Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    Winners of indigenous business awards announced

    25/11/2000 7:00 AM

    A Laverton company which has grown from two employees to 120 in just six years has won the prestigious Western Australian Indigenous Business of the Year Award.

    Burnna Yurral Aboriginal Corporation (BYAC) provides labour hire, training and other contract services to the mining industry of the north-eastern Goldfields and is now planning to expand into the eastern Goldfields region.

    Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan presented the award at a gala function at the Sheraton-Perth Hotel last night. The ceremony was the culmination of a week of special indigenous business and cultural events, including ‘Black in Business’, a two-day seminar for indigenous business owners.

    Managed by Rodney, Quinton, Patricia and Priscilla Tucker, BYAC is 100 per cent owned by Aboriginal people. It was established to provide flexible, locally based services to the mining companies and Aboriginal communities in the region.

    In its early days BYAC encountered some market resistance and strong competition, but overcame these obstacles by gaining a sound understanding of potential clients’ needs and developing communication, marketing and business skills.

    BYAC, which also won the category of indigenous businesses with six or more employees, receives air travel prizes sponsored by Ansett; training in business planning from the National Australia Bank; and $2500 worth of business development services.

    Mr Cowan said the WA Indigenous Business Awards were an important part of the State Government’s commitment to assisting Aboriginal people fulfil their aspirations for greater economic independence.

    “Since they were first held in 1998, the awards have encouraged more indigenous people to participate in the growth of the State’s economy by acknowledging these success stories,” he said.

    “Further signs of this success include the participation of 21 Aboriginal businesses in the recent Goldfields Mining Expo, the 400 indigenous clients serviced by the Department of Commerce and Trade last year, 60 indigenous tourism operators and other diverse businesses throughout the State.”

    The other category winners were:

    Outback Electrical (Derby)
    Warlayirti Artists (Halls Creek)
    Goolarri Media Enterprises (Broome)
    Warmun Art Centre
    Businesses with one to five employees Arts and media
    Rural and remote businesses.

    The WA Indigenous Business Awards are an initiative of the Department of Commerce and Trade in association with the Aboriginal Economic Development Council. They are sponsored by the Aboriginal Affairs Department, Anaconda Nickel, Ansett Australia, ArtsWA, the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, the Western Australian Lotteries Commission, National Australia Bank, Rio Tinto and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

    Details of the winners and finalists can be found at http:www.oaedawards.commerce.wa.gov.au

    Media Contact: Peter Jackson 9222 9595