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24 June, 2021

Local leader in new Indigenous MBA program

FAR northern local Karl Briscoe, a proud Kuku Yalanji man and successful business leader, is one of 14 students to enrol in Australia’s first Indigenous-focused Master of Indigenous Business Leadership at Monash University.

Karl Briscoe (back row sixth from left) is in the first cohort of students to study the Master of Indigenous Business Leadership at Monash University.

As CEO of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners (NAATSIHWP), Mr Briscoe advocates for the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce in closing the Indigenous health outcomes gap.

He said he wanted to learn how to be an even more effective Indigenous leader so he could optimise NAATSIHWA’s ability to influence and progress Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ economic futures.

Through the program, he will connect with a national network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business Leaders all seeking to enhance their leadership skills with their communities.

Mr Briscoe said he chose the Monash Masters of Indigenous Business Leadership over a regular MBA degree because of its up-to-date relevance to his work.

“I was very picky in selecting a course. I looked through the modules of courses on offer to make sure I was able to really apply those learnings back into my organisation and into my future career,” he said.

“The course is on the cusp of Aboriginal terms of reference of how we do business with organisations and includes the latest, evidence-based research. That’s really one of the major differences between a mainstream MBA and what we’re doing.”

Professor Jacinta Elston, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) and Head of the William Cooper Institute, said Monash had the longest history of engagement in Indigenous higher education in Australia.

“We’re proud of this legacy, but we knew we could do more. We recognised many Indigenous leaders have had very limited opportunities to engage in formal education and business training,” Professor Elston said.

“As a result, we created the Master of Indigenous Business Leadership to cultivate the next generation of Indigenous business leaders to shape Australia’s public, private and community sectors.”

The Master’s program takes the core elements of a traditional MBA, tailors it for leading as an Indigenous person, and is delivered face-to-face in intensive mode, allowing students to participate without interrupting their jobs, family or communities for long periods of time.

Over the next decade, the program aims to empower hundreds of Indigenous business leaders with postgraduate qualifications to help them make a positive difference in Indigenous communities.

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