In 2018, MACA partnered up with Indigenous Management Group (IMG) to deliver a business development program focused on creating meaningful commercial opportunities for Yilka Talintji Traditional Owners. The project was co-designed and delivered in a culturally responsive way, enabling four Yilka start-up businesses to gain contracts over a 5-year period at the Gruyere mine site. The project involved extensive work with community, tailored business development pathways, personal development for Directors, extensive commercial support from MACA, and ongoing mentoring and management support for each of the Yilka businesses.
- Four new Yilka companies established and supported.
- 100% Traditional Owner business engagement.
- Culturally-responsive corporate structures for the business owners’ families, structured around supporting future generations and the local community.
- Created a professional support network within MACA.
- Provided personalised training programs to increase enterprise skills.
- Empowered businesses to access finance for equipment and working capital.
- Secured low interest rate loans for these new businesses, increasing the competitiveness of the supplier’s rates.
- Developed comprehensive HSEQ business systems as required for their work in a high-risk industry.
- Constructed roadmaps for Yilka businesses to increase contract opportunities with MACA.
MACA and IMG worked together extensively over the 14-month period to ensure the success of the project, maintaining consistent touchpoints to ensure a mutually shared vision that created new opportunities for the Indigenous community and fulfilled MACA’s business values.
IMG’s specialist skills as an Indigenous consultant were vital to the success of the project. Our intimate understanding of the local community context provided MACA with an exceptional opportunity for open dialogue; to create authentic connections that may have otherwise been met with constraint. MACA facilitated community engagement and consultation sessions with IMG, which gave a voice to the aspirations and concerns of the Traditional Owner group. The ongoing communications provided a platform for positive relationships, access to commercial opportunities, and enabled Yilka businesses to overcome barriers and achieve their genuine aspirations.
From the ground up, the partnership supported Yilka businesses with strong business foundations; groundwork and tools to render services and thrive in the delivery of their appointed contract. This included establishment, preparation of business plans, governance support, financial reporting, prequalification, management systems, personal development, financial wellbeing for the Directors, and assisted access to equipment finance and working capital.
Together, MACA, IMG and the Yilka businesses negotiated on supplier development initiatives and pathways, worked with commercial and legal teams to define contractual terms to reduce the specific risks pertaining to each of the new businesses; and supported the execution of the individual business plans.
Capability to Sustainability
With several years of business underway, each of the four start-ups remain afloat with highly capable teams and financial stability.
IMG continues to work closely with directors daily, supporting their strategic, operational and financial requirements, as well as imparting their knowledge to help directors grow toward sustainable businesses and financial independence. IMG deliver a framework called the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ that outlines SMART goals for the company, spanning across finance, resources, delivery, compliance, marketing, training, development, and management. MACA continue to be actively involved with the businesses to support their growth and maturity.
Through persistence and determination, each business is thriving in their field, and are now expanding their operations through additional contracts, staff, and equipment.
Proudly, the businesses have not sustained any significant HSEQ incidents since commencing contract delivery.
MACA and IMG continue to communicate regularly and undertake formal quarterly reviews with the view of improving engagement and identifying new commercial opportunities for growth and empowerment.
Developing lasting community outcomes
Outside of the direct business outcomes, the development of strong relationships between MACA and the Yilka people is an invaluable result. The impact of this participation program will benefit the community for generations to come, already having created local employment, apprenticeships, and traineeships. MACA’s support surrounding business opportunities have improved the personal financial positions of the business owners through provision of financial planning support services and has enabled ownership of a suitable family home for one of the business owners (Closing the Gap socio-economic target no. 9). Off the back of this project, the Yilka businesses have gained new work with MACA and accessed contracts beyond Gruyere.
The shared vision between MACA and IMG has been instrumental to the success of the project, and we personally look forward to witnessing the continual growth of these Yilka businesses and the lasting impact they have on community outcomes.