Mind Australia is working with Indigenous suppliers to help stimulate Indigenous entrepreneurship and business development, and provide Indigenous Australians with greater opportunities to participate in the economy.

Mind’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), launched in 2020, sets an Indigenous procurement target of 3 per cent as part of a commitment to increasing supplier diversity.

The RAP ensures Mind works to improve outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

“This is a positive commitment for Mind to drive Reconciliation via economic sustainability,” said Justine Moss, Mind Reconciliation Action Plan Manager.

“This target has provided a strong framework and accountability to grow engagement and contracts with Indigenous business.

“We look forward to continuing to engage with Indigenous businesses to build on what we’ve already achieved.”

Mind has spent more than $170,000 with a Victorian Indigenous business Panku since the Indigenous procurement target was established. Panku supplies PPE, face masks, Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and safety equipment.

Mind’s partnership with Panku has played a crucial role in keep clients and staff healthy and safe as part of the response to COVID-19.

“During the pandemic we have relied heavily on Panku for the supply of various components of PPE,” said Greg Wasmund, Mind General Manager Property.

“Panku’s staff have been professional to deal with, and offered us quality products at a competitive on price.”

Panku CEO Jadah Pleiter said the partnership with Mind had been mutually beneficial.

“Our relationship with Mind has been critical to us throughout the pandemic. The orders from Mind have been a staple, and kept us steady during uncertain times,” Ms Pleiter said.

“To be able to support another organisation that has aligned values has been the icing on the cake. For us, it’s very gratifying that our contribution has a broader impact that has helped keep critical services running.”

Mind CEO Gill Callister said the procurement target is a small step as the organisation continues its Reconciliation journey.

“This is just one of many examples of the ways in which we are committed to improving Mind’s cultural intelligence,” Ms Callister said.

“We are committed to listening to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, expanding our networks and partnerships, better understanding and implementing cultural protocols and exploring new opportunities.

“Importantly, we are ensuring our Reconciliation Action Plan is a meaningful document which brings about real organisational change by committing resources and time to achieving our agreed goals.”

Mind will launch its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan in the second half of 2022. Find more information on Mind’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan on the Mind Australia website.

Psychosocial supports – like the kind provided by Mind Australia – help people with mental health and wellbeing issues manage daily activities, rebuild and maintain connections, engage with education and employment, and participate fully in the community. These are supports which help people take positive steps in their recovery journey.  

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

If you would like more information, please contact us via Mind Connect or phone: 1300 286 463.