- In 2008, only 29% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in major cities had completed Year 12.
- That statistic inspired Sarah Hyland CA to explore how businesses could help Indigenous Australians.
- She set up Together Business in Darwin to make honouring people, the planet and profit “business as usual”.
By Sarah Hyland CA
While attending UNSW’s Nura Gili winter school program in 2008, I discovered a jarring statistic that lit a fire in my belly – just 29% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in major cities had completed Year 12, and only 20% in regional areas. From that moment, I knew I wanted to skew those statistics, go to university, and explore ways in which business could support Indigenous Australia.
After graduating from UNSW in 2013 with a Bachelor of Commerce, I joined Indigenous Accountants Australia, which promotes accountancy careers to Indigenous students. At the time, there were fewer than 25 Indigenous people fully qualified as accountants in Australia (today, there are 70). I worked in tax at Crowe Horwath in Brisbane and KPMG Darwin and completed much of my CA qualification in this time.
In August 2017, I joined Spark Strategy, a social impact consultancy. I worked with not-for-profits to improve their financial sustainability and amplify their social impact.
In 2018, I gave birth to my son, Huey, the strongest, most energetic spirit I have ever known. He continues to be the biggest, yet most rewarding challenge in my life. I have him to thank for feeling like I can take on absolutely anything professionally.
The vision for Together Business is to influence business owners to adopt cultures, systems and processes that create accountability for our collective future success. To me, this means honouring people, purpose, planet and profit as “business as usual”. We should be demanding a much higher level of consciousness and authenticity from people and organisations than we currently do.
I knew if I was going to go back to work after having Huey, I wanted it to be my dream job; one where I could use my business skills to empower others and contribute to a better future. After attending a Futures Forum on Indigenous business models, I decided to create this dream job for myself and founded Together Business in July 2019.
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