Queensland-based Baidam Solutions has set up a permanent scholarship with the University of Queensland to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in information technology and STEM disciplines.
Baidam Solutions is an Indigenous owned, Supply Nation certified Information Technology business. Its vendor partners include Cisco, Palo Alto, Airlock Digital and CrowdStrike.
Supply Nation is a directory of certified Indigenous businesses
The endowment is a first from an Indigenous-owned business for the university and was met with enthusiasm from UQ pro-vice-chancellor for indigenous engagement, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks.
“I am delighted to partner with a proud Indigenous-owned, Queensland-based IT security company to create game-changing opportunities for our students," Fredericks said.
"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.”
Baidam Solutions co-founder and CEO, Phillip Jenkinson told CRN the company was the first of its kind to be serving the Queensland market.”
“There is a problem with that statement right there,” he said. “Because there should be 10 of us. There should be 10 organisations all competing, all identifying as Indigenous, all competing to participate in this trillion dollar Australian market.”
For Jenkinson, the endowment is not a short term solution to a social imbalance, nor an opportunity for publicity. It was an attempt to provide access to opportunity for those historically disenfranchised, and to tap an underutilised talent pool at the same time.
“What Baidam can do rather effectively through the business model we have is to kick over three, very real, very large and very ugly barriers to Indigenous participation. They are educational barriers, financial barriers and social barriers,” he said.
“We will pay for the certification to be completed, effectively knocking over two of the aforementioned barriers to entry, financial and educational."