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! -->

Learn more about Joshua -->

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 -->…


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

How A Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Sold His First Startup While in High School for $50,000 – Here’s How He Did It

On today’s show

We hear how Darug man, Dylan Mottlee sold his first business at 17 for $50,000 and is now expecting to turn over $300,000 this year in his new business.


  • “Everyone has a reason to keep going forward, regardless of your circumstances and regardless of your age. Don’t define anything by normal social standards, reinvent the wheel.”
  • “It’s very plain and simple, university does not teach you anything for entrepreneurship. You can come out with a degree in entrepreneurship and not have a single clue how to effectively manage your business.”
  • “I’m just super-passionate about business and entrepreneurship that to me it wasn’t really around what keeps you motivated, this was my life now and this is what I’m doing on a daily basis like professional sportsmen.”
  • “Step up to the plate and get some work done. I can tell you right now, if you don’t and in a years time you look back, you probably won’t have much to show for it but if you put your head down and you concentrate I can guarantee you when you look back in a years time you’re going to be so much happier.”


  • Dylan talks about his first business and how it sold it for over $55,000 when he was only 17 years old and continued to receive royalties for three years after selling. [0:48]
  • How and why he invested the money from his first business into other businesses. [2:20]
  • His new business that sells technology products and is predicted to turn over approximately $300,000 this year. [3:00]
  • Why he developed a computer algorithm via Python to grow his business through Facebook. [4:15]
  • Where Dylan finds talented employees to help grow his business. [7:20]
  • How he started developing an entrepreneurship mindset from the age of 13. [9:26]
  • Where the motivation comes from to overcome challenges and run a growing business. [11:09]
  • Why community is a big factor and how Dylan become a volunteer Director of his local Aboriginal Council. [12:30]
  • Despite being only 23 years of age, Dylan beliefs age is just a number in the world of business. [14:33]
  • The amazing talent within First Nations communities and how one girl developed an algorithm for Qantas that saved them $12,000,000. [20:00]
  • Biggest challenge that he needed to overcome in business and why you need to sacrifice to achieve success. [21:33]
  • Looking for information or courses to learn how to become an entrepreneur? Listen to Dylan as he talks about the only information you need to become successful in business. [24:10]
  • Do you need to go to university to be an entrepreneur? [25:20]
  • How to manage your time even if you run three businesses. [28:00]
  • Improving business operations through technology to optimise and increase sales. [32:36]
  • Why the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is important for your business and how to do it yourself. [35:54]
  • How Dylan is breaking negative stereotypes in Australia through his success in business. [39:20]
  • How technology can close the digital divide between First Nations and non-First Nations people. [49:22]
  • How the Australian government can make a real difference and help close the disparity gap. [51:45]

That concludes today episode of Indigipreneur. If you would like to know more about Dylan Mottlee, please connect with him on social media or visit his website, Dyls Online.

This episode was brought to you by Zoey Dowling from Operation Move.

Operation Move supports you to achieve your life goals and a happier life by providing online and in-person running coaching and personal training programs. Feel free to get in touch with her at or visit her website