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Supplier Diversity CEO Lunch, 17 September, 2008

CEO Boardroom

The Chamber held a private Boardroom Lunch for over 60 CEOs in Sydney. Citi Country Head, Stephen Roberts, Ms Harriet Michel, one of the most powerful black women in America, and ten successful Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs, addressed the lunch on the topic of “Indigenous Business: a new model for Corporate Australia to Engage with Indigenous Australia.” This event was generously partnered by Citi.

Corporate Australia has long demonstrated a desire to contribute towards improving the future of Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians are now gaining the confidence to engage in our economy and are seeking the opportunity to become economically sustainable – breaking the cycle of welfare dependency for the Indigenous community and creating role models for Indigenous Australians to follow.

The question is: how can corporate Australia contribute to this process in an effective and sustainable manner?

We gathered together world leaders on the topic of minority business engagement together with ten Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs to discuss the topic in an Australian context.

A US concept that enables minority businesses to successfully sell to large corporates is called the National Minority Supplier Development Council ( There are equivalent organisations in Canada and the UK. A similar organisation is being created in Australia called the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC) which has as its founding members Citi, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, IBM, Cisco and Coca Cola.

Sydney Swans CEO, Myles Baron-Hay, also shared with us his thoughts on how his business successfully engages with the Indigenous community.

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