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Support for Aboriginal Businesses

The South Australian Government is committed to increasing procurement opportunities and building the capacity and capability of Aboriginal businesses to ensure all South Australians have access to the benefits of economic participation.

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To drive this, in 2015 the South Australian division of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation led the development of a new strategy to support improved Aboriginal economic participation outcomes.

In 2016 the Office of the Industry Advocate took carriage of the Aboriginal Economic Participation through Procurement Strategy (the Strategy) and in 2017 the Aboriginal Economic Participation Policy was embedded in the South Australian Industry Participation Policy.

An Industry Participation Consultant was appointed to deliver 
the policy objectives and advocate for Aboriginal businesses 
in South Australia.

The Office of the Industry Advocate is a Statutory Authority and the Industry Advocate Act 2017 provides the Office with the power to investigate contract non-compliance and act in accordance with through the enforcement strategy.

The Strategy is two-fold, focusing on leveraging opportunities for Aboriginal jobs and business from government procurement and building the capability of the Aboriginal business sector to compete for government and private sector tenders.

Aboriginal Economic Participation Through Procurement

Through this strategy:

  • In tenders less than $220,000 (GST Incl) South Australian Government agencies will be supported to use the Aboriginal Business Procurement Policy which enables agencies to procure directly from a business listed on the SA Aboriginal Business Directory, instead of seeking three quotes.
  • In tenders more than $220,000 (GST Incl), the Office of the Industry Advocate will work with South Australian Government agencies to develop tailored Industry Participation plans, so businesses with Aboriginal ownership, jobs or subcontracting will receive a better Industry Participation score and be more likely to win tender contracts.

Aboriginal Support Package


The second component of the Strategy brings together a package of supports for the Aboriginal business sector to ensure there is a capable supply of Aboriginal businesses with capacity to access the South Australian Government’s procurement opportunities.

Below is a list of actions you can take to build your business’ profile, capacity and capability to improve your chances of success when submitting quotes and tenders.

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Register your business on the SA Product + Services Register

South Australian Businesses can profile their business for free, highlighting what products and/or services they sell. This free online tool provides a simple way of identifying the supply chain of products, goods and services provided from within the State.

Register with SA Tenders and Contracts for email updates

Register for email updates to be notified of tender opportunities across major State Government agencies and some local government agencies as they are released.

Attend Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) Business Development Workshops

These workshops are delivered in Adelaide and provide a solid business development knowledge including effective tender writing. Contact IBA on 1800 107 107.

Visit the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur website

If you have an innovative business idea to solve a problem, provide a service or change lives then the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur has programs and tools to assist you to develop these concepts. The Office was formally established in October 2018 to provide a new model for entrepreneurship in South Australia.

Visit the Supporting Business in South Australia website

A central point of reference for the information, services and resources available to small businesses, including information on starting, running or leaving your business, available support, protecting your business, solving problems and winning work with government.

Register with the Industry Capability Network (ICN)

This online portal allows Government procurement staff and Head Contractors responsible for large projects to search for suitable sub-contractors. Work packages and events are listed on the site. Basic registration is at no cost.

For enquires about Aboriginal Economic Participation in South Australia please contact:
Sue Panagaris, Industry Advocate Consultant in the Office of the Industry Advocate on:
(08) 8207 0903 | 0466 480 979 | sue.panagaris@sa.gov.au

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