CQUni alumnus Wayne provides an innovative voice for First Nations people

21 September 2021

CQUniversity alumnus Wayne Denning has come a long way since completing a Bachelor of Arts at CQUniversity and he's encouraging other First Nations innovators to follow in his footsteps.

Wayne' who belongs to the Birri Gubba people in North Queensland' is the man behind Carbon Creative' a Social Change Advertising Agency that was recently listed in the Australian Business Review's Top 100 Innovators in Australia.

"I was very humbled by the listing - it was unexpected' but something I am very proud of as both myself and my team at Carbon are very committed to using creative and innovative approaches to creating and supporting positive social change'" Wayne said.

Wayne said he started Carbon Creative in 2006 to give a positive voice to Indigenous Australians.

"I was determined to put together a team of creatives who could change hearts and minds through design' content and strategy'" he said.

"At Carbon' we believe in the power of ideas to do good. As a social change agency' we're committed to working with clients who are trying to tackle some of society's biggest issues and coming up with powerful and impactful campaigns to help them do what they do."

Wayne completed a Bachelor of Arts with CQUni in 1992 and he said his studies helped him forge his vision to tell First Nations stories.

"I have very fond memories of studying at CQUni. My time there laid the foundations for critical and creative thinking' which are very important in what we as a team are trying to achieve at Carbon Creative'" he said.

After he graduated and before Carbon Creative was born' Wayne pursued his passion for Indigenous voices to be heard as part of Native Title and Land Rights of Australia's First People's organisations.

"I was driven to support this pursuit and I was able to do this from within the Federal Government in Canberra' supporting the operations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights Native and Land Rights Based Organisations at a national level for the best part of 12 years'" he said.

"I have also had the privilege of being on numerous boards over the years' most recently as Deputy Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia."

With October being Indigenous Business Month Wayne gave some advice to up and coming First Nations entrepreneurs such as himself.

"Be authentic' stay humble and surround yourself with incredibly talented people with the support of your family and friends. They will help keep it real'" he said.

"Finally' back yourself' don't be afraid to take calculated risks or reinvent yourself.

"University is a must. It will give you the solid foundation and skills to build the towers of your life along with hard work and solid relationships."

To learn more about Wayne visit www.carbon-creative.com.au