2020 has been challenging to say the least. Pandemics, unprecedented bushfires, entire cities in lockdown, and the political and social movements surrounding Black Lives Matter are just the tip of the iceberg. But 2020 has also been one of extreme resilience, pivoting, celebration and hope.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." - Bob Marley
As we prepare to close our office for the holiday season, we look backward upon the year that has been, and we look forward into 2021 and the year to come.
Looking Back to 2020
RESILIENCE: When COVID-19 hit, IPS had many projects and programs that were approaching delivery and rollout. These included a new Management Training program for the ATO, a Strong Women, Strong Business program for IBA, delivery of Supply Nation’s First Step Training program, delivery of our WA Aboriginal Business Capability program, and a number of Indigenous Advisory projects that involved face to face stakeholder engagement. With the country suddenly in lockdown, we pivoted all of our deliveries and stakeholder engagements to virtual, first as a trial, and now ongoing due to its success. We quickly had to learn how to use a variety of platforms, from Webex, Zoom to Microsoft Teams. We had to develop innovative blended learning approaches ensuring that we did not compromise on content or delivery whilst moving to a virtual model.
SUPPORT: IPS advocated for other Indigenous Businesses during the crisis, including an advocacy campaign to State and Federal governments on keeping the doors open to Indigenous Businesses. The campaign helped to drive a $50 million commitment by Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt for an Indigenous Business Relief Package. IPS became one of the four national suppliers to deliver Critical Business Reviews for IBA to support the sector, helping many businesses to survive and pivot during the crisis.
RECOGNITION: The 27th Belmont & Western Australian Small Business Award announced IPS Management Consultants as the winner of the Business Management Award in November 2020, with Directors Jahna Cedar and Katina Law receiving the award on the night. The award was a wonderful recognition to receive as we neared the end of a tumultuous and challenging year, and we were extremely honoured to have received it.
CELEBRATION: On the 23rd of October, IPS turned five. The date marked a much-needed cause for celebration, as we recognised the achievement of being an Indigenous business that not only survived COVID-19, but one that continues to grow sustainably. We never take for granted the opportunities we have been afforded, but also cannot underestimate the passion, determination, and hard work of our Directors and wider IPS team.
HOPE Lastly, we looked for hope in a tough year. 2020 was a year when injustices, inequalities and destructive political, social and economic systems were called out. With Black Lives Matter demanding the world step-up and face these inequalities head on, we at IPS committed to playing our role. We continued to be advocates for change, providing our clients and wider platform with the resources, materials and push to join us in our advocacy work.
"Had we not pivoted quickly, IPS was at a serious risk of not being viable. Most of our work requires face to face, but we just jumped in, and brought our clients on the journey with us.”
- IPS Managing Director Kristal Kinsela, 2020
Looking Forward to 2021
FOCUS: We will focus our efforts on the service lines that we know we are the best to deliver, and where we can have the greatest impact in helping individuals and organisations to realise their potential.
GROW: We will seek to grow our reach and presence across the nation, expanding our services into new geographies helping a broader range of clients develop their capability and capacity. To enact this, we seek to grow our team, and therefore increase our Indigenous employment.
COLLABORATION: We will continue to be a thought leader, advocate and voice for the Indigenous business sector. We will seek to support and grow the Indigenous business sector through meaningful and thoughtful collaborations that provide mutual benefit.
RECONCILIATION: We will continue to advocate and elevate the voice of Indigenous Australians, and work with our clients on their journeys of discovery and impact. We will stand up for and speak out on issues that we are passionate about to create awareness and understanding on the road to reconciliation.
HOPE: We will inspire hope by sharing our stories, working on meaningful and purposeful projects, and leading & walking together with our clients, partners and friends to create real change.
“IPS plays a key leadership role in being an advocate for our sector, our people and our communities. We use our platform and profiles to have a voice where others may not be heard. We’re prepared to speak out on things that are important. Through our work, we’re able to create meaningful change and influence corporates and governments towards reconciliation in genuine ways, whilst holding relevant people and organisations to account.”
- IPS Director Jahna Cedar, 2020
IPS delivers innovative and focused consulting services that inspire people and provide purpose for our clients. We passionately embrace opportunities to create meaningful pathways for Indigenous communities and businesses.