An Indigenous Army veteran aims to list his cybersecurity startup as Australia’s first publicly traded Aboriginal company

A veteran of the Indigenous Australian Army who has built a successful tech startup over the past six years, has founded a cybersecurity company with aspirations of launching it on the ASX one day.

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

Hynes founded the technology company willyama Services in 2016 and the subsidiary launched this week willyama Cyber, with ACT chief Andrew Barr, is opening its headquarters in Canberra this week.

willyama is a cyber provider of the Defense Industry Security Program (DISP), which provides critical cybersecurity services to Defense and the wider defense industry supply chain.

Now with over 50 staff, with offices in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, Hynes is committed to providing training opportunities to young Indigenous people, who are severely under-represented among IT graduates.

“Willyama has been able to help by providing real jobs, culturally sensitive mentoring and training opportunities to enable their prosperous future in our industry,” he said.

“Many veterans find it difficult to transition from military to civilian careers, especially those who entered at a young age and Indigenous people are highly underrepresented in the IT sector, so I willyama try to support both groups.

willyama Services focuses on Indigenous employment while supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses. This will not change.”

hynes, willyama Services CEO, said he wanted to separate the two companies under the willyama brand to provide more defined offerings for customers and the indigenous community.

“By turning away willyama Cyber, we shall have a business that shall focus solely on enhancing Australia’s resilience and security posture with cybersecurity expertise, leveraging indigenous and experienced workforces and influence,” he said.

“We are increasingly supporting Australian organizations and those seeking to operate in the Australian market through our cybersecurity and classified information management offerings.”

Speaking to the Startup Daily show today, Hynes said his ambition for the company is to make it all the way public.

“Willyama Cyber ​​already has the largest defense cybersecurity contract and the goal is to grow that so we are the national leader in space,” he said.

“And ideally create the first native company on the ASX fair.”

Chief Minister Barr said the area welcomed the company’s growth and their success focused on creating jobs for Indigenous Australians, creating more than 15 Indigenous jobs.

“Congratulations to willyama Services at the launch of their new cyber business in one of our fastest growing industry sectors. It’s great to see a company committed to creating jobs, especially those within our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” he said.

in 2021, willyama launched the Indigenous Business Precinct in Canberra, which now houses several Indigenous businesses, including the Indigenous creative agency IB.Creative.