New heights for Yarpa Grow program with Western Sydney University on board

13 May, 2024

First Nations business sector leader, the Yarpa Hub, is excited to announce they have partnered with Western Sydney University to deliver its flagship business accelerator program, Yarpa Grow.

The agreement was signed last week at Western Sydney University’s Parramatta City campus by NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Chairperson Cr Ray Kelly, NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen and Western Sydney University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise & International, Professor Deborah Sweeney and Interim Dean, School of Business, Professor Meg Smith.

NSWALC Chair Cr Ray Kelly said Yarpa, a business unit of the NSWALC, is a sensational success story with more than 450 First Nations businesses amongst its membership and a growing reputation across NSW as the one-stop shop for First Nations businesses, entrepreneurs, and job seekers to access support and connect to more opportunities.

“Yarpa plays an integral role in pursuing economic independence and prosperity for our people,’’ Cr Kelly said. “Supporting the success and sustainability of First Nations businesses is essential to our future as distinct and self-determining people.”

Yarpa Hub Acting Director Shannon Mallison said: “It’s a game changing partnership. Yarpa Grow is a signature 10-week business accelerator program designed to support the sustainable growth and success of First Nations businesses. Partnering with Western Sydney University to deliver Yarpa Grow as a certified micro-credential will add greater value to the participants and make this the first of its kind in NSW.”

“A highlight will be access to a personal business consultant throughout the Yarpa Grow journey as well as the graduation event where participants will get to pitch their business to corporate and industry leaders,’’ she said.

Professor Meg Smith, Interim Dean, School of Business at Western Sydney University says that the University is excited to be entering into this partnership with Yarpa Grow and are looking forward to delivering this project to the community.

“This project will allow indigenous businesses to innovate and develop sustainable business ideas, while also building on an existing platform of micro-credentials that the University has been engaged with delivering to the community,” said Professor Smith.

Expressions of interest will open in the coming weeks and more information about the program can be found at the Yarpa Grow website.


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.