Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board

The Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board was established in June 2016 to drive business development and employment opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians.

In the spirit of self-determination, the Board brings together Aboriginal community, the corporate sector and government to champion Aboriginal economic development in Victoria. It focuses on delivering the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy 2013-2020 through procurement, business development, employment and place-based initiatives.

The  Board’s vision is to advance Aboriginal Victorians to a bright and prosperous future through economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, connection, culture and commerce.

Responsible for championing Victorian Aboriginal economic development initiatives, the Board advises the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

The Board has 3 key objectives:

  1. encourage more businesses to procure Aboriginal goods and services
  2. encourage Aboriginal entrepreneurialism and enterprise
  3. support and promote place-based Aboriginal economic development opportunities

The Board’s work also intersects with a number of Victorian Government strategies and initiatives, including the Tharamba Bugheen Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy 2017-2021, the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026, and Barring Djinang Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

Board Members

Co-chaired by Karen Milward and Mark Stone AM, the Board is comprised of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal business leaders who are all committed to advancing Aboriginal economic development in Victoria.

A proud Yorta Yorta woman, Karen has extensive commerce expertise and experience working with Aboriginal communities. She is the Chair of two Victorian Aboriginal organisations including Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd, Co-Chair of one national Aboriginal organisation, and became a Director of Yarra Valley Water in 2017.

Mark is the Chief Executive of the Victorian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a member of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel.

  • Mr John Chambers, TAPPL
  • Ms Jeni Coutts, Jeni Coutts and Associates
  • Ms Alicia Gleeson, Crown Casino
  • Mr Rod Jackson
  • Ms Seona James, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • Ms Shannon Ryan, SidexSide Youth Corporation
  • Mr Steven Shaw, formerly Bank of Melbourne
  • Mr Garry Terrill, Australian Retailers Association

Aboriginal Economic Brokers

Aboriginal Economic Brokers work to connect Aboriginal communities with economic opportunities. The Brokers engage in place-based work on behalf of the Board, while identifying barriers facing communities. They provide advice on and create connections between education, employment, business development and procurement opportunities.

Aboriginal Economic Broker Grants Program

The Aboriginal Economic Broker Grants Program is an initiative of the Board. This program will support place-based Aboriginal economic participation and development, while providing further opportunities to advance Aboriginal self-determination.

Funding will be provided for up to 5 Aboriginal Economic Broker Roles, for a 12 month period, based within Aboriginal organisations, corporations, Traditional Owner groups, and/or registered and incorporated not-for-profits.

Learn more about the Aboriginal Economic Broker Grants Program

Contact us

General enquiries

For enquiries in relation to the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board.

Email: VAEB.secretariat@dpc.vic.gov.au

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Previous e-newsletters:

NAIDOC Week 2018

June 2018

March 2018