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Indigenous army veteran seeks to take his cybersecurity startup public as Australia’s first publicly listed Aboriginal company

An Australian Indigenous Army veteran who has built a successful tech startup over the past six years has built a cybersecurity company with ambitions to one day launch it on the ASX.

Kieran Hynes is a Newcastle-area Worimi man who spent 13 years as an army officer, dealing with military technology, from communications to satellite systems and classified systems design. He holds an MSc in Science and Computer Science and is Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. After leaving the military, he spent more than a decade in IT and cybersecurity with large companies such as Telstra, Fujitsu, IBM and Dell.

Hynes founded the technology company Willyama Services in 2016 and this week launched the subsidiary Willyama Cyber, with ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, opens its headquarters in Canberra this week.

Willyama is a Defense Industry Security Program (DISP) Cyber ​​Provider, providing mission-critical cybersecurity services to defense and the broader defense industry supply chain.

It now has over 50 staff, with offices in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and Hynes is committed to providing training opportunities to young indigenous people, who are severely underrepresented among IT graduates.

“Williama was able to help by providing real jobs, culturally sensitive mentoring and training opportunities to enable their successful future in our industry,” he said.

“Many veterans struggle to make the transition from military to civilian careers, especially those who entered at an early age and Indigenous people are severely underrepresented in the IT industry, so I trained Willyama to try to support both groups.

Willyama Services are dedicated to Indigenous employment opportunities, while supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses. This will not change.

Hynes, Willyama CEO of Services, said he wanted to separate the two businesses under the Willyama brand to provide more defined offerings to customers and the Indigenous community.

“While spinning Willyama Cyber, we will be have a business that will be focus solely on improving Australia’s resilience and security posture with cybersecurity expertise drawing on Indigenous and veteran workforce and influence,” he said .

“We are providing increasing levels of support to Australian organizations and those wishing to operate in the Australian market by offering our cyber protection and classified information management offerings.”

Speaking to Startup Daily today, Hynes said his ambition for the company is to take it all the way to an IPO.

“Willyama Cyber ​​has already secured the largest cybersecurity defense contract and the intention is to expand it so that we are the national leader in the field,” he said.

“And ideally, create the first ASX-listed indigenous company.”

Chief Minister Barr said the territory was delighted with the company’s growth and was focusing its success on creating jobs for Indigenous Australians, creating more than 15 Indigenous jobs.

“Congratulation to Willyama Services on launching their new e-business in one of our fastest growing industry sectors. It is great to see a company committed to job creation, especially for members of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” he said.

In 2021, Willyama launched the Indigenous Business Precinct in Canberra, which is now home to several Indigenous businesses, including Indigenous creative agency – IB.Creative.

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