Empowering Indigenous business
Empowering Indigenous business

The first Indigenous business and employment hub in Western Australia (WA) co-designed with the Wirrpanda Foundation and informed by consultative interviews with representatives of local Aboriginal businesses and community groups.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients serviced since February 2020.

 SHAPING OPPORTUNITIES for Aboriginal businesses is increasingly a focus for government and private industry companies. However, many Aboriginal businesses and job seekers do not feel adequately prepared with the necessary tools to be competitive and achieve sustainable business performance. 

Dedicated to leading the provision of education, employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Perth-based organisation the Wirrpanda Foundation aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and job seekers. 

My biggest dream would be to see some Aboriginal business logos on big buildings

Raylene Bellottie
Wirra Hub Business Coach

Creating a new system of change

Partnering with the Wirrpanda Foundation and collaborating with a range of stakeholders, we co-designed the operating model for the first Indigenous Business and Employment Hub in WA, the Wirra Hub. This included designing the organisation structure, service offerings, key processes and the physical hub itself.

Wirra Hub is a one-stop shop for Aboriginal enterprises and job seekers to access business and employment support. It provides a short-term office space and connects existing businesses, Aboriginal businesses and employment support services.

Empathy uncovers the true problem to solve

Extensive stakeholder consultation, conducted by the Wirrpanda Foundation and Deloitte teams, was a key driver for the successful design and implementation of the Wirra Hub. Together, we undertook face-to-face interviews with over 30 representatives from Aboriginal businesses, housing corporations, chambers of commerce, land enterprise groups, employment providers and mainstream corporates.
Our research uncovered barriers faced by Aboriginal businesses and job seekers and also identified key needs of non-Aboriginal businesses seeking to engage with Perth-based Aboriginal businesses. Additionally, we identified services currently provided in the market and established service priorities for the Wirra Hub, along with design principles to be applied in the Wirra Hub operating model.


The power of co-design

The Wirrpanda Foundation representatives brought significant cultural understanding and had pre-existing relationships with many stakeholders we consulted. This enabled more inclusive and faster interviewee engagement, enhancing the effectiveness of our design process.
Sitting together in a room for a few days to co-design the Wirra Hub’s operating model was a great experience for both parties. Deloitte was able to leverage

its expertise and use its Nine Layer Operating Model methodology to frame the thinking. Wirrpanda representatives provided key inputs into the structure, financials, governance and reporting requirements. Both parties delivered an outcome which was successfully approved for implementation.

Empowering Indigenous business
Empowering Indigenous business

Build it — they will come!

The Wirra Hub was opened by the Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, in February 2020 and has serviced more than 148+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. Deloitte has positioned specialist representatives from its Tax & Legal and Private Tax areas to work at the Wirra Hub periodically every month and provide ad hoc advice and support.

The interest from clients has been so strong that recruitment is already underway for additional business coaches. The creation of the Wirra Hub is certainly providing new opportunities for many!

Published 07 Jul 2022

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David Hansell

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