Tiddas In Business: Closing Plenary

Envisioning a future where we can all thrive and belong

In our closing plenary, Carol Vale will explore and discuss with three other luminary Tiddas in Business – Sarah Hyland, Yanti Ropeyarn and Leesa Watego – the question of where are we heading? What does the future look like in a world currently in a pandemic, where the effects and dangers of climate change are an ever-present threat to our lives, homes, communities; where Indigenous regional and remote Communities around the world are disproportionately affected; the impacts of racism and homophobia continue to rise, yet paradoxically the collective voices are changing up and challenging many of predominantly ‘Western’ norms of business. Drawing on a millennia of deep intersectional knowledge(s), cultural practices and ways of doing business, what can we all do to envision and create a future where we all can thrive and belong?

Sarah Hyland CA

Sarah is an Anaiwan woman from Uralla in North West NSW and Founder of Together Business. Through decolonising and humanising accounting and business advice, Together Business enables First Nations self-determination and wealth creation through enterprise. They know that First Nations people hold the answers to the problems that our community face, which is why they work with the heroes, the rebels, and the innovators to make that a possibility. The Together Business model of operating is disruptive to both the capitalist system on which the accounting profession is built upon, as well as the endless charitable initiatives to ‘help’ Indigenous businesses. By operating with an enabling and ‘walking with’ approach, we provide a safe-haven for determined entrepreneurs who want to get sh*t done and influence meaningful & scalable social impact.

Sarah is a UNSW Business School alumni, the first UNSW Indigenous student to graduate from UNSW Co-op program. Sarah is regularly engaged by UNSW Business School as an advisor, speaker and mentor for both UNSW Indigenous and non-Indigenous students across a range of programs and initiatives and also UNSW Business school staff. Sarah is also currently engaged as an advisor to the UNSW Tax Clinic.

Yanti Ropeyarn  

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” (Zig Ziglar)

Yanti is a proud descendant of the Angkamuthi and Yadhaykana Clans of Northern Cape York Peninsula, the Meriam People of Dauar Island, and the Woppaburra People of North Keppel Island. She grew up in Injinoo, one of five remote communities in the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA), Cape York. She is also an out and proud gay gender-neutral person. Yanti’s pronouns are She/Her.

Yanti currently divides her time between two roles she is passionate about:  Relationship Manager for She Maps (a drone & geospatial education company based in Gimuy, Cairns) and Indigenous Library Liaison Officer at James Cook University’s Bebegu Yumba Campus in Townsville. Yanti is an advocate for Black Rainbow, Trading Black organisations and #TorresStrait8.

Yanti graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of New South Wales, and with a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration Global from James Cook University. At present Yanti is undertaking an MBA specialising in technology from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at UNSW Business School. Her belief is that technology has and will continue to play a pivotal role in the lives of First Nations people in Australia.

Yanti is regularly engaged by UNSW Business School as an advisor, speaker and mentor for both UNSW Indigenous and non- Indigenous students across a range of programs and initiatives and also UNSW Business school staff.

Leesa Watego  

“Never saying no” and “that looks interesting” are probably the two things that have guided the almost 30 years of Leesa Watego’s business journey. From co-founding a small partnership Nyumba Goori Studies Consultancy in 1994 back on country with Yugambeh sista Lisa Buxton teaching Goori studies across the Tweed and Northern Rivers, to creating a niche educational publisher Blacklines Publications in the late 1990s, and now running a creative, training and technology project agency Iscariot Media, Leesa’s journey has been driven by curiosity and adventure.

In addition to business, Leesa is committed to serving her community. Over the past three decades Leesa has sat on a number of boards of local Aboriginal organisations, including Kooemba Jdarra Performing Arts Inc, NWAICA: North West Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Association, Meeanjin Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association.  She is has served as a volunteer board member of the South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, served two terms (4 years) as a non-Executive Director of Viscopy, the Visual Artists Copyright Agency, and sits on the Queensland Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group.

Leesa is a co-founder of Black Coffee Indigenous Business Networking and Indigenous Business Month. Leesa is the Associate Professor of Practice QUT.

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