Joint Media Release with Member for Grey Mr Rowan Ramsey MP
The Coalition Government is providing a $246,000 boost to Indigenous entrepreneurs in the electorate of Grey, as part of its $115 million Indigenous Entrepreneurs Package election commitment.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP, said today this investment in the APY Arts Collective Aboriginal Corporation will enable a longstanding aspiration of local APY artists to have a dedicated arts centre in the Rocks (Sydney) tourist district.
“The Prime Minister made a commitment to working with Indigenous Australians, and through the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund and IBA we are supporting innovative Indigenous businesses, particularly in remote areas,” Minister Scullion said.
“There are so many Indigenous entrepreneurs whose business ideas have the potential to transform their communities but they just need a hand with the business assets to do the work, through this Package we are giving Indigenous entrepreneurs a fair go.
“We also know that successful Indigenous businesses are key to improving employment rates for First Australians – an Indigenous business is 100 times more likely to employ an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person than a non-Indigenous business.
Mr Ramsey said he was pleased to announce the Coalition Government was backing local artists and businesses in the APY Lands and across his electorate of Grey.
“Art is a stand-out industry for our remote communities,” he said.
“It is all but unique in the fact that it actually brings outside income to these communities.
“In effect, it is an ‘export industry’.
“The art centres provide a safe, supervised environment where artists can hone their skills and create goods for a market that really wants what they have to sell- exactly as business should be.
“The challenge has always been to match the very significant demand for Indigenous art among domestic and international tourists with an accessible supply of authentic Indigenous art where profits are returned to communities.
“This new arts centre achieves that. Our $246,000 Commonwealth investment includes a fit-for-purpose vehicle to transport the works of local artists direct from the APY Lands to Sydney and by being an Aboriginal owned and operated business there will be significantly higher profit shares returned to local artists.
Nyurpaya Kaika, artist and Director of the APY Art Centre Collective is thrilled with the new venture.
“Indigenous Artists on the APY Lands have worked hard for over sixty years in their art centres, where the Indigenous art movement started in Ernabella Community. Elders and artists across the Lands are proud to have successfully grown their business to this current position, where our hard work and determination is recognised and government is investing in the future of APY art centres. This APY gallery will create many more jobs for young Indigenous artists in our communities and will shore up the sustainability of APY art centres – the future looks bright!”
This initiative complements the Coalition’s broader Indigenous economic development agenda including our new Indigenous Procurement Policy that has resulted in contracts worth $594 million in its first 2 years. A spectacular success compared to the former policies under Labor, which resulted in just $6.2 million worth of contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses in 2012-13.