Developing Northern Australia Conference provides opportunity for TNQ Drought Hub sponsored delegates and showcasing projects.

The SATSIE program sponsored 5 Indigenous business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders from Cape York, Cairns, the Torres Strait and Alice Springs to attend the DNA Conference in Darwin as part of an Indigenous Business Scholarship package.

The Indigenous Business Scholarship delegates joined other sponsored delegates from the NT and WA for a week of learning about development in Northern Australia. Individuals working for/running an Indigenous organisation were selected for their contribution to elevating Indigenous business capabilities in Northern Australia.

All of scholarship recipients gave very positive feedback and felt that their attendance would have positive outcomes for their businesses and individual development.

Fraser Nai one of the recipients who also stepped into being a panel member for the Enabling Infrastructure for Northern Australia workshop said, ‘Going to DNA is about knowing the latest Data, Trends, Geopolitics, Geo-Economics and Geo Technologies affecting our world. If we are to consolidate our place in the world, then being relevant in the things that are shaping our place in this world is of upmost importance. Visionary courageous leadership is what this moment is calling for.’

Another recipient, Chris Anderson from Indigenous owned and operated corporation, GR8Motive said, “This was a great experience to be exposed to the development of the northern Australia business sector and potential for the indigenous business sector to thrive as part of the development. It was also a great opportunity to network with a diverse range of business government ana non-government.

The other interest I have taken away was the Indopacific opportunity at our doorstep and essentially social economic partnerships to be explored particularly for indigenous business with Supply Nation with its export support. the other side was how the does this fit with more small businesses particularly targeting remote communities and to bring their business to the frontline of opportunity. How do we support these businesses to engage as the larger companies have resources and capital to progress. This applies each state and Territory, maybe a gathering of how many businesses are in each state and Territory and what industries to operate.”

Dennis Fay from Salty Monkeys also felt that attending the DNA conference was very beneficial, “The conference was exceptional, offering a wealth of insightful information that is invaluable for my company’s development. Most notably, the opportunities to network with industry leaders proved instrumental in fostering relationships beneficial for expansion and future collaborations.”

A great feature of the conference was the first keynote session which was well received. The plenary Indigenous Business session was chaired by Jerome Cubillo of the Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network (NTIBN), Northern Australia Reference Group (IRB). Speakers were;

  • Michelle Deshong, Acting CEO – Supply Nation
  • Julie-Ann Lambourne, Qld Indigenous Business Network
  • Naomi Antess, NT Indigenous Business Alliance.

In her presentation, Julie-Ann was able to outline the emerging development of the Queensland Indigenous Business Network. These speakers spoke about how we can unlock Indigenous Business excellence. Two of the keynote speakers, Julie-Anne Lambourne and Michelle Deshong, have both previously given a TEDxJCUCairns talk.

The TNQ Drought Hub was also invited to present on several hub projects. With the concept of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) gaining more and more traction in the agriculture industry, the hub’s Senior Research Officer, Ana Carla Leite De Almeida presented her work. Ana’s research and role within the hub has led to her developing educational materials for producers and growers to better understand the ESG framework and how it applies to their farm. These materials will be available be publicly soon.

Knowledge Adoption Officer, Carrie-Ann Wilson presented her PhD research into agtech adoption decisions. Carrie’s PhD and hub role, aim to understand and support decision-making in agtech adoption by producers. As producers try to navigate rapidly changing technological advancements, effective decision-making is required. But the complexities of the agtech market are a significant barrier.