Newhouse behind Indigenous Initiative

July 29, 2010 by J-Wire
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A chance meeting between George Newhouse and Warren Mundine in 2008 saw the two men initiate a drive to assist Australia’s Indigenous people establish themselves in the workplace…and in busineeses of their own.

Twiggy Forrest, Aunty Beryl, Warren Mundine, Senator Chris Evans and George Newhouse photo: Henry Benjamin

Today, at a launch hosted by “The Australian” newspaper,  chaired by Ray Martin and attended by Senator Chris Evans and Fortescue chief Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, the First Australians Business Awards were launched.

There will be five FAB categories for which members of the Indigenous community will be nominated. …Business Man of the Year, Business Woman of the Year, Young Business Person of the Year, Business of the Year and Mentor of the Year. The inaugural awards ceremony will be held in November this year, the organisers hoping to secure a site near the Sydney Opera House

The awards are an initative of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of commerce of which Newhouse and Shane Phillips are Directors. Mundine is Chairman.

Newhouse told J-Wire: “It’s a great honour to be working with Warren Mundine. He is a great Australian and you couldn’t find a better cause than working for indigenous people. Warren has a great affinity with Jewish people and many Jewish people have great affinity with the indigenous people. Warren and I were involved in former Prime Minister Rudd’s 20/20 summit at which he was frustrated that the focus on the indigenous community was based on symbolism…the apology, treaties etc. rather than practical reconciliation. The Chamber came out of this meeting…a way of promotng indigenous people into business. The idea is that the indigenous people will be empowered through the economy, not just through handouts and social welfare. Self empowerment will give them self-esteem as well as money.”

Newhouse, who is a practising lawyer,  said that the Chamber will be asking all corporates to assist but said that Jewish companies had been involved in the past and they would be asked to help the Chamber promote both work and businesses for the indigenous community…not just through money but also through mentoring and opportunity. Not a hand-out…a hand-up.”

M.C. Ray Maretin made special member that no member of the Federal Coalition attended the launch.

Nominations are open until October.

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