Disrupting the system for good

24-Sep-2018

Matthew Heffernan is developing a gaming app with elements of his Indigenous culture.

Matthew Heffernan is developing a gaming app with elements of his Indigenous culture.


Matthew Ngamurrari Heffernan is the inaugural winner of the Indigenous Information Technology Scholarship offered by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and CDU.

The endowed scholarship supports and showcases Indigenous achievement in IT studies at CDU.

Matthew said the $5000 scholarship would greatly help his studies and was another step in breaking down the barriers.

He said information technology was a disrupter and a dynamic way to create change.

“You look at Uber and the taxi industry,” he said. “It’s the same thing; I want to use IT to disrupt the system and implement positive changes in Indigenous outcomes.

“The way Indigenous people are currently serviced needs disruption. There are solutions in IT.”

When asked to describe his perfect future, Matthew said he wanted to be the “next Bill Gates” and a philanthropist.

“But failing that, I just love IT and want my own business where I can mentor and employ Indigenous people in this area.”

With Indigenous ancestry from Papunya and the surrounding Western Desert area, Matthew is developing an Indigenous gaming application showcasing elements of his culture.

“What I’m hoping to do is use my education at CDU to promote subjects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to young Indigenous people.”

Matthew said computers and applications were a tangible and visceral way of seeing science and technology in one package.