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Blogs and Op-Eds by the Youth Co:lab team and contributors from our extensive network of changemakers. 

  • Writer's pictureYouth Co:Lab

Innovation Rooted in Aboriginal Heritage: A Message on Youth-led Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Youth Co:lab alumna Skye Hunter an Aboriginal Taungurung woman from the Kulin Nation, and Founder of Ganbu Country delivered the opening remarks at the Youth Co:Lab Summit 2023, held at United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

This is an excerpt from her speech.

Skye Hunter giving her speech during the Youth Co:Lab Summit Opening

"In my personal journey, Ganbu Country was born out of a simple desire for healing and connection to the land. Inspired by members of my own family and community who have fought hard to protect and pass down our lands, our culture, and our values. We started making skincare products that blend traditional Aboriginal knowledge with modern science, honouring our heritage and nourishing the skin. However, I lacked the knowledge of how to start a business.

Skye doing field work for Ganbu Country

Through the DreamVenture Masterclass with Minderoo and Youth Co:Lab Australia and other programs SproutX s Agtech pre accelerator, Youth Co:Lab's Springboard Accelerator and the Citi Business Consulting Mentorship for Young Social Entrepreneurs we gained essential business skills, mentorship, and access to invaluable resources. These experiences propelled Ganbu Country forward, allowing us to establish our native skincare brand, begin to integrate land restoration and agriculture, and make a meaningful impact.

Through Ganbu Country, we are transforming the skincare industry by blending ancestral knowledge, sustainability, and cultural heritage. We are building a multifaceted solution that involves land restoration, regenerative produce, and community empowerment. Together, we aim to nurture the land, create regenerative skincare products, and uplift the voices of our community.

In sharing our story, I want to emphasize that each of you, sitting here today, represents a pivotal moment in time. We find ourselves in an era where our voices, perspectives, and experiences are finally being heard and valued. It is a tremendous accomplishment and a cause for celebration.

Ganbu Country Serums the startup showcase booth

For far too long, our communities have been marginalized and overlooked. Our stories, our struggles, and our aspirations have often been silenced. But now, as we gather in this Summit, we are witnessing a transformation—a turning point where our collective voices are gaining the recognition they deserve.

This new found recognition brings with it great opportunity. We have the chance to shape the narrative, to break down barriers, and to create a future where our communities thrive. We are no longer voiceless; we are empowered to speak up, share our insights, and advocate for the needs of our diverse communities.

However, we must also acknowledge that our work is not without challenges. While our voices are being heard, we still face barriers and obstacles along the way. We are still uncovering the depth and complexity of what our communities truly need after generations of being marginalized.

This process requires open dialogue, active listening, and a commitment to understanding the nuances of our respective communities to truly represent the diversity they hold.

As we engage in discussions and collaborations during this summit, let us celebrate the progress we have made in having our voices heard and valued. Let us also recognize the work that lies ahead as we navigate the path towards a more inclusive and equitable future. Together, we can overcome the barriers that still exist and continue to amplify the voices of those who have been marginalized for far too long.

Skye Hunter giving her speech in the United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok, Thailand

In our collective efforts, let us foster an environment of empathy, respect, and understanding. By listening to one another's stories and sharing our experiences, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the challenges and triumphs that define our communities. Through this shared understanding, we can work together to create impactful solutions that address the needs of all.

Thank you for being here, for lending your voice, and for joining me in this journey of empowerment and positive change. Together, let us embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, as we work towards a more inclusive, equitable, and just world for all. Ngun Godjin, thank you."


About Youth Co:Lab Summit 2023

The Youth Co:Lab Summit 2023 hosted at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, by Citi Foundation and UNDP, held in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Commonwealth Secretariat, CVC Capital Partners, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsBD), was a platform that fostered a community which collaborates to strengthen and future-proof the entrepreneurship systems across Asia and the Pacific region.

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