Whanu Binal Indigenous Entrepreneur Program recognised at QRC Indigenous Awards

Published:21 December 2020

Arrow Energy CEO Cecile Wake accepts the 2020 Queensland Resources Council Indigenous Award for the Best Company Indigenous Procurement Initiative category.

An Indigenous entrepreneurship partnership between CQUniversity and Arrow Energy has won the Best Company Indigenous Procurement Initiative Award at the 2020 Queensland Resources Council Indigenous Awards.

In accepting the award, Arrow CEO Cecile Wake said the Whanu Binal program was Arrow’s primary vehicle for building the capacity and skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and entrepreneurs to “actively participate in the gas supply chain, the incredible wealth-generating opportunities of the resources industry and the wider Australian economy”.

“Arrow has partnered with CQ University to deliver a refreshed and highly-innovative new program, utilising digital platforms and collaboration tools,” Mrs Wake said.

“In this extraordinary year of COVID-19, this has both enabled the program to proceed without interruption and, indeed, to broaden.”

While Arrow Energy has run the Whanu Binal program in various forms since 2013, the partnership with between CQUniversity was launched in July 2019.

The program, which supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and individual workers in its operational footprint, is designed for Indigenous entrepreneurs, executives, managers and Traditional Custodians.

A total of 28 participants - First Nations business owners or those who have a business idea to develop - were guided by 20 program mentors, 12 of whom are CQUniversity alumni. The program was delivered using methods including eLearning content and a virtual ‘yarning circle’

CQUniversity Deputy Vice-President Indigenous Engagement and BHP Chair in Indigenous Engagement Prof Adrian Miller said the award recognised the importance of the Whanu Binal program.

“By working with Arrow Energy, CQUniversity’s Learning and Design Innovation team have brought together an inspirational group of mentors who are dedicated to helping the Indigenous business leaders of the future,” Prof Miller said.

“This has been a fantastic partnership and CQUniversity is very much looking forward to seeing it evolve and guide even more Indigenous mentees to achieve their dreams.”

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