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Leading Indigenous businesswoman awarded Curtin Honorary Doctorate

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An Australian social entrepreneur and successful businesswoman who dedicated her career to improving employment opportunities for Indigenous peoples has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce by Curtin University.

Ms Amanda Healy, a Koori woman from the Wonnarua nation of the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales, has made distinguished contributions to the Western Australian business community, establishing enterprises which provide opportunities for disadvantaged people, particularly those from Indigenous backgrounds.

In 2014, Ms Healy founded Indigenous fashion label Kirrikin, a social enterprise that transforms Aboriginal artwork into luxurious silk fabrics, turning them into scarves, ties and clothing. Three years later she founded Warrikal, a mechanical maintenance business which provides professional support services to the resources sector in WA and has a 20 per cent Aboriginal workforce.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said she was delighted to announce Ms Healy has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce for her exceptional contribution to business in Western Australia.

“Ms Healy began her career in human resources management, working with companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto and WMC Resources, before establishing the award-winning enterprise Maxx Engineering in 2004, which was then sold to multinational engineering firm ThyssenKrupp in 2015,” Professor Terry said.

“As part of Kirrikin, Ms Healy works with at-risk Aboriginal youth to manage the process of identifying markets and suppliers, determining agreements with artists and ensuring the business’s profile develops. Ms Healy also engages with Aboriginal women in prison to develop opportunities through arts programs for their post-release employment.

“Ms Healy has made an exceptional contribution to the Australian Indigenous community through her social enterprises to help improve the health, life-expectancy, education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians.”

Ms Healy is a member of the Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Network and in 2019 was named an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University. She was also named in the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders by AACSB International and was awarded the Business of the Year award for Kirrikin at the 2019 NAIDOC Perth Awards.

Ms Healy was presented with her Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Curtin University at a graduation ceremony on February 1.

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