Wirra Hub mentors Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses

Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times
The Wirrpanda Foundation’s Wirra Hub event at the Dolphin Discovery Centre helped connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with business mentors.
Camera IconThe Wirrpanda Foundation’s Wirra Hub event at the Dolphin Discovery Centre helped connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with business mentors. Credit: supplied.

South West business owners and operators were given expert advice and one-on-one coaching at a Wirrpanda Foundation event at the Dolphin Discovery Centre last week.

The foundation’s regional pop-up, the Wirra Hub, connected business coaches with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wanting to start, grow or sustain their businesses.

Wirra Hub general manager Shane Devitt said the coaches mentored businesses and entrepreneurs at the pop-up hubs at first, and then moved on to helping them on an ongoing basis in building capacity, identifying opportunities and fostering networking.

“On average, between $5000 and $10,000 worth of business services are utilised by the businesses, coached by our Wirra Hub team,” Mr Devitt said.

“These may include support with legal documents, accounting support, capability statements, assistance with compliance processes required for health and safety, website creation or other services to enhance their business capabilities and preparedness.”

The Wirra Hub events provide a business-focused arm to the Wirrpanda Foundation, which aims to provide education, employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“Our coaches will identify existing and upcoming opportunities in each of the three identified areas and target relevant companies and businesses to participate in the pop-up hubs,” Mr Devitt said.

Business counsellors Rob Barton and Shirley McPherson will help local businesses through the Wirra Hub program.
Camera IconBusiness counsellors Rob Barton and Shirley McPherson will help local businesses through the Wirra Hub program. Credit: supplied.

Representatives from the hub’s major partner, Alcoa, spoke about procurement opportunities and upcoming work in the South West.

Speakers from Southern Ports Authority and South West Gateway also gave presentation.

Alcoa global procurement director Adrian Jones said the company was committed to increasing opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

“It was great to meet people and start to build relationships that have the potential to not only help our business and other businesses but also the wider community,” Mr Jones said.

The next business hub event will be at the Jakovich Centre in Kwinana on September 14.

The event has been created in partnership with Wirra Hub and the Alcoa Foundation.

Visit www.wirrahub.org.au.

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