We were delighted to host, together with Message Stick and Gilbert+Tobin, our first Indigenous Briefing. This sold out event was such a success that we will host more events both here and in Canberra (our first ever) with a focus on Indigenous Business. Sam Nickless, COO, Gilbert+Tobin moderated a stellar panel: Adam Goodes, CEO of the Indigenous Defense Consortium; Laura Berry, CEO, Supply Nation; and Michael McLeod, CEO, Message Stick Group.
Currently, of the 3% of the population that is Indigenous in Australia, 43% are employed. The panel highlighted the growth of Indigenous business in Australia - a growth of 300% in the last eight years. This is also seen in breadth of business type – with businesses being created across a range of industries.
The panel spoke of the knock-on effects of creating a young skilled and educated Indigenous population and the challenges that still exist in providing a wider supportive system for them to flourish. Creating employment in the Indigenous community has the added benefit that the employed members become positive role models for the rest of their families and communities. Conversely, the panel also spoke of the challenges some indigenous youths faced culturally when going back to their communities if they are ridiculed for being educated. The current challenge of creating a wider network of support in both schools and the wider communities for the families of well-educated indigenous youths in order to support their development was discussed.