Across Australia, an increasing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Traditional Owner groups are accessing funds through grants, native title settlements, royalties and commercial activities.
At the same time, many groups are recognising the value of investing in broader commercial opportunities to help secure long-term and stable financial returns. Those returns can provide the groups with a financial platform from which to achieve positive economic and social outcomes for their communities.
IBA has more than 25 years’ experience in investing alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and our investment portfolio comprises three main segments: direct investments, asset and funds management (including the Indigenous Real Estate Investment Trust and Indigenous Prosperity Funds), and leasing solutions.
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Origins of the Principles
In December 2013, Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) facilitated a forum, ‘Pathways to Prosperity’, which was attended by representatives of eight Indigenous organisations from across Australia. Participants shared knowledge about the common challenges and opportunities their respective Indigenous organisations face in establishing effective governance and investment strategies, and agreed on the need to develop a set of Indigenous Investment Principles.
At a subsequent ‘Growing with Governance Forum’ in 2014, a broader group of 22 organisations agreed to establish a Working Group to develop a set of draft investment principles specifically designed to address Indigenous circumstances. The key objective of the Indigenous Investment Principles is to provide a voluntary framework for Indigenous Australians to establish strong, independent and enduring economic foundations.
‘Indigenous Australians are committed to increasing their engagement in the economy on all fronts, including investment opportunities. Effective market and economic participation has enormous potential to foster culturally, linguistically and environmentally resilient communities, honouring the land, water and cultural heritage from which the financial opportunity originates, and strengthening prospects for present and future generations’ – Indigenous Investment Principles
Download a printable copy of the Indigenous Investment Principles (PDF 600KB, new window).
Guiding objectives of the Principles
|Cultural heritage||Protect and preserve the cultural heritage of Indigenous Australians through successful investment of Indigenous communities assets.|
|Economic independence||Improve, protect and foster the best interests of Indigenous Australians by successfully achieving their investment objectives. This will ensure the economic independence and social development of Indigenous communities.|
|Capacity building||Develop financial and commercial skills in Indigenous communities to contribute to sustainable and successful investment practices, and commercial activity generally.|
|Build respect in markets||Build confidence and respect with commercial counterparts in financial and other markets, promoting and encouraging confidence and investment in Indigenous communities.|
|Risk management||Demonstrate a transparent and sound governance structure that provides for adequate implementation resourcing, communication strategy, operational controls, risk management and accountability|