top of page

UQ and Baidam: 
A shared First Nations vision

The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions, supporting over 55,000 students annually and employing nearly 7,500 full-time staff.

Dr David Stockdale is the university's Director of Cyber Security (CISO). He’s also the Director of AusCERT – Australia's leading not-for-profit cyber emergency response team and part of the UQ organisation. AusCERT provides services to over 500 member organisations and runs the oldest and largest cybersecurity conference in the southern hemisphere.

A remarkable ethos

The AusCERT conference in 2019 was Dr Stockdale’s introduction to Baidam. “We get many wonderful speaker submissions for the conference, so many we can’t fit them all in,” says Dr Stockdale, “but Baidam stood out for their remarkable ethos.”

While there wasn’t room on the agenda for Baidam at that time, Dr Stockdale and his team were impressed with what they were trying to achieve and why. “What Baidam planned to do with their profits – investing a significant amount back into opening cybersecurity career doorways for First Nations people - really cut through.”

I thought their vision was powerful in its focus – and it resonated with what we as an organisation actively invest in and support. They have the same passion as UQ for advancing opportunities for First Nations people.” 

Showcasing profit-with-purpose

Keen to engage with one another, the two organisations organised an AusCERT event hosted by UQ and timed to align with NAIDOC Week.

“The event was designed to highlight Baidam and their commitment to profit-with-purpose. Attendees included representatives of the Queensland Government and companies from Southeast Queensland. Our team organised a Welcome to Country ceremony performed by an Aboriginal Elder, which included singing, dancing, and a smoking ceremony.”  

“Baidam actively engaged with our senior management group, all of whom were keen to meet them due to their capability in the ICT space and commitment to Indigenous outcomes in the local community.” 

A game-changing endowment 

The interactions between the like-minded organisations became a catalyst for creating the Baidam permanent scholarship with UQ in 2020 to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in information technology and STEM disciplines.

The endowment was a first from an Indigenous-owned business for the university and acclaimed by UQ’s pro-vice-chancellor for Indigenous engagement, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, who said it would ‘create game-changing opportunities for our students.’ 

A non-traditional approach

In many ways, the relationship between UQ and Baidam unfolded in reverse.

“Unlike a traditional supplier relationship that begins with business transactions and builds from there, our partnership with Baidam developed the other way around,” says Dr Stockdale. “We started wanting to do good together for First Nations people, and the business relationship evolved out of that shared purpose and a desire to support their mission.”

While the business relationship between UQ and Baidam started on a client-reseller basis, it evolved to include the introduction of significant new vendor technologies, including Tenable’s vulnerability management platform, in 2020.

Baidam has gone from being a channel partner to also providing a range of cybersecurity services – from penetration testing to email user awareness training,” says Dr Stockdale.

More than box-ticking

“We’ve also encouraged the multinationals to support Baidam as our preferred channel partner to help amplify their ability to deliver change,” says Dr Stockdale. “The reality is that the more successful Baidam is, the more money they can return to their First Nations initiatives.” 

“The University of Queensland is a sizeable Australian organisation, and we try to put our weight behind initiatives that we support and believe in. Working with and advocating for Supply Nation companies like Baidam is more than a box-ticking exercise for us. We choose to use Baidam because we believe in what they are doing. Yes, it satisfies our (Stretch) RAP goals, but critically, it’s because they’re an organisation determined to forge new career pathways and create role models for Indigenous peoples outside of the sports world.” 

A unique mission, a quality service

“Baidam invests in their relationships, not just to achieve their mission, but because of who they are as individuals,” says Dr Stockdale. “They naturally attract good people who are easy to connect with. While we appreciate our wonderful relationship with them, it’s backed up with a highly proactive, quality service.”

“We believe in what Baidam are trying to achieve and that they are unique, genuine and sincere in their determination to effect change.” 

bottom of page