Spirit showcased through Business

Proud Noongar Man, Gino Matera, is the Owner of Keipa Water, a 100% Aboriginal owned business providing premium bottled water and hydration products.

Keipa Water celebrates the enduring and sustainable spirit of Aboriginal Australia, with products proudly showcasing Aboriginal language and design, providing consumers with a unique opportunity to make a clear statement of inclusion and empowerment.

Through his hard work, and support provided by the Waalitj Hub, Gino has seen steady growth in Keipa Water, servicing a range of retail and corporate customers, and more recently expanding into flavoured water and hydration products with Keipa Hyrd8.

For Indigenous entrepreneurs, the challenges of running a business can be even greater. The Waalitj Hub provides valuable support and resources to help overcome these challenges and grow successful businesses.

Indigenous business owners have access to a range of free services, including state-of-the-art facilities, mentoring from business coaches, industry connections, and independent professional services. Clients can access specialised, one-on-one support across a range of business areas, such as tendering, industrial relations, marketing, and HR.

Inspiring and empowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to cultivate competitive and resilient Businesses is at the heart of the services we offer. Since its inception in 2020, the Waalitj Hub has serviced over 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

Working with the Waalitj Hub Business Coaches, Gino has received support services including an updated business plan providing him with a path to follow to grow Keipa Water and launch Kepia Hydr8.

Reflecting on his business journey, Gino acknowledged the importance of services like the Waalitj Hub.

“It gives you a head start and puts you on a path you want to go. It has given me the confidence and support to achieve my goals.

“I would tell anyone who is thinking of coming to the Waalitj Hub that it’s the first step in your journey and they will walk with you.”

Gino also attended the Waalitj Hub Regional Business Builder in Bunbury, proudly supported by the Alcoa Foundation, which he credits with providing important networking opportunities, and allowing him to build industry connections with potential customers.

“The Business Builder event helped to get me in front of clients to pitch my business,” he said.

Waalitj Hub Business Coach Michael Jack said these events are essential in empowering and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to build business capability.

“Business Builders provide Indigenous business leaders with incredible opportunities to connect and explore genuine business opportunities within their region.

“The possibility to engage in meaningful conversation with industry leaders is invaluable in helping to build a robust, sustainable, and competitive Indigenous industry sector benefitting the entire community.”

The Waalitj Foundation can deliver this vital service Kwinana, Peel and the Upper South West thanks to a partnership with the Alcoa Foundation. Alcoa Global Procurement Director Adrian Jones said the company – which mines bauxite and refines alumina – is committed to increasing economic participation opportunities for Indigenous Australians through business and employment opportunities.

As well as partnering to deliver the Business Builder events, Alcoa Foundation is a proud supporter of the Waalitj Foundation’s pre-employment programs across their local communities, focusing on improving the employability of Indigenous job seekers through developing skills and work readiness.

The Waalitj Hub supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wanting to start, grow or sustain their businesses through a combination of in-house business coaching and access to professional support and is supported by the National Indigenous Australians Agency and Corporate partners. Find out more.

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