Managed services provider Baidam Solutions has teamed up with Australian security startup Dvuln to offer scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study STEM degrees.
The companies partnered with the Australian National University (ANU) through its Kambri Scholars program, where scholarships would be awarded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in perpetuity.
"This is something that I did not think that I would see in my lifetime,” ANU Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre director Anne Martin said.
“A commitment of this magnitude to ensure access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, not just for today, not just for tomorrow, but into the future."
The Kambri Scholars program helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the ANU with support systems including accommodation, financial support for return trips home, a stipend, and additional financial and pastoral support.
The ANU matches donor funds dollar for dollar, with the program now benefiting from $1 million in contributions, according to ANU’s website.
Baidam and Dvuln said the decision was “very easy” for them to invest back into the Canberra educational community after winning a number of large Federal Government contracts, to encourage and support greater Indigenous participation in the industry.
The contracts involved the provision of DevSecOps transformation and agile penetration testing capabilities.
Baidam said providing training opportunities and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are part of its business model, specifically through its Baidam Initiative program.
Baidam Solutions chief executive Pip Jenkinson said, “We are very proud to present this gift to the University. It is only with the continued support from our Federal Government customer community and the unique capabilities we possess that this was made possible.”
“We are trying hard to get the national ICT community to ‘Walk with us together, for all, not for some’.”
Dvuln chief executive Jamieson O’Reilly said, “For me it was about helping those who may not have the same opportunities as others. Growing up in far north NSW in a predominantly Indigenous housing-commission estate I have seen firsthand the lack of opportunities for kids and young adults in these demographics.”
“I personally feel like by contributing to these young people they can find and develop their passions and positively change not only their own futures but those around them.”