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Innovation in the desert.

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Media Release


14 October 2003

The secrets of success for outback businesses were revealed today with the launch of the Desert Knowledge Australia website, Innovation in the Desert - Telling the Stories.

In launching the website which linked people from Alice Springs, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Broken Hill and Canberra, Australian Government Science Minister Peter McGauran said it was an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to establish or expand a business in our outback regions.

“This website offers first-hand experiences and lessons of successful outback businesses in Australia,” Mr McGauran said.

“The information freely available on this website will help build businesses and consequently employment in the parts of Australia that need it most.”

The website is the result of a pilot project, conducted by CSIRO’s Sustainable Ecosystems and supported by Desert Knowledge Australia - a partnership between Government, Australian desert industries and Aboriginal organisations. It profiles two desert businesses, LittleFish-Pangaea and Diab Engineering.

LittleFish is a small business in Alice Springs that works with remote Aboriginal communities to present complex financial reports as simple graphics, making them easier to understand for those without much business experience. Diab Engineering is a Geraldton based business that services the mining industry in remote


Mr McGauran said these two profiles were the beginning of many more which would feature on the Desert Knowledge Australia website.

“The second stage of the project will include 15 to 20 more stories on thriving desert businesses and demonstrations of online tools that will make possible the sharing of business knowledge,” Mr McGauran said.

For more information about Innovation in the Desert - Telling the Stories contact Vanessa Chewings (CSIRO) on 0400 252 844 or Mike Crowe (Desert Knowledge Australia) on 0411 114 266.

Innovation in the Desert-Telling the Stories can be found at

Further information: Fiona McDonald (Minister McGauran’s office) 02 6277 7440 or 0419 622 915