Digital Excellence: the expanding space of Indigenous entrepreneurship

Late last month I had an opportunity to attend the inaugural National Indigenous Digital Excellence Awards (IDX Awards) hosted by the National Indigenous Centre for Excellence (NCIE) at Redfern, Sydney. It was a truly inspirational night. The night included fantastic performances from Sydney singer/songwriter Mi’Kaisha Masella and Adelaide based electronica band Electric Fields (AMAZING!). Hosts Christine Anu and Sean Choolburra entertained guests throughout the night, whilst they were treated to the contemporary Indigenous cuisine of Chef Clayton Donovan.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participation in developing digital technology is set to grow with increasing numbers of students in IT, engineering, science and mathematics in universities across Australia. Programs like Indigenous Digital Excellence program at NCIE in Sydney, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA), STEM.I.AM and Envision in Far North Queensland provide an exciting opportunity to drive Indigenous skills development in the digital and technology space. From an Indigenous business sector development perspective more broadly, as more Indigenous people adopt technology, we will see increasing numbers of businesses in this space. And we already are seeing growth in these spaces.

Congratulations to all those who were nominated in the seven categories. The winners on the night were –

  • Culture and Country Award – Victor Steffenson (QLD)
  • Learnings and Education Award – Wayne Denning (QLD)
  • Pathways and Employment Award – Luke Briscoe (NSW)
  • Wellbeing Award – NPY Women’s Council (NT)
  • Entrepreneurship Award – Dean Foley (QLD)
  • Digital Elder of the Year – Ernest Gondarra (NT)
  • Young Digital Innovator of the Year – Brooke Ottley (NT)


It’s never to early to begin acknowledging and recognising the achievement of individuals and organisations. Well done to NCIE.

Looking forward to the next year.

Leesa Watego, Iscariot Media
Founder, Deadly Bloggers


Image: Indigenous Digital Excellence Award, NCIE