Picture of smiling family in front of vehicle

Peter Hicks, with his daughters Caitlin and Keryn (Image provided by Hicks Civil & Mining)

IBA’s Performance Bond Trust has assisted contractors across the country to participate in a wide variety of contracts including mining, civil works, construction, facility upgrades and renewable energy construction by guaranteeing their capacity to complete projects while requiring minimal security.

One of those contractors was Hicks Civil & Mining Pty Ltd - a 100% owned Aboriginal business providing civil construction services and equipment hire throughout the Pilbara region in WA. Through the IBA Performance Bond Trust, they were able to successfully tender to the Koodaideri iron ore mine and have delivered earthwork and drainage works for the project to date.

Hicks Civil and Mining Director, Caitlin Hicks Forshaw says, “We are now focusing on finishing off this project strong and leaving a reputation that will be put down in the history books for Aboriginal Contractors and be the example of showing that Aboriginal Contractors have the capacity to deliver such projects.”

“While we have both our onsite and offsite management teams – it’s the people and organisations that surround us that have also assisted in this project. IBA have been a massive contribution to our business and I have to thank them immensely.”

Through their hard work and success, Hicks Civil & Mining have been able to give back to their community supporting initiatives such as funding school pick-ups and sponsoring local events.

Since inception in 2018 the IBA Performance Bond Trust has now supported over 170 bonds worth $12 million, supporting contracts valued at nearly $202 million. Bonds totaling $167,600 have been returned due to successful completion of projects, many of which have been in regional and remote locations.

Find out more about our Performance Bonds.

The IBA Corporate Plan 2020-21 has been published.

The Plan identifies IBA’s purpose, what we intend to achieve and how we will measure our achievements, so that we can continue to support our customers success and in turn our success.

It describes our activities and strategies to develop the required capabilities to deliver on our targeted performance, and the four pillars of IBA’s Strategy: Customer Success, Smart Money, Deadly People and Strong Systems.

Download a copy of the IBA Corporate Plan 2020-21

IBA’s inaugural Impact Framework, in partnership with Arrernte evaluation practitioner Dr Kevin Dolman and the Interplay Project, has been published.

The framework is designed to help us transition from an outputs and outcomes focussed reporting system, to understanding the greater impact of our products and services on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Over the next few months, IBA, with our Indigenous evaluation partners, will begin the process of surveying IBA’s customers and collecting vital impact information. This will be released as part of our annual impact report in November 2020.

The economic landscape has changed significantly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past 30 years, and so have the expectations and aspirations of our customers and stakeholders. Like many development agencies, historically IBA has primarily focused its reporting on outputs rather than outcomes. But as data capture, analysis tools and monitoring and evaluation frameworks continue to rapidly improve, so does our ability to understand the short, medium and long-term impacts we deliver for our customers, communities and wider Australian landscape.

This Impact Framework has been developed to enable IBA to improve our understanding of the economic, social and cultural impacts of our work and how these impacts generate change.

It aims to guide how we monitor, evaluate and report on the impact of our activities, but also help us adapt and transform our products and services to maximise the beneficial impacts for our customers into the future.

Read the IBA Impact Framework

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) provided the funding to construct two state-of-the-art commercial satellite ground stations in Alice Springs. The facility is the first development of its kind on Aboriginal owned land and transforms Australia’s capability in earth observation.

Built, project-managed and owned by Indigenous companies – the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT) and its subsidiaries Ekistica Ltd and CfAT Satellite Enterprises, as well as Ingerreke Commercial who laid the concrete foundations in December. The facility forms part of a global network of ground stations operated by Viasat Inc called Real Time Earth.

This new infrastructure has the potential to reduce the latency for high resolution earth observation imagery down from hours or days, to just minutes. The result will be to enhance Australia’s capability in disaster management (such as cyclones and bushfires), environmental monitoring, border protection and search and rescue, as well as strategic uses such as monitoring the economic impacts of pandemics like COVID-19 from space.

CfAT CEO Peter Renehan said, ‘This facility brings together our mission of engagement and people, innovation and excellence – and puts Aboriginal people at the forefront of Australia’s growing space sector.

‘While many have been locked down from COVID-19, our build has been full speed ahead with an Aboriginal-owned project management team and support crew that assembled the antennas.

‘There is currently limited supply of suitable earth observation ground stations in Australia. Here in Alice Springs we are strategically located to take advantage of this fast-growing market. The site is so perfectly located that we will be able to downlink imagery across the whole of Australia’s land and waters.

‘We are very excited about the future of this technology which we know has the potential to benefit many of our communities, like our Indigenous rangers who look after land and sea country and can use high resolution imagery from space to do their jobs.

‘CfAT have also been awarded the facilities maintenance contract by Viasat, which will generate on-going Indigenous employment and training opportunities for our community.’

IBA Chairperson Eddie Fry emphasised the importance of this opportunity for both the Australian space industry and the Indigenous community.

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people own or control significant areas of land in remote areas where there is limited economic potential. This first of its kind development on Aboriginal land gives the community both economic and social returns.

‘The technology has many commercial applications, such as for remote asset management, agriculture, carbon abatement, insurance, finance, and mining.
‘Strongly aligned with the priorities for the Australian Space Agency, this investment puts CfAT on the map as a commercial technology innovation hub.

‘This is just the beginning and we can see a bright future for CfAT who are well-positioned to become one of Australia’s leading participants in the satellite and space industry.

‘Not only will this facility generate commercial returns for Indigenous Australians, it will create wider industry opportunities for the Northern Territory. CfAT will invest in training Aboriginal people in maintaining the facility and build its capacity for bringing innovative technology-based programs to Aboriginal people in the region.’

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM MP said the launch of this project demonstrates how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people could continue leading roles in our nation’s innovation, as they have done for more than 60,000 years.

‘Indigenous Australians hold a powerful economic force through their connections with land, culture and community,” Minister Wyatt said.

‘This exciting project is a prime example of the power of country to help deliver commercial returns through technology, employment and career opportunities.’
Interviews and pictures available upon request.

Media contact: Tara Toohill 0427 011 938 or tara.toohill@iba.gov.au

About IBA
IBA is a commercially focused organisation. Economic independence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is at the heart of what we do. Our programs assist Indigenous Australians to buy their own homes, be successful in business, and invest in commercial ventures that provide strong financial returns. IBA is established under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (ATSI Act) and is a corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). IBA resides in the portfolio of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP.

About CfAT Ltd
CfAT is an Aboriginal company, with 50% Aboriginal workforce, established in the 1980’s, that operates across regional and remote Australia delivering infrastructure and technology solutions mostly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, providing service and infrastructure platforms that allow people to maintain their relationship with country. The company’s approach is driven by the view that the successful delivery of services and the technologies and infrastructure used to achieve them will be different to the way things are done in urban Australia. This has shaped our success and led to the development of highly innovative new technologies.

About Viasat
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.

To assist our customers through this challenging time we are excited to announce we are launching free online workshops focused on Understanding Credit and Creating a Budget to get you ready for home ownership. 


Each workshop topic has eight sessions available over the next four weeks, so there is bound to be a time that’s right for you. There are only 20 spots available per session, so get in quick! 


Register for Understanding Credit

Register for Creating a Budget 

2020 has certainly started with its fair share of problems. We had the worst bush fire season on record and now COVID-19. But Indigenous Australians are resilient - proven by over 60,000 years of existence.

Over the past 30 years, it has been a privilege for IBA to walk alongside tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they have achieved their dreams of buying a home, starting and growing a business and investing in their future.

Established in 1990 following the proclamation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) Act 1989, IBA was originally known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation (CDC). In 2001 the name was changed to Indigenous Business Australia and over the years has significantly expanded its scope, reach, products and services.

As we now enter our 30th year, this milestone is an opportunity to celebrate thousands of inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families, businesses and communities we have worked with over the past 30 years.

Check out the stories as we bring back some of our favourites from over the years.

IBA and the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) put together a significant support package for Indigenous businesses.

Check out a few media outlets as they cover the COVID-19 issue and the support available:

Or find out more on the IBA COVID-19 Support page.

IBA has partnered with Terri Janke & Company and 33 Creative to bring you a 4-part video series on managing your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics include:

Watch the series on YouTube or view the introduction by Terri Janke below.

Note that all advice in this video series is current as of 28 March 2020. This is general advice only and should not be considered as giving health advice or legal opinion.

[Reproduced from the National Indigenous Australians Agency website, 2 April 2020]

The Australian Government has announced more support for Indigenous businesses and communities to help them during, and after, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Over the next two years, $123 million will support Indigenous businesses, the workforce and communities to continue their activities as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you own a business affected by the crisis, you can get specialist advice and help to access the different support packages available from the Government.

Up to $25 million will target regions and industries facing workforce losses—helping employers and  Indigenous job seekers access short-term employment initiatives.

While travel restrictions are in place, $10 million will help the Northern Territory Land Councils address immediate infrastructure needs and travel expenses associated with people returning to homelands.

Up to $10 million will boost Community Night Patrols to maintain safety and ensure travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements are adhered to.

$23 million will improve the delivery of critical social support programs, including alcohol and other drug services, social and emotional wellbeing projects, family support and youth engagement and diversion programs.

Up to $5 million will expand the school nutrition program in the Northern Territory, so meal deliveries can continue during school closures and holiday periods. The program will also extend to vulnerable families and the elderly where required.

More information on the new measures is available on Minister for Indigenous Australians, The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, media release.

Indigenous businesses are significant employers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and generate broader social and economic benefits for their communities. The economic impact of COVID-19 is seeing many of these businesses face significant challenges.

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) have developed a new support package for Indigenous businesses who have been impacted by the crisis, including non-IBA customers. The package includes:

Up to $50 million in assistance is being provided through these initiatives.

These measures follow earlier relief announced by IBA for its customers. This includes a waiver of interest and deferral of loan repayments for business loan and equipment leasing customers impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis for an initial 4-month period, a reduction in our interest rates for all IBA home loan customers for an initial period of 6 months, as well as deferral of repayments for home loan customers in hardship.

IBA CEO Rajiv Viswanathan said, “We know that many Indigenous businesses will be facing uncertainty and economic hardship now and in the coming months. In this rapidly changing environment, access to a support package like this will help Indigenous businesses to navigate the crisis, and to build resilience for the future.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, noted, “IBA is working closely with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, other Government agencies and sector participants to ensure we have a coordinated approach to assisting Indigenous Australians, families, communities and businesses.

“Indigenous businesses are significant employers of Indigenous Australians across Australia, including in regional and remote areas. By supporting them to get through these tough times, we can help them to keep generating positive economic and social benefits for their communities.”

For more information on support available by IBA during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit iba.gov.au/indigenous-business-australia-covid19-support/

Media contact: Tara Toohill 0427 011 938 or tara.toohill@iba.gov.au