Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board

Why is Aboriginal economic development important?

Aboriginal people, organisations and businesses already make valuable contributions to Victoria's diverse economy.

Aboriginal economic development is vital to growing Victoria's wealth generally and to increasing overall economic productivity and competitive advantage.

Aboriginal economic participation and development is also a vital foundation for self-determination.

The Victorian Government wants to remove the structural barriers that stand in the way of Aboriginal people realising their aspirations by:

  • creating more job opportunities across the economy
  • building the capacity of employers to support and nurture Aboriginal talent
  • growing Aboriginal enterprise and investment.

Who is the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board?

The Board is co-chaired by Karen Milward and Mark Stone AM.

A proud Yorta Yorta woman, Ms Milward has extensive commerce expertise and experience in working with Aboriginal communities.

Mr Stone AM is the Chief Executive of the Victorian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and a member of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel. Board Members:

  • Mr John Chambers, Telstra Corporation
  • Mr Jeremy Clark, Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations
  • Ms Jeni Coutts, Jeni Coutts and Associates
  • Ms Alicia Gleeson, Crown Casino
  • Mr Rod Jackson
  • Ms Seona James, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Mr Garry Terrill, Australian Retailers Association
  • Ms Shannon Ryan, SidexSide Youth Corporation
  • Mr Steven Shaw, formerly Bank of Melbourne
  • Mr Roger Teale, Lendlease

In the spirit of the self-determination, the Board brings together Aboriginal community members, businesses, the corporate sector and government to drive the delivery of the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy 2013-2020.Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy December 2013 Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy 2013-2020DOC (3.51 MB) Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy 2013-2020 Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy 2013-2020PDF (4.26 MB) The Victorian Government committed $4.5 million over 4 years in the 2015-16 State Budget for the implementation of this strategy.

The Board aims to create more job opportunities and make it easier for Aboriginal Victorians to start new businesses or take existing businesses to the next level.

It is responsible for championing the state’s Aboriginal economic development initiatives and advising the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on new projects to be delivered.

Aboriginal Business Strategy

The Tharamba Bugheen Aboriginal Business Strategy was released on 15 March 2017. The Strategy was allocated $6.6 million in the 2016-17 State Budget.

Tharamba Bugheen focusses on:

  • improving the accessibility of business support
  • improving the visibility and networks of Aboriginal businesses
  • strengthening the entrepreneurial culture and business experience of Aboriginal Victorians

Tharamba Bugheen Aboriginal Business Strategy Tharamba Bugheen Aboriginal Business StrategyPDF (2.21 MB)

To find out about the support already available for Aboriginal businesses visit Business Victoria.

Aboriginal employment in the public sector

We are committed to:

  • increasing Aboriginal employment and improving career pathways across the Victorian public sector
  • improving the overall capability of the public sector
  • providing opportunity that strengthens Aboriginal economic outcomes.

The Victorian Public Sector Commission’s Aboriginal Employment Unit is currently working on the development of a new Victorian Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy, for implementation in 2017. 

The Strategy will be active across the employee life-cycle areas – Attraction, Recruitment, Development and Retention and Progression – and will work to achieve systemic improvements in areas such as monitoring, reporting and data collection.