New group to champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business growth and innovation
Published Friday, 14 October, 2016 at 01:04 PM
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
The Palaszczuk Government is bringing together an outstanding group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs, business leaders and researchers to boost economic opportunities and innovation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.
Chaired by the Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business Leeanne Enoch, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group will provide the Government strategic advice to help increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs and innovators and better support businesses to scale into new markets.
“There is no shortage of talent amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and no shortage of enthusiasm for starting innovative businesses,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Business and Innovation Reference Group will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business people get their ideas noticed as well as fast track their access to the training, mentorship and support needed to turn early stage ideas into successful business ventures.
“This is an important step for Queensland and for helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people achieve economic independence.
“Members of the reference group have great expertise and have achieved exceptional results in the fields of business and innovation.
“They will play a key role in shaping government policy and will be powerful advocates for better economic and social outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Reference Group member and Carbon Creative Managing Director, Wayne Denning, welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision to form the group.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are active in every sector of our economy, as lawyers, scientists, engineers, architects, graphic designers and writers,” Mr Denning said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business people have so much to offer in terms of creating sustainable employment opportunities, but it can sometimes be difficult to get their ideas noticed.
“This reference group will bring focus to the support requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who own businesses and will ensure they have a real opportunity to make their mark, not only as individuals, but for their communities and the state.”
Mr Denning, a Birra Gubba man from Blackwater in Central Queensland and a successful Brisbane-based entrepreneur, will be one of 13 people on the new reference group.
Wayne also serves as an inspiration for aspiring Indigenous and non-Indigenous entrepreneurs as an inaugural Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion.
As well as Mr Denning, the Reference Group members are:
- Charlie Jia Chairperson, BlakDance Australia Ltd
- Associate Professor Colin Saltmere, Managing Director of The Myuma Group
- Donisha Duff, National Manager of Indigenous Affairs Kidney Health Australia
- Julie-ann Lambourne, CEO of enVizion Group Inc.
- Leann Wilson, Executive Director, Business Development and Innovation, Regional Economic Solutions Rockhampton
- Leesa Watego, Managing Director Iscariot Media
- Leigh Harris, Creative Director Ingenous Studios
- Michelle Deshong Managing Consultant Michelle Deshong and Associates Consulting Townsville
- Noel Niddrie CEO/Director, Wambali Logistics Pty Ltd and Managing Director of Winangali Pty Ltd.
- Shane Kennelly, Managing Director of Kennelly Construction Chevallum
- Terri Waller, Managing Director of SevGen Indigenous Corporation Nambour
- Wanita Gosbee, successful entrepreneur and former winner of the Indigenous Business of the Year Award.
The reference group will provide advice on the many Advance Queensland programs and initiatives available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners.
“The State Government, through a number of departments, provides a range of targeted programs and initiatives designed specifically to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs, businesses, researchers and communities,” Ms Enoch said.
“We also have generic innovation and business support programs available that can provide benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business people.”
The Reference Group will convene in the coming weeks.
[ENDS] Media contact: Daniel Lato 0438 830 201