Queensland-based Baidam Solutions has revealed the first recipient of its scholarship with the University of Queensland (UQ).
Revealed last year, the scholarship was paid for in perpetuity by Baidam to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in information technology and STEM disciplines.
A year on, the University has chosen the first recipient of the grant. Denzel Strauss is a UQ Commerce and IT student with dreams of becoming a business analyst.
With the scholarship, Strauss will receive networking and career guidance from Baidam staff, as well as at least $4500 in financial support.
“The scholarship offers some financial stability at the start of my degree so I don’t have to rush to get a part-time job,” Strauss said.
“Along with early guidance and the potential of tutorial support from UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (ATSIS) Unit, it has certainly helped me settle into my studies.”
Strauss said that while he hopes to explore various IT career options, his is keen to focus business analytics.
Baidam's MD Philip Jenkinson told CRN that the company now donates 52 percent of its net profit to initiatives like the UQ scholarship and the one it set up for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying STEM degrees at the Australian National University.
"We hope that we will embarrass other Australian companies to do what we do," he said.
UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Engagement Bronwyn Fredericks said the scholarship would create "game-changing opportunities for our students".
"I hope that Baidam Solutions’ generosity and commitment towards empowering future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals and leaders will inspire other companies to follow in their footsteps.
"Together we can create change for a better world for Indigenous Australians and for all Australians.”
The UQ and ANU scholarships are part of Baidam's Baidam Initiative program which integrates training opportunities and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into the company's business strategy.
“We are absolutely delighted to present this scholarship – an achievement that the whole information and communications technology industry can be proud of,” Jenkinsen said.
“It is only with the continued support from our customer community and the vendors we represent, that this was made possible.
"We offer customers across Australia the choice to support a capable First Nations information security business and, when that choice is made, we have the opportunity to create lasting legacies such as this scholarship.”