Established in 2015 The Canberra Business Yarning Circle was the first Canberra Indigenous Business Forum. An initiative of ACT Australian of the Year, Manbarra and Torres Strait Island man, Dion Devow, it is sponsored by the ACT Government and recognised by the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. Since inception it has helped establish, mentor and advise many new Indigenous Businesses. It’s a great place to yarn about business in Canberra. Come and hear some great stories; celebrate Indigenous Business and learn about the Canberra Indigenous Entrepreneurs Program and other Business Support available to business. If you have a business idea or want to know how to get into business join the Yarning Circle.
The Canberra Business Yarning Circle is a hosting Event to join up with all new entrepreneurs to discuss their new business ideas. The aim of this discussion is to focus on integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into Australia’s business community. The further inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in businesses is a pressing national concern, a barometer of our progress as a nation. Inclusion in business, as business owners, equals self-determination. Government initiatives and social ventures can only do so much, in terms of advocacy and support, and often can only use particular pronouns when addressing relevant issues. The true measure of an inclusive society is business ownership, the empowerment offered through building and owning a business helps to affect far reaching, systematic change.
There is conjecture as to what constitutes an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander owned business. Ownership of a business could be taken as one of the many key indicators of change and progression for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Health concerns, or access to other perquisite services and resources could be said to take precedence. Such concerns though, while pressing and immediate, do not have the same ability to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as inclusion in and ownership of businesses does. The hospitality industry conveniently serves to illustrate the point; how many outwardly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eateries have you frequented this week? How many Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese or Mexican eateries have you frequented this week?
Mr Dion Devow organiser of the event
Inclusion in and ownership of businesses, on a holistic scale, has the potential to allow for self-determination on the same holistic scale. Without spelling it out, past the point of necessity; building businesses and appealing to immediate customer bases is part and parcel of integrating fully into societies, and creating economies of agglomeration. What shape and form these businesses take is open to the circumstances and the chosen areas of expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners. What can be inferred over time, from the development of these businesses and by the field expertise chosen, is our progression as a nation and a society. The more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses are encouraged, the more we as a society can actively measure and encourage them through the same performance metrics used nationally. The end goal is of course equality, beyond that given through government and social initiatives; the progression from being assisted, to assisting one’s self, to assisting one’s community. The need for recompense and acknowledgement will always be omnipresent and there is an ethical charge to affect change and empowerment, through correct means.