Indigenous Digital Excellence is our mob doing extraordinary things every day, and on International Women’s Day we celebrate the many women who are leading change and inspiring the next generation of Indigenous digital makers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Here are six Indigenous women paving the way for women in the digital age.
Mikaela Jade – Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO InDigital
Mikaela Jade is a proud Cabrogal woman and entrepreneur who was a delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum Indigenous Issues. Her startup, Indigital, uses drones, 4D mapping software, image recognition technology and cultural law to bring the world’s cultural sites alive through augmented reality.
A mentor to the next generation of Indigenous digital makers, Mikaela believes the greatest opportunity for young Indigenous women in the digital age is the opportunity to belong to and lead in, any sphere from your Country, while being strong in your culture.
“There’s never been a better time to bring culture to any industry, especially science, technology, engineering, mathematics and consumer markets right from where you are. Digital is a platform to do this – use all the channels at your disposal to listen carefully to global conversations, watch for emerging patterns, and seize opportunities to get your story out there through different digital mediums. You can digitally visit places you want to explore and can make connections to people you admire. In a digital world, if you can dream it, you can do it,” Mikaela said.
Karlie Noon – Scientist and Research Assistant at CSIRO
Karlie Noon is a Kamilaroi woman from Tamworth and is the first Indigenous person in NSW to attain a double degree in science and mathematics.
As a mentor she has made it her life mission to make STEM accessible to people of all different backgrounds.
“If you find it interesting, do it! A career in STEM is one filled with excitement and opportunity. For me, it’s showed me that I can achieve anything. It has also allowed me to help my family and community. I’m in a position where I can support my family with their career goals and give back to my community by assisting in projects that inspire and educate.” Karlie said.
Julie-Ann Lambourne – CEO enVizion
Julie-Ann Lambourne is a Torres Strait Islander woman descending from Mabiaug and Darnley Island. Julie-Ann is a founding member of enVizion Group and is passionate in the development of Indigenous businesses and leaders; and working with disadvantaged people to overcome adversities.
Motivated by her commitment to delivering better and more creative programs, enVizion’s Virtual Reality Experience Project (VREP) provides a safe, state of the art mobile facility which can be taken to all areas across Australia including remote locations delivering cutting edge virtual reality experience.
“To address the barriers of low levels of literacy and education, as well as low levels of participation in employment and economic development, enVizion is using advanced technologies virtual reality environments, to motivate and inspire people in areas of employment by experiencing in virtual reality,” Julie-Ann said.
Celeste Carnegie – Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) Learning Experience Designer
Celeste Carnegie is a Birrigubba woman from Townsville/Burdekin region in Far North Queensland. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Technology and Innovation and is a lead facilitator in the IDX Flint program.
“FLINT is bigger than robots and 3D printing. It’s about empowering communities and allowing them to continue to express their natural innovative ability as Indigenous people. We’ve always been innovators, we are now just using different tools. Watching our young people grow and excel with digital technologies is inspiring.
As a young Indigenous women I never knew working with technology was an option for me, but now I work for IDX mentoring our young people. I love it!” Celeste said.
Nicole Monks – Trans-disciplinary artist and Founder Blackandwhite Creative
Nicole Monks is a Yamatji Wajarri woman and is renown as a solo and collaborative artist.
She founded the company ‘blackandwhite creative’, an initiative to generate cultural awareness by collaborating with Aboriginal & non Aboriginal individuals & organisations to weave Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration into contemporary Art & Design projects. Her recent projects use the latest in 3D mapping technology, highlighting Aboriginal culture as ever evolving and diversifying.
“The installation focuses on promoting social wellbeing by translating the world’s oldest continuous living culture through cutting-edge technology into an innovative and contemporary context,” Nicole said.
Dr Sonya Pearce – Entrepreneur, Academic and Consultant
Dr Sonya Pearce is a Gooreng Gooreng woman from Brisbane and is the first Aboriginal woman to complete a PhD in the study of entrepreneurship in Australia.
Dr Pearce hopes that her achievement inspires others and draws attention to the experiences of Indigenous entrepreneurs.
“Through my PhD, I want to hold a light to social and economic issues that impact on our people.” Dr Pearce said in an article on Indigenous.gov.au.
Do you know an Indigenous entrepreneur, innovator or change maker? Nominate them for Australia’s first IDX Awards here.