Indigenous insight for business

EDITH Cowan University’s first Aboriginal PhD graduate, Dr Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, has launched a new research company aimed at helping businesses understand and solve problems with indigenous issues.

Dr Kickett-Tucker says her new company, Koya Indigenous Research Group, will provide businesses in WA with an Abor-iginal perspective on Aboriginal issues from employee retention to youth suicide.

She said her research would be of interest to companies working in regions such as the North West goldfields because Koya’s research was conducted by indigenous people providing a greater insight for companies to ascertain reasons behind problems affecting their business.

She said to really get behind the issues faced by indigenous people you need to get in and know the people.

“I know for a fact that Aboriginal people will tell non-indigenous people what they want to hear,” she said.

“If you know indigenous people and where they come, their families and the like, you can get in and find out the ‘real’ answers.”

And this is the “born” benefit of Koya Research. The fact that Aboriginal people conduct the research is an element that distinguishes them from the in-house research departments and other research agents and is one Dr Kickett-Tucker does not apologise for, rather acknowledges and markets the benefits.

She said her research provided an accurate account of the indigenous perspective and was one that should be utilised by the business community to help them better understand the issues faced by indigenous people and how it impacted on them and their business.

This marketing edge is most likely why she is generating a lot of public interest.

Dr Kickett-Tucker is already associated with Burnna Yurral Aboriginal Corporation Con-tractors, winners of last year’s indigenous business of the year award.

Her involvement is helping the company set down object-ives for a training scheme and to develop a training blueprint for Aboriginal employees.

She said her research would be of use in respect to employee management as it could help companies establish who they were hiring and why, as well as determining why employees were leaving and reasons a company may have a particularly high employee turnover rate.

She said she would work on anything from developing busi-ness plans, academic modelling, developing training modules, and conducting any type of research questions pitched to her from tourism to education to sports.

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