The inaugural Futures Forum kicks off this week to drive the future direction for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.
Amidst a smoking ceremony at the Murrook Cultural Centre at the Worimi Aboriginal Land Council outside of Newcastle NSW, a select group of over 50 young Indigenous people from across the country was welcomed on Worimi Country.
The initiative was made possible by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), in collaboration with key organisations including Relative Creative, Indigenous Marathon Foundation, Melbourne Business School and Murra Indigenous Business Masterclass, NITV, Blaklash Projects, Gulanga and Lenovo.
Futures Forum brings together Indigenous people aged between 18 to 30 that have experience in owning and operating a business and/or contributing to the development of the Indigenous economy.
According to recent data, the average age of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia is 23, in comparison to non-Indigenous population where the average is 35. Futures Forum presents an opportunity to engage and connect with a large collective group of young Indigenous people from across the country and invest in effective succession planning for the future.
Jyi Lawton is a Bidjara man and Senior Manager, Industry Engagement, IBA. A young entrepreneur himself, he now works at IBA to foster an agenda that inspires the Indigenous community, especially our young people through Futures Forum.
‘The Futures Forum is future thinking, design led and a conversation that needs to happen. It’s about starting the conversation on what the future of business looks like.
‘With the landscape of automatisation shaping the future of business, we have to be adaptive and on the cutting edge of this future. It’s no different than what we’ve done as a mob over all our history.
‘We’ll be looking at what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture looks like in the future and how that connects with business, particularly the intersect between cultural knowledge, the business sector and shaping the future.
‘We’re creating a culturally safe place for young Indigenous people to come together and talk. There is something special that happens when you bring mob together – there’s a passion in that magic. The hope is that we come out of this with a way forward where Indigenous people have more of a seat at the table.’
Futures Forum will be facilitated by content experts and bring together national and international experts specialising in Indigenous culture, business, economics and innovation. Speakers include Bruce Pascoe (Bunurong man and author of Dark Emu), Tristan Schultz (Kamilaroi man and founder of Relative Creative), Terri Janke (Wuthathi/Meriam woman and Solicitor Director at Terri Janke and Company), and Geoff Martin (PhD in Strategy).
The participants will design and develop an ‘Indigenous Business Model’ – a first of its kind that is considerate of commercial realities and cultural obligations that they can then take back and share with their communities.
The Futures Forum will create a network of young people who will be self-governed and self-sustainable in the long term and leading economic development in their communities.
Find out more at futuresforum.com.au.