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Calculating a pathway for Indigenous accountants  

[supplied by CDU]

Indigenous Pre-Accounting Enabling Program coordinator Dr Guzyal Hill, student Corrine Coombes and Northern Territory Treaty Commission director Steve Rossingh at the launch of the program. Image: supplied

A new Charles Darwin University initiative is set to significantly boost the number of Indigenous accountants working across the Northern Territory and Australia.

Launched at CDU’s Casuarina campus, the Indigenous Pre-Accounting Enabling Program has 16 Indigenous students enrolled from Borroloola, Alice Springs, Urapunga, Darwin and Sydney who will study with the dream of becoming qualified accountants. 

The program will see Indigenous accountants serving as role models to the students while Indigenous corporations and regulators of Indigenous businesses such as the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants will also be involved. 

These links will allow students to undertake introductory studies and build leadership skills, leading to further university education and formal qualifications in accounting.

Northern Territory Treaty Commission director Steve Rossingh is an Indigenous accountant who will act as a mentor in the program. 

“Accounting is yet another professional discipline that has a major underrepresentation by Indigenous Australians,” he said. 

“About 100 self-identified registered Indigenous accountants were working across Australia compared with around 200,000 non-Indigenous accountants. 

“The program’s aim is to increase the number of Indigenous accountants for Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations.  

“This will be achieved through using working Indigenous accountants as role models and showing students the amazing projects they can build with their professional skills.”

Indigenous Pre-Accounting Enabling Program coordinator Dr Guzyal Hill said she was hoping to secure more funding so additional intakes of the program can occur in the future.  

“We are trying to add as much value for students as we can to equip them with the financial literacy, digital literacy and academic skills that will help them on their journey to transforming into Indigenous accountants,” she said.  

“In the long term, these accountants of the future will help us connect better with the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities; bringing environmental, cultural and deep listening perspectives into profession. 

“In the short term, these students will improve their own employability and gain financial knowledge.” 

For more information about future intakes or to become involved contact Dr Hill (Guzyal.Hill@cdu.edu.au).

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