100% Indigenous-owned Supply Aus launches first shopfront heralding growth
y Aus, Australia’s only Indigenous-owned procurement business, continues to make its mark in the industry, following massive growth due to its ability to source the sometimes-scare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during COVID-19.
The company, which positions itself as a ‘profit-for-purpose’ business, as it invests profits back into Indigenous education and mental health, will soon celebrate its growth by launching its first storefront and warehouse in Ormiston, Queensland.
CEO Adam Williams, a Wiradjuri man, attributed Supply Aus’ growth to its fluid approach when it came to finding solutions in the procurement space.
“This approach couldn’t have been better proven than with the onset of COVID-19 when Supply Aus was able to source and provide PPE, such as face masks and gloves to the health, retail and mining sectors,” Mr Williams said.
“But our growth is also attributed to building relationships with companies throughout Australia who are genuinely aligned with helping us to nurture the lives of Indigenous Australians.
“A part of our approach is changing how Indigenous business is viewed. Some companies assume products from Indigenous businesses come with a 5-10% premium. We don’t do that, if anything we can offer competitive pricing, due to our strong buying power.”
Mr Williams said the new premises in Ormiston is an excellent way to grow Supply Aus, which supplies a range of procurement items to workplaces, such as workwear and PPE, with new products added frequently depending on customer need.
“A storefront will be beneficial to our growth for two reasons; it enables us to get feedback directly, and provides a commercial focus, allowing us to sell face to face to the public, complementing our procurement customers, while also being a warehouse,” Mr Williams said.
Some of the businesses or organisations Supply Aus has worked with this year include the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the national leadership body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Australia, that ordered $300,000 worth of PPE, to which Supply Aus responded with a $25,000 donation in freight. Other big deals have included supplying PPE, hand sanitiser or other items to BHP, John Holland, Woolworths and the Victorian Government.
Supply Aus Chairperson Shawn Andrews, a descendant of the Mununjali people of South East Queensland and the Palawa people of Tasmania, has made it his life’s mission to support Indigenous education, while teaching Australians about Indigenous culture.
“We describe Supply Aus as a ‘profit-for-purpose’ business; the work we do allows us to improve the lives of Indigenous men and women across Australia, with some of the areas we support being mental health and training. We’re building programs on the ground to help people navigate Indigenous youth,” he said.
“To be able to do this, we work with Australian businesses that don’t just work with Indigenous businesses because they have to, they are authentic in how they share our vision of wanting to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.”