Culture and heritage

Seven ways to support Aboriginal business

27 November 2021

Fall in love with one-of-a-kind art, dine out on native ingredients and turn your home into a jungle of plants thanks to deadly businesses led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Whether you are buying a gift for a loved one or contracting services for an organisation, we can all play a role in helping Aboriginal businesses thrive. 

At the City of Melbourne, our Aboriginal Procurement Strategy guides us in promoting economic participation and development among Aboriginal people to close the gap of disadvantage.  

Last financial year, we increased our spend with Aboriginal businesses by 28 per cent. This included purchasing masks, hand sanitiser and other PPE needed during the COVID-19 pandemic from Position Promo 

To lend your support, discover just a few brilliant Aboriginal businesses below, or browse many more on the Kinaway (Victorian) and Supply Nation (national) online directories. 

1. Discover authentic artwork 

Shop for authentic Victorian Aboriginal artwork and artefacts at the Koorie Heritage Trust online store. This carefully curated collection includes unique paintings, carvings, didgeridoos and clapsticks. By deepening people’s understanding of Indigenous arts, the Trust aims to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people. 

2. Book a gourmet dinner 

Indulge in the flavours of the Torres Strait at Big Esso (which means ‘the biggest thank you’), the new all-day bar and kitchen at Fed Square from the Mabu Mabu team. Stay a while to enjoy chargrilled seafood and zesty native ingredients alongside bevies and beats from Indigenous creators, or browse small-batch pantry supplies online. 

3. Up your gifting game 

Find all your favourite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brands and discover new ones at Welcome to Country. This huge online store connects you to a multitude of treasures for family and friends, including books, beauty products, spices, jigsaw puzzles and anything else you could imagine.   

4. Style up your look 

Choose from playful laser-cut statement pieces and organic jewellery designs featuring native seeds and emu feathers created by Aboriginal makers Haus of DizzyKoorie Circle and Custom Creed Designs. Complete your look with contemporary apparel and bold accessories from Gammin Threads. 

5. Beautify your home or office 

Stock up on homewares that tell a story, like bush tucker nesting bowls, cushion covers and coffee mugs from Yarn Strong Brutha, metal art and stunning wooden cutting boards embellished with Aboriginal art from Ngarga Warendj (Dancing Wombat), and glass art and splashbacks from Wauthurong Glass and Arts. 

6. Delight your kids 

Browse Aboriginal dolls, children’s books, hand-woven toys, games, felt puppets, storytelling mats, puzzles and more at the Yarn Strong Sister online store. This company is your one-stop shop for empowering, First Nations-designed resources for early-childhood education and play. 

7. Grow an indoor jungle 

Fill your world with greenery from Pop Wilder. With backgrounds in horticulture, landscape architecture, visual art and psychology, founders Mishka and Rudi believe indoor plants positively impact physical and mental wellbeing. Browse plants and pots or book plant styling and installation services online. 

Calling all market lovers 

Stay tuned to the Finders Keepers website or social media channels for the announcement of the ever-popular design market’s next dates.  

We are providing fully-funded stalls, marketing support, and retail furniture and systems to help 14 Aboriginal-led businesses showcase their wares at the markets. 

Start and grow your business

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person looking to start or grow business in Melbourne, reach out for support with permits, grants, marketing and more. For more information, visit Aboriginal Melbourne. 

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