Business School Topics
The low number of Indigenous accountants in Australia is hindering the progress of Indigenous business, speakers have told an Indigenous business conference at The University of Western Australia.
Richard Hurst, Relationship Manager at Indigenous Accountants Australia, said there were less than 35 known Indigenous professional accountants in Australia, with Indigenous students comprising less than one per cent of all university management and commerce enrolments. In contrast, Indigenous students comprised around two per cent of university enrolments in education and medicine.
The reason for this, Hurst explained, was that many Aboriginal students overlooked the role that business could play in assisting their communities.
“More Indigenous students choose to work in health and education because these areas have more obvious needs, but wealth generation for the community is also important,” Hurst said.
Miss NAIDOC 2016 Perth, Shelley Cable, encouraged more Indigenous students to choose to study business, sharing her dream of Indigenous Australians building and controlling their own wealth. True to her vision, Shelley is beginning her CPA accreditation whilst working as a finance analyst, and also conducting research into Indigenous business and financial literacy.
“I live for commerce and Indigenous success, and dream of linking the two; unleashing the potential of Indigenous people through economic freedom and Indigenous entrepreneurship,” Cable said.
“We’re one of the first generations in our history to have an income. We need to learn how to manage it if we want to start creating intergenerational wealth, and even more so if we want some control over where government spending on ‘Indigenous communities’ ends up.”
During IBECC, Ms Cable was announced as the winner of a full scholarship to complete her CPA qualification —just one of five available annually Australia-wide—by Michael Harris, General Manager WA Division at CPA Australia.
The Indigenous Business, Corporations and Enterprise Conference was held at the UWA Business School on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 December. The conference was hosted by the Centre for Social Impact UWA under the direction of Professor Paul Flatau, and the UWA School of Indigenous Studies under the direction of Professor Jill Milroy.
Claire Stokes (Centre for Social Impact UWA) (+61 8) 6488 7575