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  • What is Supplier Diversity? (read the Q&A with Laura Berry, CEO of Supply Nation)
  • A History of Supplier Diversity
  • Who is Supply Nation?
  • Supplier Diversity Legislation in Australia
  • The Global Supplier Diversity Alliance
  • Supply Chain Sustainability School Recommended Guidance
  • Other Resources
  • Case Studies


Supplier diversity is a global movement designed to harness planned and budgeted procurement spend and redirect it to traditionally under-represented businesses where it can create greater social good and give businesses a strong competitive advantage.

Supplier diversity offers under-represented businesses the same opportunities to compete for business as other qualified suppliers and drives a range of business benefits, including sustainability, flexibility, innovation and value.


The concept of supplier diversity began in the late 1960s in conjunction with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, under which President Nixon implemented Executive Order 11458 - Prescribing Arrangements for Developing and Coordinating a National Program for Minority Business Enterprise.

A rigorous third-party certification of minority status was needed to reduce incidents of fraud and misrepresentations of the minority status of a business. Out of this, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) was formed to certify businesses as Minority Business Enterprises. That was a key moment in history for other minority and underutilised businesses around the world. Globally, we now have supplier diversity organisations in:


Since 2009, Supply Nation has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses along with procurement teams from government and corporate Australia to help shape today’s emerging and rapidly evolving Indigenous business sector.

Supply Nation’s world-leading 5-step verification process provides peace of mind by ensuring that all businesses listed on Australia’s largest national directory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, Indigenous Business Direct, are not only Indigenous owned but are also regularly audited for changes in company structure and ownership.

Supply Nation partners with its paid membership of government, corporate and not-for-profit organisations to develop procurement policies that modify and redirect spend to include the traditionally underutilised Indigenous business sector.


Federal Government: On July 1 2015, the Australian Government launched the Indigenous Procurement Policy (known as the IPP).

The purpose of the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) is to leverage the Commonwealth’s annual multi-billion procurement spend to drive demand for Indigenous goods and services, stimulate Indigenous economic development and grow the Indigenous business sector. There are three components:

  • A target for purchasing from Indigenous businesses.
  • A mandatory set-aside to direct some Commonwealth contracts to Indigenous enterprises.
  • Minimum Indigenous participation requirements for certain Commonwealth contracts.

In addition to the IPP, Exemption 17 is still in place. This exemption was established through the Indigenous Opportunities Policy (IOP). However, this has only ever been implemented once when PSGH won a Department of Defence Contract worth $6 million through exemption 17.

State and Territory Governments: States and Territories also have Indigenous Procurement Policies

NSW - Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP) launched 1 July 2018:

WA - Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP) launched 1 July 2018:  

SA - Aboriginal Business Procurement Policy:

Vic - Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy:

QLD - Indigenous Procurement Policy:

NT – Buy Local and the Remote Contracting Policy: 

Supply Nation CEO Laura Berry (centre) with the Global Supplier Diversity Alliance


Global Supplier Diversity Councils

The Global Supplier Diversity Alliance provides a unique collaborative and effective global supplier diversity platform representing international supplier diversity advocacy organisations in five countries; Australia, Canada, China, South Africa and the UK.

Collectively, these global supplier diversity advocacy organisations represent over 30,000 minority-owned businesses (known by a variety of terms including Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Indigenous-owned businesses), 3,000 corporations and 24 regional partners.

For more information on the alliance, global events and other useful resources, visit the Global Supplier Diversity Alliance website ( your local supplier diversity council.

Supply Chain Sustainability School Recommended Guidance

Other Resources

  1. Supply Nation’s annual Connect event (Knowledge Forum, Tradeshow and Gala Awards Dinner)
  2. Meet the buyer/supplier events
  3. First Step training: reflecting the journey and growth of supplier diversity in Australia, this training includes a framework for building an effective and successful supplier diversity program. The program outlines the history of supplier diversity and a specific focus on Australian best practice and research.
  4. In-house First Step training - allowing staff an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of supplier diversity without leaving the office
  5. Supplier Diversity Introduction training: introducing supplier diversity basics in a relaxed in-house workshop format. This session covers the history of supplier diversity, why it is important and steps your organisation can take to increase your engagement with Indigenous businesses.
  6. Bespoke training: introducing supplier diversity basics in a relaxed in-house workshop format, to address challenges specific to your organisation.  Bespoke training is tailored to reflect an organisation’s journey and the growth of supplier diversity in Australia to help participates to understand why it is important and how to actively engage Indigenous businesses
  7. Bite-sized training: targeting specific topical issues, these 2-hour sessions leverage knowledge and experience from within the sector.
  • More Than Business report - How corporate and government buyers can make it easier for Indigenous suppliers to do business with them
  • Sleeping Giant Report  - A Social Return on Investment Report (SROI) focusing on Supply Nation Certified Suppliers

Case Studies