Keynote Speaker

Dion Devow

Dion Devow is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Man and father of 3. He was born and raised in Darwin and moved to Canberra in 1994 to attend university. After graduating in 1994 with a bachelors degree in Health Education, he decided to stay.

On his father’s side Dion is a Manbarra who are Traditional Owners of the Palm Island Group. His mother's people are from Darnley Island in the Torres Strait. He has worked in Indigenous affairs for over 20 years in the areas of Indigenous health, education, justice and business.

Dion's career has been built on helping his people and he has undertaken that by working as a conduit between Indigenous and non Indigenous peoples, and in the process has been able to bring people of all nationalities together.

Dion was the 2018 ACT Australian of the Year. He was awarded this honour due to his outstanding service to the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Business community. Five years ago, Dion established two programs to encourage the establishment and mentoring of Indigenous small business. These programs provide training in business fundamentals, extend to Digital Marketing and all in between. Dion is the ACT representative of the Indigenous Business Council of Australia.

Dion is a fluent and highly experienced communicator able to convey ideas, concepts and strategies to all strata of society and the Public and Private sectors. He has built positive relationships with Senior Executive service officers and, during the Australian of the Year selection process he extended this to conversations and formal dining with the Prime Minister and Governor General. He is able to engage local Indigenous communities, particularly in the provision of government services and innovation and transformation programs. Dion regularly provides his expertise to communities and most recently provided expert advice to a Northern Territory Innovation centre. This included meetings with senior Darwin business people, indigenous business owners and Northern Territory government officials.

He has established several businesses in varied fields including a Business Consulting and ICT company, building on his experience as the Managing Director of a small IT firm. Dion has strong business skills with extensive experience as a negotiator and arbitrator