From the streets in Cairns to addressing the United Nations in New York

“You go through depression, you go through your own mental battles and struggles and obviously being homeless at the time, it definitely not a good thing. Remember why you’re doing it, because nothing good comes easy you know. You have to suffer, but that suffering isn’t there to make you weak its there to make you stronger. If you can remember that and if you can fight through those hard times, then when you come out the other side there is truly nothing that can stop you. You need to stay strong, you might stumble and might fall but you doesn’t mean you’re going to give up”.


I started The Streets Movement Organisation (TSM) due to a number of circumstances both in my personal life and circumstances of the community and environment I grew up in. In a community context the place I grew up in had a number of socio-economic challenges with little to no places for youth to partake in if you had no money. I was given a home at a local boxing club where they did not charge to attend. Once this closed the local youth who attended this facility along with myself where without a place to call home, train or occupy our time in a positive way. Hence the reason TSM was founded, to provide a place and path in the community particularly for those with little opportunity or for those with nothing. TSM was born out of necessity as a response to lack of opportunity and support within our community.


We have faced many challenges as a organisation. Some of the major ones include;

1). Knowledge and Education. In the initial stages lack of knowledge and know how in a professional context of how a organisation is supposed to operate i.e. meetings, minutes, departmental forms, administration etc. Being young and with little support in this regard we were oblivious to many things that make a organisation operate efficiently day to day. This was a major hurdle to overcome however with greater knowledge, education and understanding we were able to remedy this fault to build ourselves into the national organisation we are today.

2). Lack of Finance and Funding. A major hurdle which in many ways is a ongoing challenge of any organisation. Particularly in the stages of our organisation when we have operated community spaces and centres ensuring funding for rent, electricity and gear has always been a struggle. For any organisation to grow and be truly effective finance is essential as it gives your org and its staff the capacity to expand and work beyond its parameters and does not leave you in a position of relying wholly and solely on handouts or volunteers (whom are fantastic and fundamental to community success however still have drawbacks in that it is only limited in what they can work towards for the org i.e. times around work, weekends etc).

3). Legitimacy and Respectability is a major challenge to overcome. Being a young org in the beginning our greatest struggles came from any businesses, organisations or even the community taking us seriously. Particularly a problem faced for young orgs (and young people in general) is the stakeholders seeing the enthusiasm but not taking yourself or the organisation in any serious way. This in turn impacts the org in a major fashion as you are unable to acquire the support or funding necessary to drive forward your programs.

4). Keeping staff/volunteers motivated. A challenge faced for many orgs is keeping your staff and volunteers motivated and excited for the cause they are representing. We found that although volunteers are in abundance keeping set individuals for a prolonged period of time in tackling major community issues (many of which require constant and consistent attention) is a challenge. As many people have lives outside of this volunteerism and give only set hours or pieces of time when they can. Due to this being a secondary priority volunteers and staff can lose motivation, focus or even interest in dealing with issues which impact the community and org.

5). Consistency. A major hurdle to overcome is consistency, which can encompass a vast array of different aspects. Consistency in program outreach, staff/volunteer approach, organisational quality, community action etc. Consistency is key in building a solid reputation as well as having a meaningful and ongoing impact within the community.

6). Belief in the oneself and the organisation. It is all too often to find yourself asking why you are doing what you are doing? Within the organisational context this holds true with at times a hard and bumpy road ahead. At these times when you are alone, isolated and without a dollar to your name these are the trying and testing moments which as an individual must you are doing what you are doing? Within the organisational context this holds true with at times a hard and bumpy road ahead. At these times when you are alone, isolated and without a dollar to your name these are the trying and testing moments which as an individual must be overcome so as you can embody what it means to be a leader and an individual who stands for your org and cause no matter the cost. I faced too many of these moments to count being at times without a home, bed to sleep in or even where the next meal was coming from? However during these times it is important to remember who you are and why you are here.


Belief and Attitude. Whether the challenge was possible or impossible was irrelevant. It was necessary to overcome.


TSM is currently in a expansionist phase having now grown from a local grassroots organisation with a regional impact to now having its first national program with an international focus. Being able to offer a program which engages on the local grassroots level to communities across the nation whilst being able to bring in international networks and partnerships for these individuals is what we hope to hold. The utilisation and knowledge of both worlds is fundamental to ensuring a successful outcome for our latest venture the Mulumulung International Scholar Initiative. Future growth for the organisation will encompass greater community development projects and impact. With greater expansion through Asia poised to centre stage over the next 12 to 18 months we will deliver our initiatives and opportunities not only on the national stage but through providing pathways to the international community. Through utilisation of educational institutions and companies worldwide we look to frame our programs to have a holistic impact upon individuals and community. Through the utilisation of education this is truly the way forward for not only us as an organisation but for us as a species.


"Veni. Vidi. Vici"

"I came. I saw. I conquered".

- Julius Ceasar.

“We need to find that place of economic prosperity, our own economic development, because that is really what is going to drive change.”

Jesse T Martin is a Eora man who now lives in Cairns, and is the founder of the Streets Movement Organisation. He strives for social change by fighting for a hand up instead of a hand out.

Tech for Good: Indigenous Organisations to Watch

There has been a significant focus on promoting and growing organisations founded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and/or those with an Indigenous focus in Australia. Barayamal is evidence of this, a startup accelerator designed to inspire, educate and support First Nations youth and budding entrepreneurs through technology and entrepreneurship. Barayamal build technology solutions, run business accelerator programs, free events, the Indigipreneur podcast (recommended), school-based education and more.

First Australians Capital also provides Indigenous Australians with commercial finance to grow their businesses. They do this by strengthening cultural, creative and economic capital.

Both Barayamal and First Australians Capital exist to bridge the gap between Indigenous entrepreneurs and support services. Here are three deadly tech-based startups designed to benefit Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. They’re all doing some incredible stuff in their respective communities!

Common Ground

Common Ground is a digital platform designed to help Australians see the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The young Founder, Rona Glynn-McDonald, is a proud Kaytetye woman, with a background in economics and a passion for disruptive ideas.

The platform provides access to engaging and authentic content that helps bridge the gap in knowledge. According to the Australian Reconciliation Barometer (2016), 85% of Australians believe it is important to know about the histories of our First Peoples, but only 42% believe they have a high knowledge of that history. Common Ground aims to improve that statistic.

If you’re interested in reading about Kinship Systems, whether to use Indigenous or Aboriginal when writing or speaking about our First Australians, or whether you’re curious about Indigenous languages, Common Ground is the place to go.


Launched in July this year, ThisIsMyMob is designed to connect Indigenous people, their families and their mobs through tech. Developed by a small team of passionate Indigenous engineers and IT specialists at the University of Technology, the app is designed to both provide a safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through social connection and provide a pathway to communicate with government, industry and organisational information. It will also enhance their digital literacy skills.

ThisIsMyMob is the first to apply the Postcolonial Computing framework to their design and leadership. The project will also inform the dev elopement of post-secondary curricula for Indigenous software engineering, and create pathways towards an environment that supports Indigenous developers, entrepreneurs and start-ups to manage the development and ongoing operation of Indigenous-owned technology.

The app is currently being tested and trialled with 5 mobs around Australia.


In 2018, Indigital’s CEO and Founder Mikaela Jade was awarded the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award and the InStyle Women of Style Creative Visionary and Judges Award. She’s passionate about restoring, preserving and sharing the stories of her people.

Indigital do a number of things, including making mixed and augmented reality apps, using drones and 4D mapping to bring Indigenous cultures digitally alive in the landscape. Their app, Indigital Storytelling, works in a similar fashion to Pokemon Go. The user of the app points their phone at a symbol, object or sacred site and an animation opens up to tell its story.

Indigital also designs standard apps and augmented reality merchandise. They advocate for Indigenous digital rights at United Nations forums and events, too, just incase the above wasn’t enough. What a company!


Original publication by Social Change Central

Article -

Importance of mentors

When I started studying law I didn’t know any lawyers, growing up in Mount Isa all of my family and family friends were people that had worked in the mines. My mother and step-father had also been separated and for long time and I didn’t have any male role models in my life. I was fortunate that at university we had an Indigenous law lecturer, Philip Falk, a Nygemba man who become a hero to me at the time - a role model, mentor and all the things you need when you are transitioning into a new stage in life. He was someone I could talk to and someone who knew how to translate my ambition into action. He also helped me navigate the difficulties of university life.

I knew before I finished university that I wanted to be a barrister and I went about building relationships with barristers who I thought would be good mentors. There is often a lot of opportunities to meet people, but you have to work hard to build a mentoring relationship. First, you need to find people that will be good mentors, usually they are people who are doing the things that you want to do and who have similar values or motivations as you. Once you make that connection, you then need to go about ensuring the relationship develops, through regular contact. In time that person will see that you’re are genuine and committed to your goals. Once you get to that stage, people will always be willing to help and the mentoring relationship develops.

When I was nearing the end of my studies, my mentors were helpful in guiding me through that next stage. I wanted to be a barrister as soon as possible. I was so eager I thought I would finish university on Friday and could start as a barrister on Monday. In hindsight that was a little naïve… My mentors where invaluable in tempering my eagerness and ensuring that I took a path which would help me acquire the necessary skills to build a successful career. One of my mentors helped me secure my first job, which was working for a Judge. And the Judge then became a mentor too. He was helpful when I was deciding which law firm was would work at. When I made that decision it was important for me that I worked in a firm that had lawyers who would be interested in mentoring me and help me achieve my goal of practicing at the Bar.

Even now, after 8 years as a barrister I still have a great relationship with the those how mentored me during the early days of my studies and career. I still consider them mentors who I can turn to for support and guidance.

Since I started at the Bar, I have taken on the role as a mentor, especially for Indigenous law students and other lawyers. It is an important role, because Indigenous students often don’t grow up in an environment where we are exposed to Indigenous people working in the areas we want to work. We don’t have that support and guidance that comes from having someone in the field in which you want to work or be successful. A mentor can help you jump over that hurdle.

As Indigenous people break into new roles and industries, the role of a mentor becomes ever so important. There can be so many ups and downs and so many questions and having one or two people that you can pick up the phone and talk things through will play an enormous part in your success.

I have started to reflect on the next stage of my life because I have interests outside of law, and recently thought about the need to search out people who could mentor me in the areas of tech and business and other things that I am interest in. Mentors don’t have to be about work or studies, often it is important that we have mentors to help us through life and this can be where parents, elders, friends or family can play an important role. To be successful you need to have people in your corner to help you along the away and a mentors should be there to help you get the best out of yourself.

Joshua Creamer
Waanyi and Kalkadoon

Do you need a mentor?

Get help from some of the best Indigenous and non-Indigenous entrepreneurs for FREE at Barayamal! -->

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How Traditional Indigenous Games are helping Indigenous youth to excel in technology

I had an ambitious idea to help teach Indigenous youth to code in 2017 without any funding or support, and after running our first program over a year ago, I've starting building some new programs on MIT Scratch to teach Indigenous youth how to code by building Tradition Indigenous Games. The first game I built is called kolap, which is a traditional game played in the Torres Strait.

What is kolap?

The game Kolap (or Kulap) is a traditional game that is played throughout the Islands in the Torres Strait among the young and old. The kulap seed is actually known as a matchbox bean or QLD Bean in Far North QLD but in the Torres Straits, they are called Kulaps. This game is based on using the natural resources available to Torres Strait Islanders whilst having fun and keeping everyone entertained. Early Childhood Inclusion specialist, Cecelia Wright suggest using bean bags when re-creating this game to play with children as an interactive activity.  

Why is it important?

Around 75 per cent of jobs in the future will need STEM skills, but coding is still not a formalised part of the curriculum in most parts of the education system. Teaching kids coding is the first step in helping them get ready for jobs of the future - and make sure Indigenous students don't get left behind. Teaching Indigenous youth about coding so they understand how computers work and the best ways to interact with them is how we can stop the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians from increasing.

According to a recent study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than half (53 per cent) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were aged under 25 years in 2016. Also, Indigenous unemployment is a national crisis at 21 per cent, an increase of 4.3 percentage points since 2008, and is 4 times the current non-Indigenous unemployment rate of 5 per cent.

However, Australia's digital economy is projected to be worth $139 billion a year by 2020 that can provide business or employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians, but its growth is inhibited by a skills shortage, according to the most recent study from Deloitte Access Economics and The Australian Computer Society. Also, the average weekly full-time earnings before tax for Software and Applications Programmers in 2014 was $1,613 while the average earnings for all occupations were $1,200.

How can you support us?

Read more about what we're doing and the future we're building to create a better Australia for everyone! If you would like to support Barayamal and our programs, please contact me via email or call 0458 980 232.

If you know of an awesome school or community organisation like Capalaba State Collegewho we can work with to teach more Indigenous youth how to code (or entrepreneurship), please let me know!

We're also running the first ever Indigenous Game Jam in November for those who would like to support us by creating some more games to teach Indigenous youth how to code 💻🎮

Three things I've learnt from Richard Branson

I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do after finishing year 12 and I didn’t feel I was smart enough to go to university with below average grades so I ended up joining the Royal Australian Air Force....

It’s kind of funny in hindsight because I’ve almost completed two masters degrees (MBA & Masters of Business) and I can definitely say that the Air Force is way harder (no offence to my fellow university students)!

So anyways, one day when I was sitting down doing my work an Air Force friend walked by and unexpectedly dropped a book on my desk. I was a bit surprised about the whole thing since I never asked for a book, but when I got home I started reading it… It was on entrepreneurship, which I never knew anything about - coming from a poor family and growing up in a rough environment, getting a job in the Air Force exceeded my expectations at the time and I never really knew about the many other opportunities available, besides having a job...

This book lit a burning desire within me to learn more so I begun reading more books and come across an entrepreneur called Richard Branson who seemed to be making a real difference in the world instead of just trying making a quick buck. The way he conducted himself in business resonated with me and he also had similar community-based values that I was taught growing up in the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah so I wanted to learn more about him…

And after reading six of his books (he’s never lost for words!) and following him online religiously for almost four years, here’s the three things I’ve learnt from Richard Branson:

1. Enjoy what you do

Richard is one of the most optimistic people I know, even though I haven’t actually met him yet! Every time I see or read about him, he’s always got a smile on his face and is positive about work and life.

“We spend most of or waking lives at work, so it’s important that we do what you love and love what we do.” - Richard Branson

Everyone makes mistakes, including Richard who lost £1.85 billion when he tried to launch Virgin Galactic and a new rail franchise at the same time and another £100 million for research and development of bed seats that was superseded by British Airways who come up with a better product.

However, Richard lives by his words and I think no one can doubt that he enjoys what he does... even George Clooney said that he would swap lives with Richard, anytime! It’s probably the biggest reason why he’s stayed in business for so long and built one of the most diverse and successful businesses in the world.

“Those people who spend their time working on things they love are usually the ones enjoying life the most.” - Richard Branson

Before my friend dropped that book on my desk, I wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing... Richard inspired me to leave my job and learn about entrepreneurship, which has not been easy or glamorous (disclaimer) but I’ve enjoyed the journey and the projects more than any job I’ve previously had.. so the first and probably the most important I learnt from Richard is to enjoy what you do!

2. Screw It, Let's Do It

Screw It, Let's Do It is from a title of one of his books, which was my favourite to read and by far the most appropriate title for this article, compared to “just do it” by Nike.

Despite all the haters and naysayers who were telling him that he was going to fail or it couldn’t be done, he just got on with the job and made it happen. I think in today’s world, it’s easier to be a pessimist or hater… from a young age we are told we can’t do this and shouldn’t do that. Destroying our creativity and dreams, we are forced to conform within the current limitations of society.

Richard, in my opinion, doesn’t conform to what other people think he should or shouldn’t do. He thinks outside of the box, and it's one of his biggest advantages in business and life.

Sometimes his ideas work, sometimes they don't... but I’ve personally taken on board his “Screw It, Let’s Do It” mentality and even though I’m just getting started in my business career, I’ve gone from a 'nobody' to winning national awards, working in a startup that recently raised $5 million and starting my own charity called Barayamal within a short period of time…. Despite the haters, in my mind it’s only a matter of time until I become successful in business.

“Small minds can’t comprehend big spirits. To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Stay strong.” - Unknown

3. Business is more than just making money

“If you aren’t making a positive difference to other people’s lives, then you shouldn’t be in business. Companies have a responsibility to make a difference in the world, for their staff, their customers - everyone.” - Richard Branson

As much as I wanted to put the above quote in my own words, Richard sums it up perfectly and like I said, he’s never lost for words!

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where a lot of business people still focus on making as much money as possible despite the social costs. From colonialism to recent Royal Commissions into the banks, greed and power has destroyed many lives and communities.

However, with entrepreneurs like Richard Branson leading the way, I think it gives humanity hope that things can be different instead of "business as usual", and provides the next generation of entrepreneurs coming up with something to aspire and look up to.

Despite never meeting Richard Branson in person, I feel very lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to learn invaluable lessons (there’s more than just three!) from one of the best entrepreneurs in my lifetime.

Indigenous entrepreneurs set their sights on global markets

"I'm excited to announce that Barayamal is taking some of the best up-and-coming Indigenous entrepreneurs to America from September 3 to 13.

The "Indigipreneurs" will attend TechCrunch’s Disrupt event, spend time at the Australian Landing Pad for startups in San Francisco, and meet Native American entrepreneurs in New Mexico. The Startup Tour aims to inspire the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs to think big, learn new skills and grow their professional networks - with the aim of supporting the future leaders of tomorrow who can help build sustainable Indigenous communities.

A learning opportunity

Disrupt is one of the biggest events in the world for startups, and attracts the best entrepreneurs, investors and technologists from around the globe. Over three days, the Indigipreneurs will check out everything from the Startup Battlefield competition to a virtual hackathon, hundreds of the best startups in Startup Alley, world-class workshops, and legendary networking opportunities at the after parties.

The second part of the trip will be in New Mexico, and will give the Indigipreneurs an invaluable opportunity to meet Native American entrepreneurs and leaders, to collaborate and learn from each other. The massive movement within New Mexico’s Native American communities to increase entrepreneurship and economic development is seen as a way to solve the disparity and opportunity gap created by colonialism.

Included in the tour will be a visit to New Mexico Community Capital (NMCC), one of the leading incubator/accelerators bringing tools for success to emerging Native American businesses. In just over three years, NMCC's flagship program, Native Entrepreneur in Residence, has graduated 30 small Native owned companies, creating 128 new jobs, with 58% of those being Native hires, and over $8 million in new gross revenues. NMCC has served people from 20 different tribes in 5 different states.

Trip Outcomes

The mission schedule includes private group tours and meetings, and the Indigenous entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet American entrepreneurs and investors in their own time, too.

"I am beyond excited for the Startup Tour because it presents an unmissable opportunity to contribute to Indigenous entrepreneurship and what it means to the world,” added Alisha Geary, Founder and CEO at ‎Faebella, and Startup Tour participant. “I hope that this trip will serve as a giant dose of inspiration for me to kick-start my business and get it on the global stage." 

Here's two of the Indigiprenuers we're taking on the trip...

Alisha Geary

Alisha is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business law student, who is now taking her inspiration into the world of business with a new line of activewear. Alisha wants stories told in Indigenous art to spread far and wide across the world, and what better way than through entrepreneurship? Alisha owns Faebella, an online store selling women’s active wear featuring Indigenous art.

Morgan Coleman

Morgan is the CEO & Founder of Vets on Call and Morgan Coleman Developments. He has extensive experience founding and growing start-is within Victoria as well as running businesses of over 1 million in revenue. Being a proud Torres Strait Islander, Morgan wanted to create a company, which developed products that stood as a lasting testament of how Indigenous Australians truly can be the masters of their own destiny.

P.S. There's a lot more to stay up-to-date by subscribing to Barayamal's Newsletter!" - Dean Foley, Founder at Barayamal.

I think we need more.... - Matthew Compton, Keynote Speaker at the First Nations Youth Summit

Matthew is a proud Wiradjuri man raised on Bunjalung Country and a successful Indigenous entrepreneur. Having began his career under well known Australian technology entrepreneur Bevan Slattery then went on to work with several data and machine learning startups in Sydney before soon co-founding two of his own technology businesses in the same space. Matthew is currently Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at Really; a startup that uses machine learning to provide early-detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and other dementias sooner, allowing sufferers to access drugs that were previously inaccessible due to maturity of the condition.

Below is a quick video Matt did for the First Nations Youth Summit on why he believes we need more... 🎙️🎥


Barayamal International Startup Tour

We are excited to announce that one First Nation youth from the First Nations Youth Summit will be joining Barayamal's US Startup Tour on the 3-14 September 2018, which includes attending TechCrunch's Disrupt event in San Fransisco (with over 10,000 other attendees) and visiting some Native American business hubs in New Mexico. 

Valued at over $3,000 (flights, accommodation and Disrupt SF tickets), this is a "once in a lifetime opportunity!". Let your network know about the summit and prize, and we look forward to seeing over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth at the First Nations Youth Summit (a Barayamal event) later this month!

Limited tickets are still available via Eventbrite -->…


Best Digital Storytelling by an Indigenous Australian

Barayamal Founder, Dean Foley was recently announced as the "Best Digital Storytelling by an Indigenous Australian" Award Winner at the 2018 Australian Not-For-Profit Technology Awards., which recognised the excellence in use of digital storytelling by an  Indigenous Australian to positively connect with and impact local communities.

This is the third international award for Barayamal within a year.

Life-Changing Lessons From An Indigenous Entrepreneur who Lost Everything

On today’s show,

We hear how Yamatji man, Leslie Dingo lost $160,000 and his life savings before figuring out the formula for success.

Leslie is now a successful trader and investor who only works a couple of hours a day (after hitting the gym) and still lives in his community in rural Western Australia, while earning more money than most employees.


  • “If we had a mentor that had already made the mistakes before we got to them, it would of saved us a lot of heartache and money so I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good mentor.”
  • “Trading was where my real passion was and I think for a lot of entrepreneurs and people who want to have a better life need to do is find what you are really passionate about and what you like doing and make a business out of it.”
  • “Review your circle and if there are people who are not helping you achieve your goals or ambitions, then I would really consider reviewing the relationship and finding the right people that you need in your life.”

Show Notes

  • Leslie talks about how he got into trading stock despite growing up in outback Western Australia. [0:50]
  • How to make money fast. [2:30]
  • How Leslie learned how to successfully trade without mentors. [3:38]
  • Benefits of having a mentor vs not having a mentor. [5:00]
  • Lessons learned from trading in the real-world. [5:50]
  • How Leslie loss $160,000 and his life savings to making it all back within a year. [6:43]
  • Success factors that lead to his success in trading. [8:20]
  • Why you need to find your passion and make a business out of it to achieve success in life. [9:50]
  • How playing poker helped Leslie become in trading. [12:35]
  • Overcoming negativity from middle-class Australia. [14:50]
  • Why you should review your circle and remove the toxic relationships from your life. [16:11]
  • Leslie discusses some of his biggest trades and how much money he makes. [18:35]
  • What to look for in the companies you plan to invest in. [25:15]
  • Things to be careful of when investing in Bitcoin to avoid trade manipulations and losing all your money. [27:30]
  • “Trade what you know” – the success principle you need to know. [31:50]
  • Why you need to trade what you are passionate about and to avoid “spiritual suicide”. [34:00]
  • Future plans for the Dingo brothers. [39:00]
  • The books you need to read. [43:00]


That concludes today episode of Indigipreneur. If you would like to know more about Leslie’s connect with him on Twitter @leslie_dingo.

This episode was brought to you by Amanda Young from the First Nations Foundation. The First Nations Foundation help First Nations people to achieve economic freedom through financial literacy training and support. Feel free to get in touch with the First Nations Foundation by emailing or visit their website