laura Berry, CEO of Supply Nation, commented “We’re thrilled by the buzz around the Connect Tradeshow – and not just in the room! If you look at twitter, there were people from all around the country following, commenting and joining in the conversation. And that’s what it’s all about: making connections. Connect. Engage. Contract.”

I talked to many of the exhibitors and tradeshow visitors today and they all commented on the quality and diversity of the booth-holders, but also on the collegiate and positive spirit of the day,” Ms Berry continued. “Supply Nation has always understood that it is all about developing relationships, hence the name of our annual conference: Connect. This year we’re confident that the connections made on the tradeshow floor will drive even more success within the sector.

The Gala Awards Dinner (Sponsored by CBA, supporting sponsorship by Evolve FM)

The Gala Awards Dinner, held at the Dockside Pavilion in Darling Harbour, hosted over 650 attendees for a black tie dinner and awards presentation. Despite headline entertainment by Dan Sultan, and the engaging host, Indigenous actor Luke Carroll, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of nine Supplier Diversity Awards for the past year.

Laura Berry, CEO of Supply Nation took the time to thank the independent panel of judges who donated their time to sift through the nominations. She passed on their comments about the “quality and diversity of the businesses nominated”, and further commented, “Connect is about our supplier diversity community coming together and celebrating success.”

Supplier Diversity Awards 2016 - Winners

  1. Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year – Sponsored by Westpac: Wendy Dawson, Sodexo
  2. Registered Supplier of the Year – Sponsored by IBA: Curijo
  3. Government Member of the Year – Sponsored by Kennelly Constructions: Australian Taxation Office
  4. Supplier to Supplier Partnership of the Year – Sponsored by Wesfarmers: Cole Workwear and Pacific Services Group Holdings
  5. Corporate Member of the Year – Sponsored by Kulbardi: Compass Group
  6. Procurement Professional of the Year -  Sponsored by BP: Glenn Johnston, Perpetual
  7. Certified Supplier of the Year – Sponsored by Telstra: Pacific Services Group Holdings
  8. Supplier to Corporate Partnership of the Year – Sponsored by IAG: Print Junction and Fortescue Metals Group
  9. Innovation for Impact Award – Sponsored by Lendlease: Shaun Hodgins, Compass Group