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Raising the Bar on Indigenous Supplier Diversity

Josh Riley, Senior Manager, Citizenship, Business Council of Australia

Group photo of members of the Raising the Bar design group.
Members of the Raising the Bar design group at the final design shop in Perth during NAIDOC Week 2018. Credit: Business Council of Australia.

Supply chains provide an important link between business and the community. They provide an avenue for communities to engage in the economic opportunities created by business.

The Business Council of Australia has a longstanding commitment to work with its members to enhance economic development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This work is led by the Business Council's Indigenous Engagement Task Force, which consists of chief executives as well as other senior leaders from member companies and the Indigenous community.

An important element of this agenda is the Business Council's relationship with Supply Nation focused on growing a thriving Indigenous business sector. Most recently the two organisations have collaborated on the Raising the Bar initiative which aims to enhance the procurement capability and impact of Business Council member companies.

Through the initiative, 19 member companies formed a design group which developed an Indigenous procurement target setting framework that is adaptable to the Business Council's diverse membership. Any member can opt into the framework to enhance their supply chain's impact on Indigenous economic development.

The Raising the Bar framework consists of four key components:

  • the Indigenous procurement target;
  • the minimum systems and processes that are required to be successful with the target, such as CEO and executive commitment and training for key staff;
  • the reporting and monitoring required to track progress against the target; and
  • activities to support the development of Indigenous suppliers.

The Raising the Bar initiative also signifies an Australian macro-movement regarding Indigenous supplier diversity, due to the aligned efforts across the private and public sectors – a further demonstration of the supply chain's ability to enhance economic prosperity for the wider community.

The Business Council is set to publicly launch the Raising the Bar framework and announce the first cohort of committed members in the near future.

Last Updated: 10 January 2019
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