First nations youth summit attracts indigenous entreprenuers

| May 12, 2018

Over 100 young people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will travel to Brisbane from across Australia to attend the First Nations Youth Summit at Fishburners, Australia’s largest community of scalable tech startups from the 28th to the 29th of June.

The First Nations Youth Summit aims to support, inspire and empower Australia’s First Nations Youth through technology, leadership and entrepreneurship workshops and discussions by First Nations Youth, for First Nations Youth. The summit is sponsored by CSIRO and Microsoft Australia, and is organised by volunteers from Barayamal, which offers support and technical help for First Nations entrepreneurs.

Barayamal means ‘Black Swan’ in Kamilaroi language, a bird first seen by Europeans in 1697. The black swan represents Indigenous entrepreneurs who have not been noticed by the world before, and Barayamal works to show the world that Indigenous entrepreneurs not only exist but can build global businesses.

The summit will consist of a Welcome to Country by a local Aboriginal Elder, guest speakers, yarning circles and a “Startup Competition” to explore how technology and entrepreneurship can help First Nations youth achieve their self-determination aspirations with the aim of contributing to sustainable First Nations communities.

Furthermore, it’s a chance to gain important insights into what skills are needed for the jobs of the future and an opportunity to connect with other First Nation youth, create new professional networks and learn new skills to take back to their local communities

With over half (53%) First Nations youth aged under 25 years, the summit is an important opportunity for First Nations youth to voice their concerns and offer real solutions to help Close the Gap through a  “First Nations Youth Report”, which will be develop and published post-summit.

According to the latest government employment study, the First Nations employment rate fell over the past decade, from 48% in 2006 to 46.6% in 2016. Over the same period, the non-indigenous employment rate was broadly stable, at around 72%.

Dean Foley, the founder of Barayamal and the Youth Summit‘s lead organiser argues that “In the past, the Government has failed to really listen to First Nations people, in my opinion, and make a real difference in closing the disparity and opportunity gap.

“The First Nations Youth Report will provide politicians and changemakers who want to listen with invaluable information and advice from First Nations youth, which will allow them to positively change policies and barriers to a create a better Australia for First Nations people, and all Australians.

“I did invite the current Australian Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion, however he declined my invitation… I genuinely extend that invite to other politicians and changemakers who genuinely want to make a real difference to please attend the First Nations Youth Summit and listen to the future leaders of tomorrow.”

Speakers and mentors at the event will include Jayde Geia, a Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young, Talie Elu, a Manager at Faces of the Straits, Dean Foley, the founder of Barayamal and the Indigipreneur Podcast, Dylan Mottlee, the founder at Deals Online and Director at Burbaga Aboriginal Corporation, Celeste Carnegie, an Indigenous STEAM Program Producer at Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Leslie Dingo, a professional trader and investor, Matthew Compton, the Chief Operations Officer at Really and Tamina Pitt, a former software engineering intern at Google.