Blacademics Limited is an Australian Social Enterprise established as a Not for Profit company in 2015.
We aim to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to confidently navigate their way to and through university by providing helpful information and listing inspiring opportunities online.
Developed by Macquarie University graduate Kat Henaway, Blacademics began as a university project way back in 2011. Over the past few years, Kat has connected with hundreds of university students, future students and alumni and has developed Blacademics with the generous support of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, the Mary Mackillop Foundation and Latch Web Design.
Our Inaugural Board of Directors is made up of Indigenous university graduates with a passion to help the next generation of tertiary educated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. All of our board members have worked with Indigenous university students in some capacity, including lecturing Indigenous university students, managing Indigenous corporate internships, supporting Indigenous students at university as well as mentoring and tutoring students. Our collective experiences of graduating from universities and working with and supporting Indigenous students will enable us to create culturally sensitive, technology based solutions for our current and future students and alumni.
2015 Inaugural Board Members
Kat Henaway graduated from Macquarie University with a Community Management degree. She hails from Kala Lagaw Ya (Moa) and Meriam Mir (Murray) in the Torres Straits as well as Germany and Scotland. Kat has over 20 years’ experience in administration, project and event management in multi-national finance, legal, insurance and telecoms firms as well as government and university organisations in Sydney, London, Edinburgh and Brighton UK .
Kat has also gained experience through her voluntary work supporting children in Camp Quality and Yasmar Juvenile Detention Centre as well as coordinating fundraising events for UN Women (Sydney) and UNAA (NSW). As a Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, Kat says “you’re never too old to educate or innovate”.
Yanti Ropeyarn (BComm) graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Management) from the University of NSW in 2014 after gaining exposure through the annual Nura Gili Winter School Program for Indigenous high school students. Yanti calls Injinoo home, a small remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Far North Cape York. She is a proud Angkamuthi, Yadhaykana, Woppaburra woman whose descendants and ties includes Batchulla (Fraser coast), Badu, Moa, German, Danish and Scottish. She spends much of her time visiting family and friends wherever she travels.
Inspired by her favourite quote “Education is the key” (Remote Area Teachers Education Program’s motto where her mum studied to be a teacher), Yanti is a passionate advocate for education, particularly when it comes to her people. She believes education is the key to a fruitful and purposeful life. If there is one saying that Yanti lives by, it is “Never Give Up”.
Adam Davids (BComm) is a proud Aboriginal man and graduate from the University of New South Wales where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Business Law and Marketing. In 2011, Adam joined CareerTrackers to support Indigenous University students develop professional and leadership skills while undertaking tertiary education. He has since served as a director on the board of organisations focussed on supporting the community such as Clovelly Community Bank, Kool Purple Kookas and Blacademics.
Bevan Cassady is a proud Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander man. Over the past 20 years, Bevan has developed his innate leadership skills in various roles as an Early Childhood Teacher, a University Lecturer for 10 years and more recently while managing security teams at major venues and events in Queensland. Bevan won the Neville Bonner Award for Outstanding Indigenous Teacher of the Year in the 2003 Australian Awards for University Teaching.
Bevan has extensive experience in People Management, Event Management, Behavioural Management, Early Childhood Development, Critical Analysis and Organisational Development. Currently studying a double degree in International Business and Event Management at Griffith University, Bevan aims to one day run his own business.
Brian Bero (LL.B.) is a Meriam (Torres Strait Islander) man and currently an in-house corporate lawyer at Oracle Corporation Australia. He has accumulated over 10 years experience in the legal profession in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. Brian has worked in public prosecutions, private firms, barrister chambers, the Federal Court of Australia, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, Supreme Court of Victoria as well as Qantas Airways. Brian has chaired the Ngayala Aboriginal Corporation of New South Wales and was Director of Collingwood Industrial Magpies, Director and Public Officer for the Indigenous Law Students and Lawyers Association of Victoria, Director of National Indigenous Lawyers Association of Australia and Director of Lagaw Kodo Mir Torres Strait Islander Corporation Resource and Culture Centre NSW.
Prior to legal work, Brian’s first career was as a Fitter and Turner working in the mining and shipping industries in Western Australia, Queensland and PNG for approximately 16 years. Brian is passionate about Indigenous corporate governance and socially responsible economic development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.