Celebrating Indigenous achievements in business

In celebration of NAIDOC Week here is a recap of the top 2016 business and training stories so far showcasing Indigenous achievements in the Territory.

The goose that laid the golden egg

Magpie geese taking off over floodplain

A Darwin business is harnessing a local resource so common it is often seen as a nuisance: the humble magpie goose.

As demand for wild-caught local produce ramps up, the traditionally indigenous cuisine has caught the eye of international cheffing elite.

Danish superstar chef Rene Redzepi will next week launch his Michelin-starred Noma restaurant in Sydney for a 10-week 'pop-up' season, featuring magpie goose which has been captured on local mango farms and processed in Acacia, just outside Darwin.

With support from the Department of Business Indigenous Business Development Program, Aboriginal Harvesters have set up a processing plant to produce meat for Noma, and other southern restaurants including Orana in Adelaide.

The Department of Business and world renowned restaurant distributor Richard Gunner have also been mentoring Aboriginal Harvesters to ensure the business continues to grow, with opportunities to harvest of other items also in the pipeline.

Owner Daniel Motlop hopes to produce the full quota of 4,000 birds allowed in their commercial licence, providing Aboriginal jobs throughout the Top End and working with land owners to remove geese which are seen as pests from their properties.

"The Department of Business, the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Primary Industry have been a great support to our business along with Rene Redzepi from Noma who has highlighted these geese to the world."

"Our next goal is to get other Aboriginal Communities involved, but first we have to ensure regulations regarding capture and processing is adhered to, for this we are working through the process with the government and Aboriginal groups. I hope we can have in future a very viable native harvest business that provides products all over Australia and around the world."

Business bootcamp

Indigenous men and women sitting around a table learning about doing business

A group of aspiring Aboriginal business people are today a step closer to running their own enterprises.

Eleven remote Territorians have spent this week in Darwin at the Business in the Bush bootcamp, today emerging with a plan for getting their businesses started.

The partnership between the Department of Business, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and '48.5' Consulting delivered a series of 15 workshops in communities across the NT late last year.

Of the 123 who attended, 10 were then selected to take part in the accelerator course this week.

Based at the Rusca Bros training facility in Noonamah, members of the group have travelled from as far as Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Hermansburg, Numbulwar, Borroloola, Galiwinku and Ramingining.

They have been immersed in an intensive course of workshops, mentoring, presentations, networking and business planning.

After returning home, they will be supported through the next stages of starting up their businesses in their communities, by Department of Business Development Officers.

Carving out a niche

Workers of a furniture firm standing around a table

A new furniture-making venture in Milingimbi has celebrated a landmark, installing its first piece of boutique furniture at Rydges Palmerston.

The board room table is the first of Milingimbi Furniture’s ‘high end’ range, produced by the team of local trainees, which has been in training for almost a year.

A subset of the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, the furniture business will see a master joinery craftsman running a commercial joinery and training a local team of Yolngu workers.

With the aim of providing high end furniture to a national market, Milingimbi Furniture will heavily market its product in southern states.

The enterprise will be mentored by Mark White, Chairman one of Australia’s largest and more successful shop-fitting and joinery businesses Ramvek Group.

A local team is also building the factory itself, and full production will begin when construction is complete at the end of July.

The furniture business is also being supported by the NT Department of Business through the Community Champions program.

For more information go to the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation YouTube channel

Vocational education and training testimonial - Shirley Walit

Vocational education and training testimonial - Janet Maribinda