The BlackCard

The BlackCard is a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated business providing cultural competency training and services to enable people and organisations to work more effectively with members of the Aboriginal community. 

BlackCard was founded by Elder Dr Lilla Watson with the support of her long time collaborator, fellow Aboriginal Elder and educator Dr Mary Graham. Each saw that better outcomes for Aboriginal people  could be achieved if people had greater competency and knowledge of Aboriginal logic and culture to enable them to work more effectively with Aboriginal people.


Both Elders were in high demand for their knowledge and expertise developing policy and as educators having developed Australia’s first course in Aboriginal perspectives for the University of Queensland in the 1970s. BlackCard was a startup business with Lilla Watson’s young niece Mundanara Bayles identified as the next generation to manage the business.  


The Challenge & How We Tackle It

As a fledgling business BlackCard was trying to secure its short-term viability to achieve impact and long term sustainability.


The Elders sought out Creative Economy to assist develop a viable business model and strategic business plan to achieve longer term sustainability. At the same time, supporting the establishment of the business enterprise and management. 

Creative Economy’s Sustainability Framework was utilised to formulate the business strategy.  This included identifying BlackCard’s purpose being as the key driver, 

“Working with people, not for people, with the genius of Aboriginal knowledge. 

BlackCard’s Aboriginal knowledge strengthens ethical behaviour by enabling people to develop an understanding to undertake the same obligations and responsibilities to Land and to each other as Aboriginal people have practised for thousands of years.”


The Result

Today BlackCard is a viable business managed by the next generation with the support and endorsement of Elders. BlackCard is a provider of choice for major corporations, community and government agencies such as Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac, SBS, University of Queensland and QUT. 


BlackCard was recently awarded the Business Award in the 2019 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

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