There has been a record response to this year’s Western Australian Indigenous Business Awards, with the number of entries up by more than 25 per cent over 1999.
The awards, which are co-ordinated by the Department of Commerce and Trade's Office of Aboriginal Economic Development, were launched in 1998 to acknowledge and promote the achievements of our indigenous business people.
"It is pleasing that the field of entrants has grown steadily in each successive year," Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said.
"The participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in diverse businesses around the State is on the increase, and these awards are the major forum for giving recognition to their contribution to the economy and the community as a whole."
The judging process is now under way and finalists will be announced at the end of the month. The categories cover different sizes of businesses and special industry sectors, with the top award, for Indigenous Business of the Year, awarded to one of the category winners.
This year a new award category has been introduced, for business initiatives taken by Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) organisations.
Mr Cowan said he was looking forward to presenting the awards on November 24.
"The two previous presentation ceremonies were immensely popular events, with family members, colleagues and friends of finalists coming from all round the State to celebrate,” he said.
"The function is an opportunity not only to give accolades to finalists and winners, but also to hold up these success stories as role models to inspire others."
The WA Indigenous Business Awards are sponsored by:
The Aboriginal Affairs Department; Anaconda Nickel; Ansett Australia; ArtsWA; ATSIC; the Department of Commerce and Trade; the Federal Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business; the Lotteries Commission; National Australia Bank; and Rio Tinto.
They are supported by the Small Business Development Corporation and the Aboriginal Economic Development Council.
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595