Biodiversity Australia — committed to diversity in more ways than one.
Growing up in bush communities throughout Western Queensland, the importance and beauty of nature was ingrained in Steven Noy from a young age.
As Steven moved into the workforce on the outskirts of the biodiversity industry, he could see a real need for change in the way the environment and our Australian wildlife was being managed.
So, he set out on a journey to develop new techniques and solutions to manage human and wildlife conflict and to provide a more humane outcome for animals.
A journey that saw him establish Biodiversity Australia — a business that not only gives the environment a helping hand but actively supports Indigenous Australians achieve their career goals in the Biodiversity sector.
Founder of Biodiversity Australia, Steve is as passionate about nature, as he is about creating Indigenous workforce pathways. He is a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group — a dedicated group of advocates committed to achieving better social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
We caught up with Steve to discuss his journey to success.
Could you tell me a little bit about what your business does?
Biodiversity Australia is a team of Environmental Management Consultants providing specialist environmental management services for the resources and infrastructure, government and defence, aviation and residential sectors.
We have a proven history in managing and delivering specialist environmental consulting services encompassing ecology and botany, fauna and vegetation management and wildlife mitigation services for the aviation industry.
We offer a cradle to grave service such as environmental planning and compliance and ecological impact assessments, through to on ground services including pre-clearance surveys, fauna spotting, re-vegetation and fauna management plans.
What are some of your achievements so far?
Our focus on best-practice methods means we have had several long term contracts extended.
This has provided us with ongoing financial security and allowed us to offer more employment opportunities, enabling us to further focus to our internal Indigenous recruitment strategy and Indigenous pathways model (IPM) program.
At Biodiversity Australia, we have achieved a diverse workplace goal which aims to have a workforce that includes 10% of local Indigenous employees — across Australia
As a result of the Indigenous Pathway Model program, a graduate ecologist completed their graduate program and successfully move on to a funded PhD.
We have also had two Indigenous trainees complete their administration traineeship and transition to full-time employment with Biodiversity Australia, with a third starting their administration traineeship, in late 2018.
How many employees do you have and do you see this number increasing in the near future?
We have currently 55 employees with a growth strategy to see more staff being on boarded in the near future.
How important is government support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses?
It is extremely important as it opens avenues for Indigenous businesses to receive mentoring and assistance or funding to grow their business in a competitive market. It also exposes Indigenous businesses to opportunities that will take them to the next step which is something they may not have been able to achieve on their own.
While there is a variety of funding out there for the Queensland entrepreneurial scene, we believe that finding the pathways to this funding can often be difficult and completely unreachable.
That’s why grants and programs such as the ones Advance Queensland offer are a great opportunity for Indigenous start-ups and entrepreneurs. It gives them a pathway to be able to tap in to needed funding and support from mentors which creates a good start to their business and wider opportunities for networking.
What are your top three tips of advice for other Indigenous businesses starting out on their innovation and/or entrepreneurial journey?
1. Business isn’t something you do, it’s something you live and breathe.
2. Find suitable mentors.
3. Find your end goal, map your pathways with the focus on capability and capacity building.
How has being a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group made a difference to being in business and/or to the impact you hope to make in the community?
Being a member of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group allows me to make an impact on advancing Indigenous business in the state.
It also provides a platform to help with the successful implementation of the Indigenous Participation Plan by identifying where it is broken and implementing best practice strategies for the best interest of the Indigenous business market.
The end goal is to provide long term sustainable growth for Indigenous businesses.