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Why Black Businesses and Black Lives Matter

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MEDIA RELEASE

 Tuesday 21 July

The Kinaway Chamber of Commerce is committed to supporting legitimate certified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

Kinaway has a strict and transparent certification process that supports the achievement of Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes as a priority, through Social and Indigenous Procurement targets set by corporate and government organisations in Australia.

These policies aim to “close the gap” through meaningful procurement and employment opportunities such as the Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework and the Federal Indigenous Procurement Policy.

Recently, Kinaway member Unified Security had been identified as a recipient of a Victorian State Government contract under the State Government Social Procurement framework.

In an article appearing on the front page of the Herald Sun dated Monday 20 July 2020, titled SECURITY CONTRACT RORT – Operators “weaponising” Indigenous policy – by Kieran Rooney, references were made to rogue security businesses in Victoria setting up Indigenous businesses that are using Indigenous policy to win state government contracts – it specifically named Unified Security in the same article, without making a direct allegation.

Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Chairperson Karen Milward says the Kinaway certification process is very thorough, “We have a 10-step process to certify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses are 100 times more likely to employ an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person, our main objective is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and to support employment opportunities for our people within those businesses”

The Chamber, declines applications from businesses who apply to Kinaway to become a certified Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business almost weekly because they do not meet the stringent criteria.

Kinaway Chamber of Commerce 10 step verification process to certify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses is as follows:

 

  1. Collect online application which addresses various questions around ownership and operation.
  2. Kinaway Membership Committee to cross reference with ASIC databases to verify ownership and shareholdings
  3. Verify Certificate of Aboriginality of owners listed on the application and with ASIC
  4. Confirm management and ownership of Aboriginal parties via shareholder agreements and company delegation of authority documents
  5. Conduct interviews and or site visits to verify location, management and ownership of the business if required
  6. Applicant to demonstrate commercial independence
  7. Review Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment strategy
  8. Confirm the number of Aboriginal employees
  9. Review Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community engagement strategy
  10. Review Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander skill and capability transfer plan

 

Unified Security has been through this process not only with Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, but also the NSW indigenous Chamber of Commerce, where Unified Security holds its head office.

Kinaway can confirm the following regarding Unified Security:

 

  • Unified Security have been a Kinaway Certified member since 2018.
  • Unified Security is a majority owned and managed Aboriginal business.
  • Unified Security employ 28 Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people out of a total of 85 employees.
  • Unified Security have a further 12 Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have just completed training and are awaiting their licence to operate.
  • Unified Security have a further 38 Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regional areas on the books waiting for new contracts.

“This type of reporting, where clearly the facts have not been checked is very unhelpful considering today’s climate of the Black Lives Matter movement and steps towards Closing the Gap and reconciliation” added Ms Milward.

“In fact, it’s this type of reporting, front page reporting that people take as gospel and consider an informed position” concluded Ms Milward.

If you have any further queries regarding this issue please contact Scott McCartney, CEO Kinaway on 0424944366 or email scottm@kinaway.com.au

 

About Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd

Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd is an innovative collaboration between the Victorian State Government, Corporates and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses that, with community leaders, businesses and organisations, will support the growth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses in Victoria, with links to other state and national initiatives.

Guided by an experienced Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners, Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd will provide critical support to Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and entrepreneurs through cultural, corporate, programmatic and professional solutions tailored to meet their needs and aspirations.

Since 2018, Kinaway has experienced exponential growth bought upon by the release of Government funding and the targets set by the Victorian Government to source good and services from Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and entrepreneurs.

Year to date we have over 220 certified members and expect to expand by at least another 30% by the end of the calendar year, even in this climate. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are very resilient and the benefits of a thriving Indigenous business is very impactful, see First Nations Capital’s report.

In addition, the strategic direction and service model has bought increased membership, corporate support and recognition both nationally and internationally. Kinaway is now positioned for success with a robust service delivery framework, private and public sector support for the “Kinaway model, established internal processes and an experienced and focused board’.

Kinaway is working collaboratively with the Victorian Government on the review of Tharamba Bugheen (Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy) and developing the next Victorian Aboriginal economic strategy. In addition, the development of funding streams such as a Kinaway enterprise will be priorities for the organisation.

 

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