As businesses become more and more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.
In an attempt to share some new best practice examples, and continuing with June’s focus on Indigenous programmes, I asked a handful of faculty members about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that were started by Indigenous entrepreneurs as well as companies working with Indigenous communities. To finish off our month focusing on Indigenous business, here are some examples from Australia and New Zealand.
Rebecca Harcourt, Programme Manager, Indigenous Business Education, University of New South Wales Business School, Australia
Gilimbaa fuses many of the riches and celebrations embedded within Indigenous knowledge-storytelling within contemporary cultural practices- with exemplary graphic design and communications to bring all this to the global stage, such as exemplified in Queensland in 2014 when world international leaders, including President Barak Obama, gathered here for the G20.
Inside Policy is a group of exceptional and experienced female entrepreneurs who create innovative approaches to provide solutions to complex problems.
The team at 33 Creative delivers media communications and various associated projects with excellence, vibrancy and self-determination. Their approach helps drive transformation to empower & improve many of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Barry Coates, Sustainability Programme Development, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand
Ngai Tahu Holdings is an intergenerational and Aotearoa New Zealand-focused investor that operates as an investor, asset owner and active manager of enterprises. At its heart, Ngai Tahu is a values-based business that relies on its people and its partners to generate long-term returns while respecting its traditions and the principle of kaitiakitanga – stewardship of natural resources.
Miraka is a Māori-owned dairy company that reflects the cultural beliefs of its owners in the operations of its business. Miraka uses geothermal and sustainable energy to process milk from its local suppliers, with active programmes for composting and soil management, waste minimisation and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Luisa Lombardi, Senior Lecturer Accounting, and Barry Cooper, Associate Dean Industry Engagement and Partnership, Deakin University , Australia
First Nations Foundation is the only national Indigenous charity in Australia with a focus on financial wellbeing. Established in 2006 by a group of respected First Australian leaders, the Foundation focuses on assisting First Australians with money management, acting as a bridge between Indigenous people’s needs and the financial service industry as well as identifying and quantifying the financial needs and trends of First Nations people through research.
AIME (The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) is a dynamic educational program that is proven to support Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education at the same rate as all Australian students.
Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative provides Aboriginal families living or in transit in Wathaurong’s traditional boundaries with assistance, increased and improved access to a range of culturally appropriate health, housing, education, employment and cultural services; contributes to improvements in community wellbeing; and builds the capacity of the community to control its own affairs and achieve self-determination.
Debbie Roberts, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Stunnuz Clothing is a youthful streetwear fashion brand that is influenced by New Zealand culture. The business successes have been driven by passion for design, culture and youth. The journey of the business has opened many opportunities, national and internationally, and has a greater goal to further develop globally.
The Te Rau Aroha Omaio development project is a community owned and led enterprise that will bring to life the guiding principles of sustainable economic, environmental, social and cultural development through the systematic migration of 150 hectares of low-value maize growing into a truly sustainable enterprise linked to elite high-value food markets of the world.
The enterprise will aggregate together Maori owned traditional lands to create scale and use the world’s-best knowledge (including traditional knowledge), science and technology to integrate organic practices into the value chain and create more than 100 new full-time local jobs over five years.