What’s a Social Enterprise from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective?

On Thursday 31 October from 6-9pm  NCIE will host a panel discussion on this topic for Indigenous Business Month.

Developing strong Indigenous businesses is at the heart of financial success, economic independence, and cultural strength for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Social Enterprises are businesses that work for community.  They operate primarily for purpose, balancing financial viability and using the power of the marketplace to advance a cause or a community.

Indigenous social enterprises like any social enterprise – aim to deliver broad social impact to community beyond an individual or family.

Speakers at the panel will explore how social enterprises work in the Indigenous Business Landscape


Gordon Cole: Chair, Noongar Chamber of Commerce
Marie Barbaric:  CEO, Koori Kulcha Experience
Shane Phillips: CEO, Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation
Alison Page: Chair, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
Moderator: Indu Balachandran, Chief Operating Officer, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

The event will feature Indigenous-inspired food from NCIE Kitchen and Catering.

RSVP for this event here.


Thursday 31 October 6pm-9pm
NCIE, 180 George St Redfern 2016

Enquiries: comms@ncie.org.au

This event is presented by National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and supported by City of Sydney.



Alison Page

Alison Page is descendant of the Walbanga and Wadi Wadi people of the Yuin nation who grew up in La Perouse, Sydney. She is an award-winning designer and a member of the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame, an entrepreneur and film and television producer.

NCIE is proud to have Alison as the Chair of NCIE Board of Directors.

She is also a Board member of Ninti One Ltd and the Australian National Maritime Museum and was previously the founding CEO of the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance and the National Aboriginal Design Agency.

Shane Phillips

Shane Phillips is a strong advocate for Aboriginal rights and a respected member of the Redfern Aboriginal Community.

Born and raised here in Redfern, he has cultural connections to the Bunjalung, Wonnarua, and Bidjigal peoples. He is CEO of Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation.

Tribal Warrior works to empower disadvantaged Aboriginal and non-indigenous people – encouraging them to become self-sufficient. It provides quality training for employment skills, and extends everyday practical assistance by distributing food and groceries to struggling families.

Marie Barbaric

Marie is a proud Dunghutti and Gamilaroi woman, a mother of 5 Grandmother of 7.

She is CEO of Koori Kulcha Experience, which provides catering, cross cultural training, team building workshops and tourism. She is also Managing Director of Koori Kulcha Aboriginal Corporation, which runs Community Development Programs and is fully funded by Koori Kulcha Experience.

Marie is a Director of Illawarra Wingecarribee Aboriginal Alliance; a Director of Hume Coal Charity; and lead negotiator for OCHRE , the community focussed plan of the NSW Government.

Her passions include fighting homelessness, and empowering marginalised women.

Gordon Cole

Gordon Cole is a successful award winning Aboriginal Business leader from Perth, Western Australia.

Gordon believes economic participation of Aboriginal people is the key for advancement to addressing disadvantage. He believes business opportunities provide the necessary steps for greater involvement of Aboriginal people within Australia’s economy, while maintaining and practising culture.

Gordon is the CEO of Cole Workwear; and Chairperson of

• Noongar Chamber of Commerce & Industry;

• Noongar Mia Mia; and

• Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Corporation.

Gordon is also a member of the National NAIDOC Committee and Managing Director of G Cole Consulting.

Indu Balachandran

Indu Balachandran is NCIE’s Chief Operating Officer

Indu has worked in enterprise development in the creative and social sectors for 15 years and previously managed the Indigenous Social Enterprise Fund at Social Ventures Australia.

Prior to this, she worked in the corporate sector in project finance.

She is a musician in the Indian Carnatic tradition and a keen contributor to cultural development in the South Asian diaspora.

Her work has been recognised by the UTS Human Rights Award for Reconciliation.