Celebrating Indigenous business

  • Indigenous Affairs

During National Reconciliation Week we celebrate Indigenous businesses creating opportunity and driving positive change in Australia.

  • 29.05.2023
  • Time to read 1 min read


In early 2022, NAB launched its Indigenous business strategy, with the aspiration to be the Bank that backs Indigenous business.

To realise this aspiration NAB established a specialist team of bankers who understand the Indigenous business sector. This team will provide a cultural bridge between Indigenous business owners and NAB.

Noel Prakash, NAB Executive, Indigenous Business Banking, believes while NAB actively supports Indigenous employment and community, it is time to use our business banking strength to drive Indigenous business growth.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders have been driving positive change in Australia for generations. This doesn’t show any sign of slowing down,” he said.

“The Indigenous business sector provides a significant and growing commercial opportunity for NAB. For us to fully realise this opportunity, the most important thing is making sure our team is appropriately trained to meet their needs. This includes from a cultural perspective.”

NAB’s Indigenous business team has been established to build the best and most compelling Indigenous business service proposition to meet the needs of Indigenous business customers.

“Business has an integral role to play in empowering Indigenous leadership and creating opportunities for Indigenous communities to succeed. We know Indigenous businesses are large employers of Indigenous people and when we support these businesses it helps to create jobs for more Indigenous people,” Noel said.

“For our team at NAB, there are new and exciting things to come in our quest to further support growing Indigenous businesses in Australia.”

The 65,000 year history of Indigenous Australians is being embraced to help build strong and sustainable businesses.

Embracing history to build strong businesses

It is learning from the past that inspired Cherie and Phil Thompson to create Native Secrets, a natural skincare range based in Dubbo, NSW.

“Inspired by the oldest continuing culture in the world, we started Native Secrets as a way to create conversations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, Cherie said.

“The core of our business is to draw on our generational knowledge and share that with the world in a contemporary way. The way we have done this is through our natural skincare range.”

“We wanted to create a product from ingredients all Australians have in common, which is our bush foods and medicinal plants. At the same time, we’re trying to showcase a brand and a business that can be celebrated by all Australians.”


Creating opportunities for Mob

When identical twins, Anthony and Saia Faingaa retired from playing rugby for Australia, one of the most important things in deciding what was next for them was how to create opportunities for other people.

It was this passion that led them to establishing Moonyah Workforce, a recruitment, labour hire and traffic management business based in Brisbane, Queensland.

“We wanted to run our business with really strong cultural values around giving people equal opportunity,” said Anthony.

“We sat around the yarning circle, which for us is the dinner table and decided we want Moonyah to be a safe place, a place that provides equal opportunity. This is something that’s really special for us.

“To be able to say we’re an Indigenous business is something we are very proud of,” said Anthony.

“Reconciliation Week is a time to celebrate some of the great Indigenous businesses and to showcase we are doing well. Indigenous workforce is here and it’s here to stay. Let’s celebrate this.”

Demonstrating impact for community

A strong Indigenous business sector does not only mean better outcomes for building wealth and self-determination for individuals and their families, but the positive impact in the community is clear.

Ryan James and Aron Kurzydlo are both Directors of BSKT Wholefoods, in Burleigh Heads, Queensland. BSKT Wholefoods not only utilises native flavours and ingredients to create wholefood products, but the business is also focused on giving back to community.

“At the moment, every dollar spent with an Indigenous business, creates four and a half dollars of social outcomes,” said Aron.

“For us it’s about aligning our values around the outcomes we want to create with community. Not only do we want to demonstrate Indigenous business can thrive and survive, but we want to give back and support community as much as we can and really just close the gap and uplift other businesses to grow.”

“The knowledge is there to be shared and we need to build a platform for this to happen. Once we have greater positive financial impacts flowing into community, the community can start to support other individuals and their self-determination and development.”

National Reconciliation Week is being celebrated across Australia, and NAB, between 27 May and 3 June. This is a time for strengthening relationships between Indigenous Australians and all Australians.

NAB is here to serve customers well and help our communities prosper, including those who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.  We offer specialised banking services for Indigenous businesses and community organisations. Find out more on about NAB’s Indigenous Banking Services on our website.  

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