Regional Development Australia - Wheatbelt
An Australian Government Initiative

Aboriginal Enterprise Development Support Projects

RDA Wheatbelt is pleased to have secured funding over three years to support Aboriginal Enterprise Development in the Yued (Moora) and Ballardong Nyungar (Noongar) regions of the Wheatbelt (covering initially Northam, Brookton, Cunderdin, Dowerin, Merredin, Toodyay and York).  This project will cover approximately 82% of the region’s Aboriginal population.

The design of the project commenced in August 2015 with community consultation and engagement of Federal and State Agencies over the following 2.5 years to refine to an innovative approach to address structural disadvantage associated with both employment opportunities and pathways for education for the Noongar population within the Wheatbelt. RDA Wheatbelt has had a number of unsuccessful attempts to secure funding for this project and are delighted to have been successful  through the Australian Government Department of Social Services Inclusive Communities Grants.

A range of organisations are funded to deliver enterprise support services once a business venture has been identified, however none of these services are physically present within the Wheatbelt, and rely on contact from entrepreneurs, who must first locate them utilising an internet search.  

This Grant will fund a Noongar Enterprise Support field officer in each region to encourage and support social enterprise and small indigenous business and will also provide a mechanism for the delivery of other funded programs into the Wheatbelt (such as the IBA Business Information Sessions that currently has no avenue within the Wheatbelt to connect with prospective indigenous business owners), and others. It can thus be the central point around which other programs designed to increase Aboriginal employment, economic development and social participation can populate. Ultimately a focus in this area is expected to generate a critical mass of services that will create a supportive environment for indigenous business, increasing economic activity and employment.

Social enterprises are expected to act as incubation hubs, stimulating and assisting with the development of micro enterprise as the community and individuals therein gain confidence, experience and commercial knowledge.

As far as possible, the RDA Wheatbelt solution is closely aligned to the success factors identified by the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Steering Committee:

a. Cooperative approaches;
b. Community involvement;
c. Good governance; and
d. Ongoing government support.

RDA Wheatbelt is now working on the implementation plan for these Inclusive Communities grants. 

For further information please contact the admin office on 08 9575 1888 or admin@rdawheatbelt.com.au