Interview - Dean Foley, Founder and CEO, Barayamal

Interview: Dean Foley, Founder and CEO, Barayamal
- June 2022


Barayamal Barayamal Facebook

First Nations Lottery


Aboriginal and Indigenous

The Media Man Group continues to interview some of the most switched on entrepreneurs in Australia and across the globe. Via our support of a range of entrepreneurial initiatives including for Aboriginal / Indigenous Australia, we are delighted to make the acquaintance of Dean Foley of Barayamal, including the celebrated First Nations Lottery, which is currently undergoing solid growth. Read on for an overview of some of the story by this unique, driven and talented Aussie.


1. What's you main background in life to the point you are enjoying now?

From humble beginnings growing up within the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah, rural NSW to serving 5-years in the Royal Australian Air Force, Dean eventually founded the first Indigenous Accelerator program, Barayamal - now known as a world leader in Indigenous entrepreneurship. He was also involved in a startup (merger & acquisition deal) from the idea stage to raising $5 million. Dean believes that Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development will help close the disparity gap and make the world a better place for everyone.

2. In a nutshell, what is Barayamal all about?

Creating a better world through Indigenous entrepreneurship.

3. What's some of the key attributes of your organization that help you stand out from the pack?

Innovative nature - world’s first Indigenous business accelerator, hackathon (givebackathon) and Australia’s first Indigenous themed (charity) lotto.

4. How successful has the lottery been, both online and in the traditional way, and what's this we hear about an affiliate program?

The First Nations Lottery is 100% online and sales have been good for the first lotto. We’ve sold hundreds of raffle tickets through our social media channels and even though we haven’t sold thousands which was my goal, we’ve learnt a lot.

For example, we’ve launched the affiliate program but we haven’t made any sales through them so the plan is to continue reaching out to potential partners who have an audience to whom they can promote our lotteries and make sales.

5. Do you have any mentors, and if so, who and why?

When I just left the Air Force, I reached out to people for mentorship but I wouldn’t say I have official mentors at this time. More of a feedback circle of colleagues who help out, and I prefer ‘mentors’ who don’t mind getting their ‘hands dirty’, instead of just giving verbal opinions.

6. What's your motto?

Community-first, continuous improvement and play the long game.

7, Where are you currently based, and how does the internet help break down traditional barriers?
Gunnedah, rural NSW.

Yes - from a workplace perspective, the COVID-19 lockdowns were good because they forced society (big business) to accept virtual meetings and work.

In remote and rural areas internet connectivity and price isn’t the best, but in theory the internet can connect people to opportunities. The old motto of tiny towns being boring or not having anything to do (jobs, etc.) is an old mentality… now you can connect to the internet and the possibilities are endless.

8. . Biggest challenges overcome, and biggest victories?

Indigenous charity/business - access to capital. There’s a lot of talk about a lot of money going to Indigenous people, but if you need to look at where the money is allocated (government & non-Indigenous organisations).

Competing against the status quo despite limited resources. By being innovative and open-minded we’ve done things differently and we’ve achieved a lot more than others in the space, relatively speaking.

9. What's your main current focus and projects?

First Nations Lottery. I’ve paused most of our programs to focus on our lotto which will bankroll our projects and other community projects once it gets up and running. I created two Chrome extensions before the lottery launch which are still running in the background and anyone can access them, but everything else is on hold at the moment.

First Nations Art Exhibition

Daily Motivation - First Nations Quotes

10. What's your vision of an ideal Australia?

A system that gives everyone a fair go, which isn’t foundationally corrupted and controlled by those with the most money, and for Australia to be operating on a system that respects First Nations' international rights to self-determination.


Ed: One of Australia's most unique entrepreneurs who continues to beat the odds while making historic gains for First Nations and Aboriginal Australia and Australia as one. We know we will be hearing of many more successes from Dean and his team over the years. A public well done to the Barayamal and First Nations Lottery team. And remember, you've got to be in it to win it. Consider buying a swag of lottery tickets today which will go towards helping make Australia Great Again. Australia as one.




Barayamal wins Media Man 'Social and Community Entrepreneur Of The Month' award