The 2022 NAIDOC Week theme “Get up! Stand up! Show up!” highlights and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ proud history, culture and achievements.
For far too long, the responsibility for change has weighed heavily on the shoulders of those equipped with the fewest resources. But after months of dialogues across Australia with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, First Nations delegates finally called for the Australian people to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”.
Today, NAIDOC is not only a week of celebrations, but also a call to action for our community to come together and effect change together.
Accounting is more than numbers
Tish Bhagwandeen, member of QuickBooks’ Trainer Writer Network (TWN) and Founder and Director of Infinance Solutions, has helped many businesses within the Indigenous community to become more financially literate.
“I am extremely passionate about partnering with the Indigenous community. I firmly believe that if we are going to effect meaningful change, then the best way of achieving this is by empowering businesses with the knowledge to take financial control. As such, I have developed a workshop that focuses on educating business owners on financial literacy,” Tish says.
Through these workshops, Indigenous business owners are equipped with the toolkit to manage their businesses more effectively.
“Growing up in apartheid South Africa has given me a unique perspective on the social, ethical and economic challenges faced by Indigenous entrepreneurs. One of the key factors in closing this gap is to achieve transformation through education and knowledge sharing,” Tish says.
“For me, accounting is more than just numbers. It’s about getting to know your clients on a personal level, understanding their business challenges, aspirations, and providing the right support and structure to navigate these challenges.
“I see my role as being broader than an accountant; I am an ally and agitator for change. We all have a responsibility to get up, stand up and show up for each other. Businesses today are looking for an advisor who can provide the right guidance and growth advice to flourish,” Tish says.
One of the businesses that Tish helped to set up financially was Taka Gin co., a First Nations female-led native gin company, founded by proud Aboriginal woman, Niyoka Bundle; her husband and Manx Man, Vincent Manning; and their son Finlo.
Niyoka first reached out to Tish when she was looking for an experienced accountant to help her secure start-up funding for her first business, Pawa Catering. Since then, Tish has been mainly working with Indigenous start-ups, assisting them with their financial decision-making and setting them up for success.