Goanna Solutions is a digital company making change and offering training and opportunities for First Nations people
When Corey Brown, a proud Gamilaraay and Dunghutti man, launched Goanna Solutions in 2018, he wanted to break a cycle and make digital technologies, and the skills required to get a job in the field, available to everyone. His motivation? To close the gap on access to the digital world for First Nations people and communities.
Indigenous Australians have been innovating for over 60,000 years, but, “there is a huge underrepresentation of Indigenous people in technology,” Corey says.
Corey’s first foray into tech was tinkering with the OG mobile phones while he was at high school in Coonabarabran. After finishing Year 12, he moved to Sydney and tried out a few jobs. But football called and he took up an opportunity to play for a feeder team to the NRL, based in Newcastle, where the club got him a job in the mines.
It was during a fly-in, fly-out job based in Western Australia’s Pilbara region that Corey started to hatch his plan for Goanna. Today, the company specialises in IT solutions and support, helping clients with digital integration, data performance and security. It also offers a framework for opportunities in education, training and job success in the STEM arena for Indigenous Australians.
Corey says it’s essential First Nations people have a place in technology and the opportunity to “learn on Country and earn on Country”. With the expansion into Goanna Education – a new arm of Goanna Solutions (see breakout) – “the sky’s the limit,” Corey says. “You can be anywhere in Australia as long as you’ve got a good connection – and if not, we can help with that!”
What’s in a name?
Corey named his company after himself. Yep, Goanna is a nod to his traditional totem and a nickname he was given by one of the Elders in his community while he was growing up.
With a 75% success rate for students finding employment after completing their 12 to 24 week courses, Goanna Education is doing something right! Courses give students a kickstart in areas such as data analytics, IT, cloud engineering and programming.
Corey’s study and career path
- Certificate IV, TAFE NSW
- Belt maintenance, ConvaTech
- Aboriginal Enterprises Development Officer, NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce
- Board Director, Goanna Group
- NSW Indigenous Procurement Specialist, GHD
This profile first appeared in Careers with STEM: Technology 2023.
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Author: Pippa Duffy
Refraction Media’s Deputy Editor, Pippa has a passion for sharing cool, interesting information and spreading the STEM message.