A passionate shared desire to build the capacity of Indigenous communities and increase opportunities for Indigenous people is driving the winner of the Business Management Award at the recent 27th Belmont & Western Australian Small Business Awards.
Founded in 2015, with a head office in Bunbury and staff based in Perth, Melbourne, and Port Macquarie, IPS is an Indigenous-owned consultancy which has grown to a team of 25, one-third of whom are Indigenous.
The business engages decision makers to drive and influence Indigenous procurement strategies at the highest levels of government and business around Australia. Its impressive range of world-class management consultancy services spans organisational development, leadership and business capability to market research, branding and communication.
IPS Managing Director Kristal Kinsela explains, ‘Being an Indigenous business, diversity is at the core of everything we do. We are focused on developing Indigenous talent within our business and providing our people with opportunities for ownership in the future. We strive to provide pathways for Indigenous Australians within our business, from our trainees right through to our directors.’
The consultancy possesses a range of industry expertise across federal and state governments, engineering, mining, defence, the Indigenous business sector, site services, recruitment and the not-for-profit sector.
Kristal continues, ‘As a relatively young business, we faced the same challenges of so many new Indigenous businesses, such as building a strong brand and driving open the doors of opportunity. We set an assertive target to secure opportunities through the Federal Government procurement process and via the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP).
‘We faced a range of hurdles including difficulty in navigating the tendering process, competition from well-resourced multinational consultancies, difficulty in obtaining feedback and lack of awareness or understanding of the IPP, supplier diversity and its benefits.’
IPS’s commitment was recognised in Parliament by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2018 who highlighted IPS in his Closing the Gap speech. IPS Director of Policy, Evaluation and Indigenous Affairs/Engagement Jahna Cedar was recognised for her strong and enduring service to the Indigenous community of Western Australia with an Order of Australia Medal.
Kristal launched her new book ‘Supplier Diversity How’ at Supply Nation’s Connect in 2019. The first publication in Australia on the topic of Supplier Diversity in an Australian context, the book shares Kristal’s learnings from many years in running successful Indigenous businesses.
Kristal adds, ‘We believe we are leading the way to the frontiers of supplier diversity. We are able to solve structural, performance, financial, cultural and organisational problems by challenging thinking, developing new strategies and building capability. Along the way we are building our brand, forging strong government relationships and learning valuable lessons.’
Pictured left to right: IPS Management Consultants Managing Director Kristal Kinsela, Director – Organisational Development and Leadership Damien Chalk, Director – Commercial and Finance Katina Law and Director Policy, Evaluation, and Indigenous Affairs/Engagement Jahna Cedar.