Joanne Pellew
September 9, 2017

Joanne Pellew: Australian Entrepreneurs Making Progress in Efforts to Aid Indigenous People

It is quite common for the efforts of the private sector to overlap with the efforts of the public sector, which is part of the reason why there is a long-standing debate over the roles and responsibilities of each sector — especially as it relates to which sector is best suited to handle a specific issue. In Australia, the public sector and private sector alike have made concerted efforts to support indigenous peoples, including by promoting or providing work opportunities as well as professional training programs.

Although the efforts of both sectors have had a positive effect on the indigenous peoples of Australia, entrepreneurial minded individuals like Joanne Pellew have demonstrated just how significant an impact a driven entrepreneur can have through a dedicated approach in support of a specific cause — especially when that cause is meaningful on a deeply personal level.

Pellew, a Noongar woman who describes herself as an “indigenous serial entrepreneur,” is the founder of a private enterprise dedicated to enacting positive change in the lives of indigenous people in Australia. Pellew’s business endeavors, which include Ochre Workforce Solutions and iWork, reflect her belief in supporting members of indigenous communities by championing employment solutions on a nationwide basis.

As the founder of multiple businesses dedicated to supporting the indigenous community, Pellew has played a pivotal role in closing the indigenous unemployment gap in Australia. As a result, she is often recognized as Australia’s leading indigenous employment expert and has developed a reputation for her expertise in human resources, end-to-end recruitment, cultural awareness training, pre-employment training, and labor hire.

The efficacy and efficiency of Pellew’s effort in addressing such an important societal issue in Australia demonstrate the incredible potency and versatility of entrepreneurship as well as the entrepreneurial mindset.

Obviously, there are often circumstances in which entrepreneurial efforts aimed at addressing an important societal issue benefit from funding or other forms of outside support from the public sector. As Pellew is quick to point out, however, iWork and Ochre Workforce Solutions are based on purely commercial models and do not rely on any funding from sources within the public sector.

Of course, this does not mean private and public organizations ought to function separately to ensure the best possible outcome. Although Pellew’s businesses are commercially viable without government funding or assistance, her business efforts do include developing the national footprint that has allowed iWork and Ochre Workforce Solutions to secure commercial contracts via the federal government.

While there are many examples illustrating the efficiency and/or efficacy of both the private and public sector’s efforts in addressing all manner of pressing social issues, it is almost certainly the case that there will continue to be a general sense of disagreement over the breadth of the roles and responsibilities taken on by one sector or the other.

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