As a nation, Australia has a long way to go in closing the gap between our Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Every sector has its role to play in this journey, and design is no different. For not only do Australia’s first people have integral lived and cultural experience that can better inform designing on Country, but the built environment (as an industry) is uniquely positioned to provide pathways for specification, training, and community building. Recognising this challenge, Zenith Interiors – one of APAC’s leading furniture solutions companies – have partnered with Indigenous business RBA Abbott Pty Ltd to form Zenith RBA, and are reshaping Australia’s commercial furniture landscape one specification at a time.

Meet the Indigenous business that’s reshaping Australia’s commercial furniture landscape

Zenith RBA is a Supply Nation certified business that has a mission to support and grow the Indigenous business sector and empower Indigenous Australians. Through their partnership with Zenith Interiors, Zenith RBA can design, manufacture, supply and install commercial furniture to all metropolitan, regional and remote locations, delivering world class products and a social ethos to a wide range of commercial clients.

At the helm of this partnership is Jeremy Abbott, a proud Indigenous man of the Pini people in Western Australia. Jeremy brings an extensive 18-year corporate background to his role at Zenith RBA, as well as a personal investment in driving positive outcomes to Indigenous communities and programs.

Meet the Indigenous business that’s reshaping Australia’s commercial furniture landscape
Jeremy Abbott

Additionally, as the son-in-law of John Fisher, the founder of Zenith Interiors and current board member, Jeremy is uniquely positioned to champion the partnership between the two companies, ensuring the partnership is founded on deep respect, relationships, and trust to guarantee the finest in product and service quality.

Two recent projects speak to this quality and unique ethos, with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) Canberra office and this Thrive Project for a NSW Government state-owned corporation examples of how the commercial sector is embracing the Zenith RBA difference. For the new CASA office, Zenith RBA were engaged to provide furniture solutions that met the client’s needs of flexibility, adaptability, and task-focused working, while at the Thrive Project, the team worked alongside Group GSA to furnish an open plan floor space inspired by natural watering holes, or billabongs.

Meet the Indigenous business that’s reshaping Australia’s commercial furniture landscape

Not only is the Zenith RBA team expertly positioned to work alongside commercial and Government clients to create work environments that inspire and motivate, but their commitment to engaging local Indigenous trades and services creates new opportunities within the supply chain to address Indigenous disadvantage. Their Indigenous Action plan also outlines a commitment to influencing and impacting their own supply chain, helping to provide new spaces for Indigenous Australians to engage with design.

In addition to direct engagement, Zenith RBA are also working towards increasing awareness,  and community outcomes for local communities. In particular, partnerships and collaborations with education programs including The Polly Farmer Foundation, Clontarf Foundation and Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), are helping to address a national education gap by supporting education systems founded on respect and understanding.

Meet the Indigenous business that’s reshaping Australia’s commercial furniture landscape

With a long road ahead on our collective journey to equality, Zenith RBA’s emergence is an essential step for industry. Not only do they build on Zenith Interior’s legacy of creating thoughtful and immersive workplace designs, but their governance and mission can help all of us in engaging, specifying, and supporting Indigenous Australians.

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