October 25, 2021

Building local supplier capability: Alcoa awards contracts to Aboriginal-owned businesses

TypePad Visuals (6)Shown from left: Alcoa Vice President Operations - Australia Michael Gollschewski and Kulbardi Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kim Collard signing the contract.

Demonstrating its commitment to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to identify, utilise and build local supplier capability, Alcoa has awarded two significant contracts to Aboriginal-owned suppliers – Kulbardi and Woollahra Group.

A fully Aboriginal-owned company, WA based Kulbardi is the largest Aboriginal-owned office and stationery supplier in Australia and will provide goods including office furniture, general office items and a vending stationery cupboard service nationally for three years. WA based Woollahra Group, also 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned, will be national supplier of a degreaser product with positive performance and environmental benefits.

Alcoa Procurement Director Australia and Europe Adrian Jones said the appointments exemplify Alcoa’s Reconciliation Action Plan aim of increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander economic participation in the organisation through skills development, employment and business opportunities.

“For more than half a century, Alcoa has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the communities in which we operate and we want these communities to thrive,” Mr Jones said. “We view our presence as an opportunity to help develop and enable economic activity by assisting Traditional Owner businesses to do business with Alcoa."

“We aim to be a business partner with an inclusive, respectful and welcoming environment that knocks down rather than erects or sustains barriers to success.” Kulbardi Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kim Collard said one and a half per cent of every dollar spent with Kulbardi on any product will flow back into the Bibbulmun Fund, of which he is the Chairman.

“Through Kulbardi’s community investment model, the lives of Indigenous people across Australia will be improved as the Bibbulmum Fund opens new possibilities for Aboriginal enterprise by supporting Aboriginal-owned and delivered projects,” Mr Collard said. “We contribute to programs addressing numeracy and literacy, scholarships, youth and elders, health and youth entrepreneurship. “Through the proactive support of companies like Alcoa, Kulbardi has grown from its humble beginnings to its position now as a wholly owned and managed successful Aboriginal business.”

Woollahra Group Managing Director Chris Schmid said the contract win came off the back of a partnership between the Alcoa Foundation and the Wirrpanda Foundation to deliver Aboriginal business support hubs in the Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West areas. Alcoa and other local businesses are using the hubs to promote new procurement opportunities while the Wirrpanda Foundation provides business support services.

“It is great to see that in a relatively short space of time Alcoa has delivered on providing opportunities for Aboriginal businesses. We hope that we can pave the way for other Aboriginal businesses to access and deliver on further opportunities within Alcoa,” Mr. Schmid said.

Both Kulbardi and Woollahra Group are certified members of Supply Nation - Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses.