Firm looks to supply chain to advance indigenous business

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To mark Reconciliation Week, Gilbert + Tobin is selecting an Indigenous-owned wine company to supply their in-house catering. 

Part of the firm’s broader reconciliation action plan and commitment to engage Indigenous businesses, the selection process included of a wine tasting last night, where employees met the owners of Gondwana Wines and voted on their favourites.

Sharmilla Bargon, who heads up the corporate social responsibility function at the firm, said that the firm wants to expose all employees to Indigenous culture in some way or another throughout the week.

Gilbert + Tobin is a member of Supply Nation, an organisation which certifies and integrates Indigenous businesses with the wider Australian economy. 
“It’s a not for profit business that hooks up Australian companies like ours and government agencies who want to buy goods and services from Indigenous businesses. So it provides the business to business purchasing link between people like us, a relatively large business, with some Indigenous businesses which might be a lot smaller that might be otherwise difficult for us to find or engage with,” Bargon said.

“A lot of the purpose of engagement with Indigenous communities in this way is to tap into supplier diversity and within our procurement chains, to hook into businesses such as Indigenous businesses, they can often fly below the radar,” said Bargon. 

“During our reconciliation week, we want to showcase Indigenous culture around the firm and we also want to make people aware of activities under our RAP.  We thought it was an excellent time to have a wine tasting.”

The firm has previously used Supply Nation, which requires that companies are at least 51 per cent Indigenous owned, to take on a new stationery supplier.  Bargon said that by supplying the firm with stationery in the firm’s offices interstate meant that the firm was able to assist the company’s growth, establishing a national distribution strategy.

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