Calling all Indigenous entrepreneurs

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Inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit

The Indigenous entrepreneurship pop up hub program, Walan Mayinygu, is bringing regional Indigenous business people together to participate in master classes, workshops and networking activities in 2017/2018. Delivered by Charles Sturt University (CSU), the program features a series of events and activities that work as an incubator for ideas, opportunities and momentum for the Indigenous Australian Entrepreneurial sector. CSU, along with the Department of Industry (DOI) and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) are all proud partners of Walan Mayinygu.

Named by Uncle Stan Grant Snr, “Walan Mayinygu” means “strong for people” in the Wiradjuri language. The purpose of the program is to inspire and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across regional New South Wales. The pop ups will  be held in four regions including Central and Far West (DUBBO), South East (Albury), Mid North Coast (PORT MACQUARIE) and The Northern Rivers (LISMORE).

The model for the program has emerged from the learnings and collective energies of Alumni from the MURRA Indigenous Business Masterclass Program, a business leadership development program established for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Connect with us

Lucy Simpson develops Walan Mayinygu brand

The Walan Mayinygu brand was developed by talented Wiradjuri designer, Lucy Simpson who is the owner of Gaawaa Miyay. Lucy developed a contemporary Indigenous inspired brand using CSU brand guidelines and colour palette. Lucy’s take on the Sturt Desert Pea forms the icon for the Walan Mayinygu project and is now present on all print and digital collateral.
Dr Michelle Evans will co run Business Strategy workshops at each Walan Mayinygu pop up

Dr Michelle Evans to lead Walan Mayinygu

Dr Michelle Evans, Associate Professor in Leadership at CSU, is the Project Lead of Walan Mayinygu and is also the co-founder/Program Director for the Murra Indigenous Business Master Class program based at the Melbourne Business School. Michelle, a Fullbright scholar, has a unique combination of professional experience in management, community engagement and facilitation along with her passion for researching Indigenous leadership and entrepreneurship. Joining Dr Evans, is Project Director Mayrah Sonter from 33 Creative and Project Officer Bree Jeffries from CSU making up the Walan Mayinygu team


Indigenous Pop Up Dubbo

The first pop up hub will be held in Dubbo from Monday 28 August through to Friday 1 September 2017, at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre. With Mayrah and Bree both being Wiradjuri women, they are thrilled to bring the project to life on home soil. 

The Walan Mayinygu team are working closely with a local advisory committee to ensure we communicate and work with the Dubbo Indigenous business community effectively. The advisory committee consists of members from Charles Sturt University, the Department of Industry, Dubbo Regional Council and Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Walan Mayinygu team have visited Dubbo once this year for a venue inspection and an initial committee meeting and plan to visit Dubbo again later in June to discuss the program, venue and the logistics of the pop up.

Indigenous businesses from across central and far western New South Wales are encouraged to be a part of Walan Mayinygu in Dubbo. Bree Jefferies will be working hard over the next four months to build connections with Indigenous businesses and Indigenous community organisations across the central and far west regions to encourage maximum participation in the Dubbo pop up hub 28August – 1 September at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre.

If you’re an Indigenous business or you know one, please send us an email at and we will get in touch!

Tickets are now available for this event, secure your place by registering now!

Experts to present program

Each pop up hub will feature a locally tailored program to enable Indigenous entrepreneurs and the youth in regional NSW communities to participate in master classes, practical workshops, youth programs and innovation expos. The program has been carefully developed by Dr Michelle Evans and will be delivered by teaching faculty from Charles Sturt University, Melbourne Business School and most importantly by successful Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs.

Each program kicks off on Monday morning with a launch and panel session featuring Indigenous entrepreneurs sharing their business journey and talking about handy hints for start-up and emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs. The program features sessions on Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP), Business Strategy, Recruiting and Managing people, Digital Marketing, legal issues for small businesses and what capital products Indigenous entrepreneurs may need at different stages of the business life cycle.

Bree Jeffries (CSU), Georgia Cordukes (33 Creative), Dr Michelle Evans (CSU) and Mayrah Sonter (33 Creative) make up the Walan Mayinygu team

Walan Mayinygu Launch


Walan Mayinygu was launched at the Retro Youth Café in Albury on April 5 by Charles Sturt University (CSU)’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mary Kelly, the NSW Department of Industry representative, Helen Palmer and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA)’s Senior Manager of Enterprises Program, Faysal Fassi.

Over 55 people attended the launch, including local members, CSU staff and local Indigenous entrepreneurs where Dr Michelle Evans addressed the audience with the programs’ goals and how she aims to further nurture Indigenous business across New South Wales in 2017/2018 with the four Indigenous Pop Up Hub programs. 

Walan Mayinygu, one of three entrepreneurship incubators at CSU, is supported under the Department of Industry’s Boosting Business Innovation Program which is providing $12 million to the state’s 11 universities and the CSIRO to collaborate with businesses to drive innovation and economic growth across New South Wales.
Aunty Nancy Rourke gave a moving Welcome to Country and a video from Uncle Stan Grant Snr was played as he explained the Wiradjuri meaning behind the words Walan Mayinygu “strong for people” and how it is important for Indigenous people to be “strong” within their communities.

The program aims to inspire and engage with Indigenous Entrepreneurs at all stages of the business journey by offering workshops, master classes and opportunities to pitch their individual business ideas through a pitching evening and networking events with the help of successful Indigenous business people, other private organisations and Dr Evans’ colleagues from both CSU and Melbourne Business School.

With such a successful and positive response within the community from the launch. The Walan Mayinygu team are excited to launch each pop up over the next 12 months in Dubbo, Albury, Port Macquarie and Lismore.
Uncle Stan Grant Snr talks about the meaning behind Walan Mayinygu
Bree pictured with Andrew Clarke from Indigenous Business Australia at Supply Nation Connect 2017

Bree talks Walan Mayinygu at Connect 2017!

I attended my first Supply Nation Connect trade show last Thursday and woah was it incredible, moving, and not to mention inspiring. There were so many innovative Indigenous professionals in one giant conference hall networking, promoting and selling their product and/or services.

I teamed up with the informative and knowledgeable Georgia from 33 Creative and walked up and down the isles filled with stalls of hundreds of Indigenous businesses handing out Walan Mayinygu business cards and spreading the word of the program. To some, they knew exactly what the Indigenous Pop Up hub program was and what we are trying to achieve, and to others, it was like we were music to their ears, their saving grace… It was like they had been waiting for this and are now are able to make the most of the opportunity.

I was also fortunate to be able to connect with several members of the MURRA Alumni community who are excited and want to be a part of Walan Mayinygu at one or more of the pop ups.

There were creative agencies, cleaning companies, office product services, print businesses, sportswear companies, beauty products, consultancy firms, the banks, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Indigenous Business Australia… the list goes on, it was unreal.

My bag was also getting heavier by the minute. I collected a stack of business cards, met truly inspiring people, heard from entrepreneurs from several sectors, entered in lucky door raffles and filled my bag up with so many goodies (even gluten free muesli) I couldn’t fit it in the overhead lockers on the flight home!
When I departed Sydney and returned to Wagga Wagga that night, I truly believe that the Indigenous Business community are excited and can’t wait to be a part of Walan Mayinygu in the very near future.

Bring on 2018!

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School of Management and Marketing
Charles Sturt University
Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, ALBURY NSW 2640

Contact Number: (02) 6933 4849

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Walan Mayinygu · Charles Sturt University Boorooma Street · Wagga Wagga, Nsw 2650 · Australia

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