Discrete Indigenous communities and franchising

The Queensland Government is seeking to improve the number of Indigenous people in Queensland operating businesses.

Franchising may be an appropriate model, as the framework and processes provided in a franchise organisation may provide opportunities for success, given the cultural requirements of Indigenous people.


The purpose of this exploratory research is to:

  • Assess the product and service needs of two discrete Indigenous communities and identify service gaps. Ascertain a range of common product and service needs that could potentially be serviced by franchise organisations.
  • Interview several franchisors in the areas of need to determine whether they recognise potential for a version of their model to be adapted for remote communities.
  • Identify if there are synergies for franchise systems to work together to fulfil needs in remote communities.
  • Assess the experience and lessons of PNS in Malaysia in terms of support to the local indigenous people (the Bumiputra) through the franchise business model.
  • Analyse the findings, exploring the potential for the opportunity of a “quasi-franchise” or other adaptations of the franchise model that may lead to success in remote Indigenous communities.
  • Provide recommendations as to the next steps given the findings of the research.

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About discrete Indigenous communities

Discrete communities have a fairly low population, ranging from 300 to 4,000 people.

According to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a discrete Indigenous community refers to a geographic location, and inhabited or intended to be inhabited by predominantly Indigenous people, with housing or infrastructure that is either owned or managed on a community basis.

Discrete communities include:

  • communities in urban areas where the title to a parcel of land has been transferred to an Indigenous organisation, for example, communities on former mission or reserve land in New South Wales and Queensland;
    well established communities and outstations in remote areas;
  • Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) communities and their outstations in Queensland as well as the two shires of Aurukun and Mornington Island; and
  • communities on Indigenous pastoral properties/leases.