Acknowledging Indigenous opportunities in Procurement

It is clear in NSW Government policy, and in social thinking, that providing Indigenous people employment or the opportunity to build their own business is key to helping Indigenous Australians prosper. This is being reflected more and more in the procurement space with spend targets for agencies, construction spend, and the imminent move to also include goods and services spend in such targets.

OCM recognises the importance of focusing on social policy outcomes and is a proud Impact Partner of the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC). Rochelle Kirk, OCM Principal, has been helping NSWICC CEO Debbie Barwick facilitate contact with Government agencies to develop participation with Aboriginal suppliers and to help fund the chamber and the work that they do.

The NSWICC acknowledges the demand for strategic working relationships with key Government and Private Sector partners and considering this is aspiring to shift the dial on existing partnership models in our marketplace. In the true spirit of reciprocity, NSWICC partnership opportunities provide a return on investment and value to each partner in the relationship. Please visit their website for further information

More on the NSWICC

The NSWICC is the peak body for Aboriginal business in NSW and a powerful voice for the needs of Aboriginal entrepreneurs, business owners and enterprising communities. Their Vision is for a State that embraces its rich Aboriginal history and culture; and values Aboriginal entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise as an important pillar in a strong NSW economy. Together, with their strategic alliances and partners, they work with Aboriginal entrepreneurs, business owners and enterprising communities to develop and accelerate their business goals by building skills and developing capacity, removing barriers and, identifying and facilitating opportunities. The NSWICC is a non-Government, not for profit organisation whose biggest asset is their expertise and partner value proposition. Over the next 3 years they will leverage their unique position and expertise to create a self-sustaining chamber model that ignites the entrepreneurial spirit of Aboriginal people, accelerates Aboriginal business and employment growth and, facilitates relationships and networks that enable sustained economic and social inclusion.

The NSWICC offers a holistic suite of services and support to Aboriginal entrepreneurs, business owners, social enterprises and jobseekers and, end to end consultancy, advice and facilitation services to assist Government, the private sector and other enablers to maximise their social and economic impact when engaging with Aboriginal people, communities and businesses in NSW. All NSWICC services support their mission to fuel a culturally rich and economically prosperous NSW.


New South Wales (NSW) was the birthplace of the first Indigenous Chamber of Commerce in Australia established in 2006 to support Aboriginal People to establish and operate their own businesses and to provide a forum for Business owners to come together to network, to share and to learn from each other. Since its establishment in 2009, the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC) has built a respected brand as the Peak Body and Voice for NSW Aboriginal Business. Our focus on nurturing, enabling, accelerating and mentoring Aboriginal Entrepreneurs and Leadership in Aboriginal Communities is key to our success in building sustainable businesses and community organisations. Our advocacy work at all levels of Government has resulted in a national agenda that acknowledges Economic Participation as key to addressing generational disadvantage for Aboriginal people.

In NSW, there are many stakeholders working to create opportunities for Aboriginal people to contribute to the States economy. New buying policies aim to increase Government and Private sector spend with Certified Aboriginal Suppliers and to create training, jobs and contract opportunities for Aboriginal people on large scale Infrastructure Projects (APIC). Complimenting this wave of opportunity is the increased number of Private Sector Companies committed to Closing the Gap through the actions of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs). RAPs increasingly include quality career opportunities and a commitment to inclusive Supply Chains.  Industry Based Agreements between Peak Bodies and Government promote similar goals across their large memberships. Whilst these efforts combined provide an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of Aboriginal People and Communities both economically and socially, there are barriers that must be addressed if we are to maximise our impact. Some of these are environmental, but mostly the barriers are caused by real or perceived capacity issues on both sides of the Supply Chain.

In September 2017, at Parliament House Sydney, we launched the NSWICC 2020 Roadmap – an Economic and Social Impact Strategy:

“Buying Policies alone do not address social and economic disparity. Government, Industry, Private Business, the Not For Profit Sector and Aboriginal Leadership can all have a measurable impact individually, however, the individual impact of one cannot compare to the potential impact of all these groups working together.”

Deb Barwick, CEO NSWICC

The NSW Government and NSWICC Industry Based Agreement (IBA) was announced as a new approach to growing Aboriginal businesses across NSW. The IBA promotes collaboration between Government Agencies, Government Contractors and the NSWICC as the States Peak Body for Aboriginal Businesses and leading advisor on the needs of the Aboriginal Business Sector, individual Entrepreneurs and Enterprising Communities. The NSWICC is a strong advocate for greater efficiency, regulation and transparency when it comes to the Certification of Aboriginal Businesses and the implementation of Procurement Policy

“Policy created to impact Aboriginal people in any way must always be informed and guided by Aboriginal people or their representatives.”

Deb Barwick, CEO NSWICC

The NSWICC is a non Government, not for profit organisation whose biggest asset is our expertise and partner value proposition. Moving forward, the NSWICC will leverage our unique position and expertise to create a self-sustaining chamber model that ignites the Entrepreneurial spirit of Aboriginal people, accelerates Aboriginal business and employment growth and, facilitates relationships and networks that enable sustained economic and social inclusion in NSW.