Recently appointed as Commonwealth Bank’s Executive Manager of Indigenous Business Banking, Simone leads the development of tailored, culturally-appropriate financial products and services for First Nations businesses.
Ms Kenmore has wide-ranging experience working with First Nations communities across metropolitan, regional and remote rural areas and will support CommBank’s team of culturally accredited Business Banking specialists.
With family connections to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia, she has seen first-hand the challenges First Nations peoples face when starting and building a successful business.
Ms Kenmore says she is deeply committed to working with First Nations businesses, leaders and communities to support the development of a strong and sustainable Indigenous business sector.
“We know that by strengthening First Nations businesses, we strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities more broadly,” Ms Kenmore said.
“CommBank’s priority is to support the growth of more First Nations peoples to lead and drive organisations in their communities. Taking a leadership role is critical to self-determination.”
Ms Kenmore said there is tremendous strength and resilience in the Indigenous business sector with expertise in a wide range of sectors including health, agriculture, and community services.
Another area of opportunity is through participation in the carbon economy. Indigenous communities possess an intimate understanding of caring for country and waterways and this is an exciting opportunity where we are keen to provide specialised support.
“When we listen to community and work together we can do great things,” she said.
Ms Kenmore has wide-ranging experience leading and developing Indigenous Australian strategies and designing community initiatives across health, aged care, disability and community services.
She will support CommBank’s significant portfolio of diverse First Nations business customers, from small businesses in metro areas and remote community health services to large agricultural businesses in regional Australia.
CommBank partners with a range of Indigenous organisations such as Supply Nation, Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses, to improve the way we engage with businesses and help build the capability of the sector.
Whether starting from scratch or developing an existing business, CommBank has a range of services to help First Nation’s businesses expand, diversify or innovate, she said.
“At CommBank we have an experienced Indigenous Leadership Team and Indigenous Advisory Council who are connected to First Nations communities across Australia and will make sure we are accountable to the communities we serve,” she said.
Ms Kenmore’s first approach is to “kulila”, which is a Pitjantjatjara word for “listen”.
The recent Garma Festival of Traditional Culture in north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory,was an opportunity to connect with so many people, in particular the Yolngu people and the Gumatj clan of Gulkula.
“The team at CommBank are so very grateful for the cultural exchange and we return home with full hearts and open minds,” she said. “Listening to the Yolngu Leaders and the key note speakers has given us greater insights to the need for self-determination, truth telling and a Voice to Parliament.
“For me personally, Garma taught me the need to respect all voices, especially as we move towards a referendum.
“As a Yankunytjatjara woman, for the first time in my life, I feel hopeful for a better future. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities know the way forward for improved outcomes. It is time we listened.”