The resolve of Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and our customers has been tested in 2019–20 in ways unimaginable twelve months ago. Despite this, IBA’s vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are economically independent and integral to the economy remains unaltered.
IBA was originally formed in 1990 as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation. Thirty years later, its proven model for generating economic independence by investing in people, places, and ideas continues to deliver. Over this time, particularly in the last few years, many new and innovative ways were constantly being developed to support customer aspirations.
The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt locally, nationally and globally for years. Although this may place constraints on IBA’s capital, IBA will explore ways to continue to grow to meet customer demand, including through innovation and partnerships with the private sector.
Over the coming years, IBA will draw on its experience as an independent, commercially focused organisation to realise its unique mandate and capabilities. As the Australian and global economy recovers, focus will remain on how to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to skilfully innovate, commercialise and enter new sectors and opportunities.
IBA’s model is premised on independent operation and a strong commercial focus. The year ahead will see the IBA Board continue to push through challenges to its operating model to extend customer impact and reach and meet ever-growing demand.
As Chair, I have also had the great honour and pleasure of working with Rajiv Viswanathan, IBA’s outgoing CEO, who will finish with IBA in December 2020. Rajiv has combined exemplary vision, innovation, intellect, wisdom and leadership to IBA. He will be missed enormously. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank him for the positive impact of his leadership and the significant benefits that his vision and work have had for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Finally, I want to thank all IBA staff for their ongoing dedication. This year has been unique in so many ways, and the ability of staff to rise to the challenges and continue to serve our customers has been inspiring. I also want to thank the IBA Board for their ongoing strategic insight and stewardship.
Eddie Fry Chair, IBA