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 💻🎮

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.

Barayamal raises $13,000 for the International First Nations Startup Tour in September 2018

The Barayamal Family was able to raise over $13,000 at the 10x10 Philanthropy crowdfunding event in Sydney, which will be invested in taking some of the brightest First Nations youth to Silicon Valley and New York for our International Startup Tour in September this year.

This trip will inspire First Nations youth to "think big", learn new skills and grow their networks with the aim of building the future leaders of tomorrow who can help build sustainable First Nations Communities.

We will also be filming the trip and try to create a 'cool' TV show or short film that we can hopefully get on 📺 to inspire more youth... A massive thank you to the people at 10x10 who supported us 🙏🏼