02 August 2021

Wirrpanda Foundation and Alcoa partner to support Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West


Wirrpanda Foundation_Aug 2021_50% of originalSupport for existing and emerging Aboriginal businesses will be provided in the Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West areas thanks to a new partnership between the Wirrpanda Foundation and Alcoa.

Alcoa, through its global charity the Alcoa Foundation, is providing funding for the Wirrpanda Foundation’s Wirra Hub to deliver nine business pop-ups in areas near where the resources company operates.

Wirra Hub General Manager Shane Devitt said the service supported Indigenous Australians to establish sustainable businesses plus worked with existing businesses to assist them to become more competitive.

While the Wirra Hub is based in Perth, Mr Devitt said partnerships like the one struck with Alcoa allowed these services to be taken into region areas. The first of the nine regional pop-ups supported by Alcoa will be delivered at Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre on 17 and 18 August. More are scheduled in Kwinana and Pinjarra during September.

Alcoa Global Procurement Director Adrian Jones said the company, which mines bauxite and refines alumina in the south west of the state, was committed to increasing economic participation opportunities for Indigenous Australians through both business and employment opportunities.

“We have made this commitment through our Reconciliation Action Plan and are proud to be working with the Wirrpanda Foundation to provide the support and connections needed to make this happen both within our business and the broader community,” Mr Jones said.

Through the use of business coaches with extensive experience, the Wirra Hub provides access to mentoring, training, workshops, new business support services, information, industry links, and commercial advice. The coaches mentor businesses and entrepreneurs initially at the pop-up hubs and then on an ongoing basis to assist them by building capacity, identifying opportunities, and fostering networking.

“On average, between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of business services are utilised by the businesses coached by our Wirra Hub team,” Mr Devitt said. “These may include support with legal documents, accounting support, capability statements, assistance with compliance processes required for health and safety, website creation, or other services to enhance their business capabilities and preparedness.

“We will also help build links between local companies and opportunities and Indigenous businesses. Our coaches will identify existing and upcoming opportunities in each of the three identified areas and target relevant companies and businesses to participate in the pop-up hubs.

“They will work with these companies and businesses to understand their upcoming pipeline of work, facilitate tender briefings and workshops and create connections to help local Indigenous businesses engage in their supply chain, and also to develop relationships that may lead to further employment opportunities in the area.”

To find out more or to register for the upcoming pop-ups visit www.wirrahub.org.au

About Wirrpanda Foundation: The Wirrpanda Foundation aims to lead the provision of education, employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians by working together to empower and build capacity amongst individuals, their families and their communities. Through the establishment of a number of successful programs in Perth, regional Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, and Queensland, the Wirrpanda Foundation has reached over 35,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally. For more information visit www.wf.org.au and www.wirrahub.org.au


Media contacts:

  • Wirrpanda Foundation - Stephanie Puttick, stephaniep@wf.org.au
  • Alcoa - Suellen Jerrard, suellen.jerrard@alcoa.com