MOU Signing, Western Sydney Indigenous Business Gain Support For Growth

On Wednesday 18 September, the University of Wollongong (UOW) and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build research capacity across the Indigenous business sector and improve economic, social and cultural outcomes for Indigenous Peoples in NSW.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council has partnered with the Federal Government to deliver the Yarpa NSW Indigenous Business and Employment Hub (Yarpa Hub), a holistic support service for Indigenous businesses and jobseekers based in Western Sydney.

The MOU was an important step for NSWALC and the Yarpa Hub to create greater connections between Aboriginal businesses and internationally recognised academics. The partnership also solidifies UOW’s commitment to improving participation in higher education for Australia’s Indigenous people. A partnership with the Yarpa Hub will improve pathways from University to employment for students.

James Christan, NSWALC CEO, highlighted the importance of NSWALC and Yarpa partnering with UOW.

“I am very pleased to add the University of Wollongong to our list of esteemed partners today. Not only are we connecting with a world class education institution, but one that has a clear and ambitious commitment to Aboriginal excellence across a range of academic fields”

During proceedings, Professor Jones acknowledged the importance of reconciliation and respect for Aboriginal peoples and her deep commitment to working in partnership to improve educational and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We hope by improving the participation rate in higher education, we can begin to close the gap when it comes to unemployment and help support aspirations,” Professor Jones said.

“We believe an enabling approach working with Aboriginal leadership and effective partnerships are key to achieving real change.

“A partnership with Yarpa significantly enhances positive impact on employability outcomes for Indigenous students.”

The MOU sets parameters for engagement, discussion and collaboration between UOW, NSWALC and Yarpa.

An executive from UOW and the Land Council will meet quarterly to discuss strategy and the direction of plans. Working groups will be established to prioritise key issues of mutual interest in relation to the hub, and identify and prioritise tasks and actions required to design and deliver the hub.