Issue Eight 2012
A key goal of AIMSC is to position Indigenous suppliers on the procurement radar of Australian companies and government agencies.
At the recent AIMSC ‘Connect 2012: Open for Business’ conference in Sydney, approximately 90 certified Indigenous suppliers discussed business opportunities and supplier diversity with corporate and government buyers from around Australia. At the Business Opportunity Fair on day two, suppliers showcased their individual products and services, and celebrated their vibrant and expanding Indigenous business sector.
IBA was proud to sponsor the Business Opportunity Fair luncheon, at which the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Julie Collins, announced the Australian Government’s continuing support of AIMSC with a commitment of up to $7.5 million in funding over the next three years.
Several of IBA’s Business Development and Assistance Program customers attended the Fair including:
Dhinawan is a leading Indigenous public speaker, entertainer and educator, whose services include cultural awareness training, corporate team building, art and graphic design. His company became an AIMSC certified supplier in 2012.Dhinawan said: ‘We joined because we want to see more Indigenous businesses excelling, and be part of encouraging that and generating more jobs for Indigenous people. Being at this conference is giving us our first exposure to other AIMSC members and suppliers and we are seeing where we might fit. We know our business can’t be everything to everyone, but being a certified supplier will at least give us a foot in the door to show what we offer. And it’s making us look at our products and services too – to think outside the box of our ‘usual’ market. We are educating ourselves about just how tiered that corporate market can be – from executive and general management level right down. As an AIMSC supplier we know we are on an equal footing with everyone else. It’s not a political scene, it’s genuine tendering that provides genuine opportunities to secure a contract. But it is just a foot in the door – after that it’s up to us to step up, be professional and deliver’.
Wayne ‘Liwingu’ McGinness designs individually handcrafted jewellery, sculptures, and specialised and corporate gifts in marine grade stainless steel. His contemporary approach to blending ancient Aboriginal culture with modern-day technology saw his company invited to design the trophies for this year’s AIMSC Premier Supplier Diversity Awards.Wayne said: ‘I had heard about AIMSC at a business forum in Cairns. I checked out the website but didn’t think I was eligible at first, because I’m a sole trader, not a company. But it’s been great because as a supplier my market across the corporate area has now opened right up. I’ve been asked to design sculptures for boardrooms and buildings…We’ve just got our third order for corporate gifts from Wesfarmers, and they’re a huge organisation with all these subsidiaries, so it’s really broadening our business base… Even 20 gifts going out across the country or out across the world – that can bring you a lot of exposure. And being asked to design these AIMSC awards is just amazing, unbelievable – look, I’ve got goose bumps again just talking about it’.
Directors Janine McDonald and Annette Law provide specialised recruitment and support services to business, government and industry employers. They have a strong commitment to assisting Australian companies to increase their Indigenous workforce. Read their full business ownership story.Janine said: ‘Attending this conference is a very important step for our business. It gives us a presence amongst other leading Indigenous businesses from around the country and a chance to network with AIMSC members in the mining and construction areas. It’s giving us a real opportunity to establish and build relationships – so it’s great professionally. But it’s also showing how the Indigenous business sector is thriving, and that is really thrilling. We have made quite a few contacts already and will be following those up after this event. Our AIMSC certification is valuable because we can get that initial handshake and introduction to larger corporations and agencies – but then it’s up to us to prove our worth, deliver the goods and services we say we will and build the relationship from there’.
The AIMSC Premier Supplier Diversity Awards
The AIMSC Premier Supplier Diversity Awards acknowledge the outstanding business achievements of its certified suppliers to the Indigenous business sector of the Australian economy. The awards also recognise AIMSC corporate and government members who have shown leadership in supporting and promoting supplier diversity.
IBA was proud to sponsor the AIMSC Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award, to the value of $10,000. The award was won by Compass Group Australia and was presented by IBA CEO Chris Fry to Shaun Hodgins, Supply Chain General Manager at Compass Group Australia.
IBA congratulates Print Junction on winning the AIMSC Certified Indigenous Supplier of the Year Award.Leon and Sheila Torzyn established their family-owned and operated company in 1993, and have expanded with support through IBA’s Business Development and Assistance Program.
Print Junction provide high quality graphic design and printing services (including this and previous issues of Inspire).
Congratulations also to Northern Haulage and Diesel Services Pty Ltd, another IBA business customer, who won the AIMSC Up and Coming Certified Indigenous Supplier Award. The earthmoving and excavation contractors are based in Weipa, servicing the Western Cape of Queensland.