Supporting the next wave of Indigenous business 

  • Indigenous Affairs

During NAIDOC Week we celebrate Indigenous businesses fostering connection to Country and community.

  • 03.07.2023
  • Time to read 1 min read


 Harvesting kuti and building community  

In Ngarrindjeri, pipis or ‘kuti’ have been sustainably harvested from the Coorong for more than 19,000 years. Formed in 2019, Kuti Co is a wholly Ngarrindjeri owned fishing company developed to support traditional practices around harvesting kuti.

“Harvesting Pipis (or Kuti) by hand has a long and proud history in our region. Our approach is about honouring those traditions and building community – drawing together to protect all that’s important, to all of us.”

Embracing traditional practices  

Ngarrindjeri Elder and Kuti Co Director, Uncle Derek Walker, said Kuti Co works with local fishing teams to hand harvest kuti all year round.

“Having Kuti Co harvest Goolwa PipiCo’s products ensures that only traditional and sustainable practices are applied,” Uncle Derek said.

“It also continues connection to country, collaboration with community and a future built on the Ngarrindjeri’s deep and rich history.”

Kuti Co’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices has also created jobs and training opportunities for the Ngarrindjeri people in South Australia.

“Our partnership with Goolwa PipiCo is a tangible example of reconciliation that has become an exemplar for indigenous investment in commercial fishing both here in Australia and at a global level,” Uncle Derek said.



Supporting Indigenous communities

Agritech startup and NAB customer, Aquacultr, leverages market-leading technology to farm fish sustainably at scale while supporting First Nations Peoples across Australia.

Aquacultr CEO, Mathew Goddard, said their land-based aquatic farming model is making typically inaccessible farming technology available to communities.

“We’re in the process of building a distributed production system for barramundi farming around the country,” Mr Goddard said.

“As we prepare to scale our farming technology, we believe we’ve got a really strong opportunity to work closely with Aboriginal Lands Councils and Indigenous corporations to provide a solution which gives them employment and economic activity on their land and water assets.”



NAB’s role  

NAB has a critical role to play in supporting Indigenous business growth and prosperity for Indigenous Australians.

NAB Chair, Philip Chronican, said it’s important NAB is there to support Indigenous businesses so they can become successful and be part of the journey of reconciliation.

“As a bank operating across Australia, we thrive in cohesive, well-functioning communities,” Mr Chronican said.

“We understand the importance of creating opportunities to engage Indigenous groups in business, providing employment and purpose.

“That is important for building a strong Australia and a strong community.”

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

In response, NAB established its Indigenous Business Banking team – a specialist team of bankers who understand the Indigenous business sector.

“For Indigenous businesses to succeed, it’s important to understand their needs,” Mr Chronican said.

“To do that, we have specialised bankers who take the time to understand the specifics and have an affiliation to the Indigenous community.

“By bringing those together, we can start to see some opportunities.”

NAIDOC Week runs from 2 – 9 July and across Australia celebrations are held to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ​​​​​​​ This year the NAIDOC Week theme is Four Our Elders, which highlights the important role Elders have played, and continue to play in our communities.   

Find out more about NAB’s specialised banking services for Indigenous businesses and community organisations on our website.

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