At Barayamal, we believe that entrepreneurship and technology can change the world for the better.

The meaning of Barayamal

Barayamal means ‘Black Swan’ in Gamilaraay language. Before colonisation of Australia, Europeans only taught kids in school about the white swan until Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered what First Nations peoples knew for millenniums, that there was also black feathered swans (black swans). This forced Europeans to reconsider and change their perceptions about what a “swan” actually means. In this instance, the black swan represents First Nations peoples who have not had their innovative ideas and businesses recognised because of current perceptions/”wisdom” - Barayamal will show the world that they do exist and help create a better world for everyone.

Our Values

  • Spirit and Integrity - Honest, reliable, strong spirited and culturally determined.

  • Reciprocity & Mutuality - At Barayamal our business and community relationships are essential (not just incidental to our work). We strive to create change through trusting, respectful, reciprocal and mutual relationships.  Our two-way relationships are dynamic, variable and mutually negotiated. Professional boundaries enhance our relational and cultural foundations.

  • Respect - Barayamal acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia. We also acknowledge those First Nations peoples who - through no fault of their own - have not had the opportunity to participate in their expression of connection to county and the negotiation of TO status. We honour and offer respect to our Elders - as and when it is due. We acknowledge and honour the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We pledge ourselves to creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences.

  • Results - We set challenging targets; we are results-focused and action-oriented. We are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients, and meeting our own high standards of  organisational performance and ethical behaviour. Iterated learning informs and enhances our successes.


Our team brings together a passionate group of volunteers from diverse backgrounds throughout Australia, which includes technologist, philanthropist, entrepreneurs, industry experts and community leaders.


Dean Foley

Founder & CEO

Dean served five years in the Royal Australian Air Force before founding Australia’s Indigenous business accelerator, Barayamal – now known as a world leader in Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Dean is an action-oriented entrepreneur, former-Microsoft RAP Advisory Board Member, and proud Kamilaroi Man who grew up within the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah, NSW.


Linda Ryle


Linda is an Aboriginal woman of Birrigubba (Bowen Qld) and Kamilaroi (Monaro NSW) heritage. Linda has been professionally engaged in the area of Indigenous Affairs since the late 1990s with professional experiences including Corporate Co-ordinator to the Girudala Council of Elders (Whitsunday Coast), Legal Services Senior Officer (Bowen). Linda also served as the President of the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland for 3-years.


Steve hartley


Steve is a seasoned entrepreneur, public company director and business owner with over 25 years’ business experience. He has successfully advised and raised capital for start-up and high growth companies in the resources, retail, technology, media, and manufacturing sectors and has been personally involved in many business and property investment/divestment transactions totalling over $100m in transaction value.