A Mango Hill-based not-for-profit organisation will use a Federal Government grant of more than $777,000 to help Aboriginal women and girls make their mark in business.
The organisation, founded by Dunghutti woman Carol Vale about five years ago, is called Tiddas in Business. Tiddas means sisters or very good friends.
Until now, Ms Vale’s core business Murawin has been funding the program in a bid to help Aboriginal women identify and pursue business ideas and build a platform for success.
She has a background in being a consultant to government on policy and programs, child safety and small business.
The grant, which is part of the Federal Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program, will be used to encourage Indigenous women in eight urban, regional, rural and remote locations in New South Wales and Queensland to start their own businesses.
Ms Vale, who grew up on a mission in Armidale, understands the barriers including family responsibilities and said recognition of this and flexibility were vital for Aboriginal women to succeed.
“It made a difference for me and it’s a good time to be in business for Aboriginal people,” she said.
Tiddas in Business is already working with women to pursue business opportunities ranging from jewellery making to Indigenous educational flashcards for children and professional and advisory services.
Murawin Principal Consultant Cecilia Anthony said the work was about lifting up Aboriginal women and their communities during the process.
“If you educate a woman, you educate a community. It’s not just her family, it her whole community. It’s a ripple effect,” Ms Anthony said.
The free program will use associates ‘on the ground’ in the eight locations to mentor women and help them identify business opportunities or take an idea to the next level.
They will also help develop business plans and leadership skills, so they can support and encourage other women in their communities.
Ms Vale said it was also important to help women build successful businesses, with rigor, so they can be successful in any environment.
A website will be created and an alumni identified who can provide advice.
Tiddas in Business aims to transforming women’s lives through helping them realise their economic potential, and drive social and economic change in Indigenous families and communities.
Federal Member for Petrie and Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services Luke Howarth met with Ms Vale and Ms Anthony earlier this month to hear more about their work and said he was delighted to have secured this grassroots funding.
“Every dollar invested in Tiddas in Business will help build a safer, more prosperous future for women and girls,” Mr Howarth said.
Minister for Women Senator Marise Payne said the Women’s Leadership and Development Program had a clear focus on boosting women’s employment opportunities and supporting women’s safety.
“40,000 Australian women are expected to benefit from these important projects, including women from diverse backgrounds and those at high risk of long-term unemployment,” she said.
For more information about Tiddas in Business, visit murawin.com.au
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