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"To do business does not mean you lose your cultural identity" - Christian Lugnan

‘The language of business is now the language that is listened to in many places’ - Vice Chancellor Jane den Hollander.

Chaired by Dr Luisa Lombardi, Deakin Business School (DBS) recently hosted its 2016 Indigenous Accounting and Business Conference.

During the two-day conference, the language of business was the key notion that underpinned the conference’s theme of “Cultural Inclusion in Business”.

In her keynote speech, Amanda Young, CEO of First Nations Foundation, explained that many Indigenous people ask:  ‘how do I prosper in modern Australia without compromising my community?’

This theme was followed by Christian Lugnan, Regional Manager, Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations who said that ‘language captures all elements of culture.’

He explained that ideology of corporate culture allows a business to operate, grow and develop its own identity and that language was particularly important to Indigenous culture.

‘To do business does not mean you lose your cultural identity,’ he said.

This was a concept that could – and should – be included within the universal language of business said Professor Mark Rose, Executive Director, Office of Indigenous Strategy and Education at La Trobe University.

‘Indigenous people have the mind and spirituality for business. In the West, knowledge is transactional but for us it’s relational,’ he explained.

Professor Rose added that, further to the idea of corporate culture lending and learning from Indigenous culture, the innate entrepreneurial spirit can be taught and integrated through the inclusion of Indigenous Australians for the greater good of business language.

Representing the Department of Human Services, Phil Usher explained that, with the model of inter-tribe trade, the art of business exists within the very core of Indigenous culture.

‘You don’t live on the driest continent in the world for 60,000 years without being entrepreneurs,’ he reflected.

There is a wealth of untapped potential in this country, which can be accessed through the integration of a multi-cultural language of business.

As one member of the audience poignantly added, ‘it’s an education process and we need to bring everybody with us. At a family level, community level and at a corporate level.’ 

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