Collaborating and connecting with Indigenous businesses: Brisbane Indigenous Media Association

Ryan Menner, 15 December, 2020

QUT is committed to Indigenous Australian engagement, success and empowerment as well as improving the life expectancy and social and economic development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Australia wide. Delivering on that commitment, the QUT Business School have been collaborating with Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (BIMA). A partnership of connecting and information sharing. In particularly, focusing on a two-way learning and collaborating on a number of joint-initiatives. Principal among these is the review of BIMA’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.

BIMA’s vision is “To embrace all media forms and strengthen communication of First Nations voices to educate and inform the community.” With over 30 years on the air, BIMA through 98.9FM has provided a unique blend of Country and Indigenous music. Based in Brisbane’s West End BIMA has continues to develop and communicate First Nations voices to inform, educate and celebrate.

At QUT, our Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy) facilitated the partnership between BIMA and QUT Business School by connecting Indigenous media and business professionals and business academics together. This unique partnership has continued to flourish through connection and collaboration.

Undertaking partnerships and research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations like BIMA aims to foster positive change and increase research in areas of importance to Australia's First Nations people.

Angela Barney-Leitch, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy)

Indigenous business strategy in focus

The valuable collaboration between BIMA CEO, Jyi Lawton and QUT’s Dr. Tony Peloso and myself, Ryan Menner has led to meaningful outcomes including developing and implementing a review of BIMA’s 2018-2020 Strategic plan.

The review approach adopts an action-research method that is intuitive to BIMA’s structure, uniqueness and strength as a leading voice for First Nations people in Queensland, and Australia. Supported by a series of workshops and stakeholder interviews, the work seeks to directly inform the ongoing strategic approach of BIMA.

Working in genuine partnership with QUT has been a refreshing experience. The collective knowledge, skills and experience will put BIMA in good stead to honour the strong history and legacy of BIMA and become a sustainable first nations enterprise for generations to come.

Jyi Lawton, Chief Executive Officer, Brisbane Indigenous Media Association

A focus on the workshops to date has been on understanding BIMA’s history, values and vision – focusing on the question ‘Why and how we do what we do’. Beyond supporting BIMA, the review has provided important introspection on the way QUT Business School can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations.

This is a unique opportunity for those of us at QUT to work with a truly innovative and forward-thinking Indigenous entity that carries the voices of First Nation’s peoples who are passionate about educating and informing.

Tony Peloso, Corporate Educator

A collaboration of opportunities

Whilst there is a clear focus in BIMA’s work to date, an objective of the review is to develop insights into potential growth opportunities for BIMA, with scope for QUT to support these opportunities through continued partnering. The QUT Business School’s Centre for Decent Work and Industry and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Engagement Strategy have provided operational and financial support for the review to take place, and are keen to continue to support this work and like-initiatives.

Building a strong and enduring relationship with BIMA is an important dimension of celebrating Indigenous businesses and decolonising understandings of First Nations social and economic contributions.

Associate Professor Robyn Mayes, Director, Centre for Decent Work and Industry and Director, QUT Business School's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Engagement Strategy

Whilst QUT Business School have been providing an evidence base for BIMA to continue and diversify their business into the future, both parties are realising new opportunities through collaboration. Valuable for QUT Business School lies the opportunity for academics to meaningful connect and engage with a thriving Indigenous organisation.

2021 and beyond

As we progress through to 2021, we are proud that QUT continues to reaffirm its commitment to Indigenous Australian Engagement, Success and Empowerment. In staying true to this affirmation QUT recognises the importance of collaboration with BIMA and other Indigenous Australian Community Organisations. We look forward to continuing to partner with BIMA in 2021. A partnership that will continue to grow with work integrated learning opportunities for our students as well as industry engagement opportunities with academic staff.

Author

Ryan Menner

Ryan Menner is an government and community engagement specialist, who is concurrently the Coordinator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Engagement Strategy and the Eidos Community Liaison Officer at the QUT Business School.

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