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Tech Industry The Future For Indigenous Australians, Business Leaders Say

Influential Indigenous business leaders have met in Sydney.

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Australia’s burgeoning tech industry is providing exciting new opportunities for Indigenous Australians, representatives at the inaugural Indigenous Business Month have heard.

Dr Michelle Evans (Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed)

Michelle Evans, associate professor in leadership at Charles Sturt University, told BuzzFeed News that the digital space is an exciting area with possibilities to combine cultural knowledge with technology.

"I want to see some Indigenous tech companies because the intellectual and cultural property rights that we have as Aboriginal people we can use in really clever ways to create IT firms and companies."

"There is a movement at the moment and it's not just about profiling Indigenous business, but it's about saying we want to have self-determined independent economic futures," Evans said.

Next year Owen Walsh, 22, will become the first Aboriginal person to graduate from the University of New South Wales with a combined commerce and information degree.

Owen Walsh (Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed)

Growing up in the small regional town of Wagga Wagga, Walsh hopes to become a trailblazer in the business sector.

"It's about a generational shift and me having a degree and starting moving into business. It's not necessarily me who is going to reap the benefits. It's my kids and other Aboriginal children that will grow up seeing people successful in business. It's about giving back to communities so other brothers, cousins, sisters can see that they can do it too," Walsh said.

Coming from a regional town Walsh says that investment of technology in remote communities could help foster entrepreneurs.

"We see movements from large companies like Microsoft and Google trying to supply the internet to disadvantaged people in China, India and Canada, and that’s a real game changer. We're not seeing that here.

“We need to step up a bit and say, 'well how can use these trends like technology things like e-commerce things social media to start address and potentially fix some of these things that are going on in community?'.”

Indigenous Business Month has a number of events planned until the end of October.

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Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.

Contact Allan Clarke at

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