Kia Dowell

Chair of Gelganyem Trust

Kia Dowell is a Gija woman from Warmun Community (Turkey Creek) in the East Kimberley of Western Australia. Her traditional Aboriginal name is Wadjbarreyal and her skin name is Nangala.

Kia has over 15 years of national and international business and leadership experience and continues to work to strategically build models of cultural connection that lead to long-term transformation

Before becoming Head of Strategy and Innovation at Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) Kia co-founded a strategic advisory and consulting firm specialising in Indigenous led, co-designed and evaluated outcomes. She has worked with a global mining company implementing and monitoring the progress of Native Title Agreements in the East Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia where she also led innovative large-scale Cultural Education Training Programs with Traditional Owners, developed business opportunities with Aboriginal people, designed culturally appropriate strategies and policies and established a professional development exchange program that utilized professionals in local Aboriginal communities.

Kia has spent time with school, community and corporate audiences in the US, Vanuatu, Turkey, Mexico and across Australia sharing her experiences of cultural identity, resilience and the power of female leadership. Kia is a past participant of the Global Ambassadors Program, a partnership between Vital Voices and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a finalist in the 2016 AIMWA and The West Australian’s West Business Pinnacle Awards for Emerging Business Excellence, a 2015 Business News 40under40 Award Winner, holds her MBA in International Business from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and is an alumni of the Harvard Kennedy School (Executive Education). She also sits on the Tourism WA Commission.

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