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MURRA Graduates: Shaping the Business Platform for Indigenous Australia

Proud Kamilaroi women Jessica Walsh & Melissa Hobbs are no strangers to diligently and unassumingly supporting local Indigenous groups, advocating on their behalf and promoting Indigenous culture. However, this week have had their turn on the big stage as Generation #9 Graduates of the MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class Program through the Melbourne Business School.

MURRA, meaning "Fish net" in the Woi Wurrung language of the Wurundjeri people of Melbourne, fittingly characterises the Master Class Program which offers Indigenous entrepreneurs, traditional owners and those in senior management roles, an opportunity to further develop business prospects for the benefit of their communities.

Helping shape the business platform for Indigenous Australia, the MURRA program is providing significant opportunities for current and emerging leaders.

Surat Aboriginal Corporation (SAC) Director, Melissa Hobbs, said the MURRA program has been a life changing experience that provided the opportunity to learn from world-class business academics in an environment that embraced and focused on Indigenous knowledge and perspectives; something she has never experienced, even throughout her additional University studies.

“The connections, relationships and kinship formed throughout our Gen 9 group and Melbourne Business School staff was something that cannot be found anywhere else.

"I am so honoured to have been involved in a program such as MURRA, that solely focuses on enhancing and empowering Indigenous professionals and businesses. To also be part of the Gen 9 mob and call ourselves MURRA Alumni, is an absolute privilege.

“As a Corporation, we want to see healthy, strong and empowered Indigenous communities embracing opportunities to develop positive, sustainable outcomes for current and future generations, and through completing this program, we’re now better equipped than ever to move SAC in a direction to provide more support and advocacy for our people,” said Melissa.

SAC Manager, Jessica, also commented on the group of people they were privileged to meet and share the classroom with, stating they’ve met so many wonderful, like-minded people who are as equally passionate and dedicated to positively influencing the Indigenous business sector in Australia.

“It was an honour to share this opportunity with not only my new Gen 9 family but also to stand beside my cousin, Melissa, was truly special.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity and one I’m so grateful for. We’ve gained so much knowledge and feel really empowered to further advance our Indigenous culture and community prospects,” said Jessica.

With 2020 in their sights, both Jessica and Melissa are excited for what the future holds as they apply their skills and knowledge, to further support and strengthen Indigenous communities throughout South West Queensland.

“We’ve already started planning for next year and can’t wait to see our vision and ideas come to fruition. The future of SAC is stronger than ever with new and exciting things ahead,” Jessica further said.

If you are an Indigenous entrepreneur, holder of native title or a senior manager expected to develop and implement strategy and would like the tools to grow your business and develop economic opportunities for your community, the MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class Program is for you.

For further information, head to their website or contact Jessica or Melissa through the Surat Aboriginal Corporation to find out more about their experience.

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