Training springboard for Indigenous entrepreneurs

Published:13 July 2020

CQUniversity and Arrow Energy today launched a tailor-made training program for Queensland’s Indigenous entrepreneurs – Whanu Binal.

Created for Indigenous entrepreneurs, executives, managers and Traditional Owners, Whanu Binal offers a virtual yarning space, Indigenous learning styles, experienced mentors, and networking with peers and business accelerator organisations.

Participants will be supported to custom-build their own portfolio as they take their enterprise or business concept to the next level over a 22-week period.

Although the partnership with CQU is new, Arrow Energy has run Whanu Binal in various forms since 2013, to support Indigenous businesses and individual workers in its operational footprint.

“Participants will have the best mix of virtual workshops, mentoring sessions and online learning,” said CQUniversity Vice-President, Academic, Professor Helen Huntly.

“They will have great support from our diverse stakeholder and teaching team as well as mentors who have a great track record in their chosen fields.

“We are mapping our program to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and we are adopting the core elements of Indigenous pedagogies to ensure application of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ way of learning, teaching, critical reflection and passing on of knowledge.”

Deputy Vice-President Indigenous Engagement Professor Adrian Miller thanked Arrow Energy for their support of the project.

“I fully support this project as it provides huge potential for Indigenous business and leadership development,” Prof Miller said.

“The program has embedded specific Indigenous curriculum and content, developed by a fantastic project team and academic teaching staff.”

Leisa Elder, Arrow’s Vice President External Relations and Tenure Management, said Whanu Binal had positive flow-on effects for industry and Indigenous communities.

“Through the years, we’ve had Whanu Binal participants go on to contract to Arrow and to work in the wider Queensland resources industry,” she said.

“It has been a double-edged benefit – to us and to the participants.

“We’ve evolved the program as needs have changed and are confident that CQUniversity’s approach will deliver what is needed in 2020, including their long-established online delivery methods.

“I am really looking forward to seeing more great outcomes for Indigenous people from our work together with CQUniversity.”

The program not only enables participants to access content anytime, anywhere on any device, but also to build a professional support network.

In collaboration with CQU and Arrow, closed media pages enable mentoring to be approached in an innovative environment to cater to current travel restrictions.

The use of a virtual ‘yarning circle’ will support both learning and development of entrepreneurial ‘know how’.

Whanu Binal is open to Indigenous current business owners or those who have a business idea to develop.

People can apply by submitting an expression of interest via or by emailing .

Mentors are also being sought for the program from CQU’s Indigenous alumni. Please contact for more information.