Yamatji man’s technology studies boosted by Indigenous-owned IT business

9 August 2021

A University of Queensland commerce and IT student’s path to becoming a business analyst has been boosted thanks to scholarship support from Baidam Solutions – an Indigenous-owned Supply Nation-certified Information Technology business.

Yamatji man Denzel Strauss is the inaugural recipient of the Baidam Indigenous Scholarship, which offers networking and career guidance, as well as at least $4500 in financial backing.

Denzel Strauss (in foreground) at his scholarship presentation with Baidam Solutions staff, including CEO Phillip (Pip) Jenkinson (kneeling in second row).

“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,” Mr Strauss said.

“Along with early guidance and the potential of tutorial support from UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, it has certainly helped me settle into my studies.”

He said he hoped to explore a wide range of career paths in the IT sector but was particularly focused on the field of business analytics.

The Baidam Solutions annual scholarship aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at UQ, with a particular focus on information technology and STEM disciplines.

This is UQ’s first endowment from an Indigenous-owned business and it has been met with enthusiasm by UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor (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," Professor 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.

"Together we can create change for a better world for Indigenous Australians and for all Australians.”

As part of its business model, Baidam Solutions is committed to create training opportunities and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the Baidam Initiative program.

Baidam Solutions chief executive officer Pip Jenkinson said the company hoped the UQ-based scholarship would ensure greater access to higher education for Indigenous Australians.

“We are absolutely delighted to present this scholarship - an achievement that the whole information and communications technology industry can be proud of,” Ms Jenkinson 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.”

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