New leaders celebrated
TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD Kamilaroi man Lochie Waters from St George has wanted to own his own butchery ever since he was a clean-up boy at St George Butchery.
He started his butchery apprenticeship in St George in 2013 before moving to Uniplaza Meats in Toowoomba four years later. Last year, he bought the business.
“I have been able to fulfil my dream of owning my own butcher shop a lot sooner than I thought possible,” Mr Waters said.
“It takes a lot of hard work and long hours, but it’s well worth the effort to be able to achieve my goal,” he said.
“It was challenging at first doing the paperwork side of things, gaining an understanding of how to run a business, and ensuring wages and invoices are up to date and correct.
“But running your own business is important.
“It gives you a sense of accomplishment and the ability to realise your dream.
“It shows you that you can achieve anything and be successful, if you are willing to work hard and believe in yourself.”
Mr Waters is one of the many Indigenous leaders who were speaking out during the launch of Indigenous Business Month at the Highfields Culture Centre on Friday.
It included an exhibition of Queensland Indigenous businesses and a panel discussion on Indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Now in its 7th year, Indigenous Business Month is a celebration of the ingenuity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said.
“With this year’s theme of ‘Powering the Indigenous Economy’ it’s an opportunity for Indigenous business owners to showcase themselves and their work in improving their communities while continuing to be positive role models for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses reinvested revenue in their communities and employed more than 30 times the proportion of First Nations people compared to non-Indigenous businesses.
“Collectively Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderowned businesses contribute more than $1 billion a year to the national economy, with revenues growing on average at 12.5 per cent annually,” Ms Farmer said.
“Supporting Indigenous businesses means their communities benefit too.
“Backing small business is at the heart of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, and Indigenous businesses play a vital role in that.”