Business School Topics
Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, has told an Indigenous business conference that education, employment and economic development will be crucial to lifting Indigenous people out of poverty.
Addressing the Conference Dinner at the UWA Business School's Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference, Mr Mundine said poverty would not be solved by welfare or government assistance alone.
"To me, the only way to move people out of poverty is education and employment," Mr Mundine said.
"The Economist has reported that two thirds of a country's poverty reduction comes from economic growth. The remaining third of poverty reduction is mainly through greater equality."
Mr Mundine told Conference delegates that China's extreme poverty rate had decreased from 84 per cent to 10 per cent in just 30 years due to the growing nation's economic development, and said economic development in Australia's rural areas would be essential to Indigenous livelihoods.
"I don't accept the mantra that there are no jobs in remote Indigenous communities. Low participation in the workforce is a social problem, not a geographic one," Mr Mundine said.
Mr Mundine also voiced his support for Andrew Forrest's recent report on Indigenous Jobs and Training and criticised the Greens' environmental protection policies, calling green activism "a significant threat to the future of remote and regional Indigenous communities."
"While people in capital cities drink their lattes and tweeting about the injustices of welfare reform, Indigenous people out there on country want the shackles lifted and want the opportunities to build and grow their communities in the way that they see fit," Mr Mundine said.
"I don't agree that ‘empowerment' or ‘self-determination' is achieved through stepping into the shoes of government. In the end, if government pays the bills then it controls the money, no matter how much bureaucracy sits between the government and the recipient. There is nothing self-determining about government assistance.
"Commercial and economic development is the only way we will close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia and the only way that Indigenous cultures will survive and thrive into the future. And Indigenous business and enterprise is the key to Indigenous advancement and sustainable communities."
Read Warren Mundine's full speech here.
Mr Warren Mundine was speaking at the 3rd Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference at the UWA Business School.