BCE offices and schools supporting First Nations businesses


St Peter Claver College students using their new yarning circle. ​​

Connecting schools to First Nations business is an intentional strategy of the Brisbane Catholic Education procurement team.  

New processes have been put into place ahead of National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 2 June) to increase the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers across BCE’s  146 schools and six offices across South East Queensland.  

BCE Manager of Procurement Ramon Gomez said a commitment to “supplier diversity” ensured social impact for First Nations communities and kept mission at the forefront of procurement decisions. 

“Our approach aligns with BCE’s Catholic social teachings, focusing on equity, empowerment, and empathy,” he said. 

“BCE’s commitment to reconciliation, reflected in our new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (2023-2025) places a significant focus on procurement and includes a dedicated action to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity to support improved economic and social outcomes. 

Two new First Nations supplier partnerships affirmed BCE’s approach, including one providing sustainable and Australian made office furniture from August 2023, and another offering groundskeeping and facilities management. 

“Nulla Office Supplies creates social impact by providing employment and traineeships to First Nations people and ensures First Nations artists obtain fair royalties for their designs,” he said. 

“At the end of the product’s life, the majority of the furniture can be recycled, linking to our commitment to answer to Pope Francis’ call to ‘Care for Our Common Home.’ 

“This partnership supports BCE's ergonomics and work health and safety requirements, and aligns with our commitment to social impact, sustainable practices, and modern slavery, with the added advantage of supporting Australian manufacturing.” 

Meanwhile, First Nations business Multhana Property Services has been a BCE supplier to four schools since 2022.  

“St Peter Claver College Riverview is a great example of how BCE schools have embraced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses,” said Ramon. 

“The school was thinking outside of the box and engaged Multhana Property Services to build a yarning circle.”  

Assistant Principal of Mission from St Peter Claver College Angela Ryan highlighted the benefits of the yarning circle, while praising Multhana Property Services’ work. 

“The yarning circle provides safe space for dialogue and contemplation, fostering cultural awareness and supporting reconciliation,” she said. 

“The circle is not only a place for students to learn and connect, but it is also a representation of BCE's commitment to advancing reconciliation, supporting our communities to build respectful relationships, and to preserve and pass on cultural knowledge.  

“I encourage other schools to engage First Nations businesses like Multhana, incorporating cultural knowledge into the design, construction, and creation of the school.”  

Ramon said BCE had also sought membership to Supply Nation, which connects organisations to more than 4000 verified First Nations businesses.  

"BCE remains committed to our missional procurement approach, working hand in hand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to create a more equitable and inclusive community, which includes a strong focus on reconciliation efforts working towards a better future together,” he said. 

For more information about Nulla Office supplies click here and here.  

For more information about Multhana click here.​ ​

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