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Melbourne Business School News MURRA alumni to share their knowledge for Indigenous Business Month 2021

MURRA alumni to share their knowledge for Indigenous Business Month 2021

Some of Melbourne Business School's Indigenous alumni will teach the next generation of entrepreneurs throughout October.

Melbourne Business School MURRA alumni and Kinaway Manager of Research and Business Development Damien Foley

To celebrate Indigenous Business Month, the Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership is hosting a series of practical workshops delivered by alumni of the MURRA Indigenous Business Program.

For Gumbaynggirr man Damien Foley, returning to teach aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs is a natural step on the journey he started with MURRA in 2016.

"I was so happy to be asked to teach finance on the Dilin Duwa Online Series. To be able to share our knowledge and spread what we've learnt to others is a really important way to grow the Indigenous business sector."

As an accountant and Manager of Research and Business Development at Kinaway, the Victorian Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Damien has observed first-hand the pitfalls facing new business owners.

"Most business owners, particularly small business owners, want to know two things – did they make a profit and how much tax they have to pay," he says.

"In focusing on this, they are missing some of the more important issues – how they performed in the past and where they can potentially make improvements.

"My role as a teacher in the Dilin Duwa Online Series is to explain the story behind the numbers so that business owners can create value for their businesses going forward."

Bringing Indigenous subject matter experts like Damien into the classroom to teach aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs is an important step in fulfilling the mission of the Dilin Duwa centre, to democratise education by making Indigenous programs relevant and accessible.

The series of workshops is being launched as part of Indigenous Business Month 2021, which has the theme of "Powering the Indigenous Economy".

"We had planned to host the first of our Dilin Duwa Series in Geelong to showcase the important role that regional businesses have to the local and national economy, but the pandemic had other ideas," says Dilun Duwa Director, Associate Professor Michelle Evans.

"Moving the event online, however, has given us opportunities to involve more people from across the country as well as MURRA alumni who otherwise would not be able to travel."

Along with Damien who is now based in Melbourne, guest faculty include Kristal Kinsela (MURRA 2016) based in Sydney, and Leesa Watego (MURRA 2015) and Jyi Lawton (MURRA 2018) who are both in Brisbane.

For Damien, it’s a wonderful example of how MURRA alumni continue to remain connected and contributing to the growing Indigenous business ecosystem.

"I've known Leesa for 12 years, from my time in Brisbane. She's a gun when it comes to social media, she's been in the university sector and active in the South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce," he says.

"Together with Kristal and Jyi, you bring people like that into a workshop where we're sharing 10 to 20 years of experience, it's a wonderful safe space for people to learn so that their businesses can grow."

Indigenous Business Month runs from 1 to 30 October. To register for one of the Dilin Duwa Online Series workshops, visit the Dilun Duwa Online website.

To view the full list of events, visit the Indigenous Business Month website.

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