Dennis Foley

Professor Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Indigenous Entrepreneurship


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Professor Dennis Foley is a valued member of the Business Government and Law Faculty at the University of Canberra. Working at the university since January 2018. His main research focus is towards the emerging discipline of Indigenous enterprise and entrepreneurship. Dennis’ career within the tertiary education sector began researching an Indigenous Career and Employment strategy at Griffith University followed by the establishment of the first Australian Indigenous Degree program in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art. Several teaching appointments followed including teaching MBA, Indigenous Land-Use Management Practice at the University of Queensland, Business and Management courses at the Australian Catholic University, and teaching Humanities, Education and the Arts at the Universities of Queensland, Sydney, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Hawaii, as well as Financial and Strategic Management at Swinburne University.

Prior to joining the tertiary education sector, Dennis held middle to senior management positions within the banking and finance sector. Professor Foley is a Fulbright Scholar and dual Endeavour Fellow. His publications focus on social inclusion and cross disciples such as Indigenous Literature, Indigenous History, Indigenous Studies, Business Management (Entrepreneurship) and Indigenous Epistemology and Pedagogy. In a recent successful Australian Research Grant rejoinder Dr Foley was described by his examiners as:

“… Foley holds much credibility in this field. His contribution to the field of Australian Indigenous business and economic engagement is significant, and his personal knowledge of the field is very strong”.

“Outstanding: Of the highest quality and at the forefront of research activity in this space. Prof. Foley leads research in the space of Indigenous entrepreneurship and enterprise development in Australia”.

 “Professor Foley has done more than any other Australian researcher to develop the study of Indigenous businesses.”

Dennis identifies as Koori. His matrilineal connection is Gai-mariagal of northern Sydney, and his patrilineal connection is to the Wiradjuri people of the Turon River region. He is active within the Indigenous community and Indigenous business associations that includes the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. He has also received several ministerial appointments to state and federal Advisory Committees and currently researches in Canada, Ireland and across Aboriginal Australia.

Research interests

The following are Professor Foley's Core Reserach Interets: 

1) Indigenous business practices investigating leadership, management and the change process of the minority entrepreneur on their entry into business to try and understand motivators and inhibitors of successful minority entrepreneurs, to increase academic and societal understanding of minority entrepreneurship reviewing wealth creation - human capital and the construction of social capital in marginalized people

2) Indigenous Entrepreneurship

3) Social Investment & Social Enterprise

4) Indigenous Business Education

5) The maintenance of cultural heritage management within Indigenous tourism

6) Indigenous Epistemology

7) Indigenous Social Well-being

8) Aboriginal History of Sydney

9) Māori Tourism and Entrepreneurship

10) Native Hawaiian Entrepreneurship

11) The History of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise with Minority Peoples, and

12) The Socio-Economic Wellbeing, Racism and Enterprise development of Irish Travellers.

Related Links

Visting Scholarships:

2019    The University of Queensland, Honorary Professor Graduate School of Business, School of Business and Economics. 

2019    The Australian National University, Honorary Professor ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences. 

2016    CAEPR ANU. Indigenous Scholars Retreat and Symposium, September. 

2016    Visiting Indigenous Fellow: Office of PVC Student Advancement. Swinburne University of Technology. September. 

2015    Visiting Scholar: School of Business and Public Administration, First Nations University, Regina Canada, April-May. 

2015    Visiting Scholar, David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education & Research - University of South Australia.  

2014    Visiting Scholar: Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin Ireland, June. 

2014    Visiting Scholar: School of Business and Public Administration, First Nations University, Regina Canada, May. 

2012     Visiting Research Fellow CAEPR, The ANU 2012-15 

2011    Visiting Fellowship Dublin University of Technology, Dublin, Ireland 

2010    Visiting Scholar: Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management 
University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Sept. 

2008    Visiting Fellow, School Humanities Communications and Social Sciences, Monash University  

2006    Visiting Fellowship, College of Business and Economics, The ANU  

(n.b. 3rd competitive Post-Doctoral Fellowship at The ANU in 3 different disciplines Economics, Law & Anthropology), supervisor Assoc. Prof Boyd Hunter. 

2005    Inaugural Fellowship for graduating Indigenous PhDs at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, The ANU, supervisor Prof. Mick Dodson 

2005    Visiting Indigenous Fellowship, Centre for Aboriginal and Economic Policy Research, The ANU, supervisor Prof. Jon Altman 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Queensland


Award Date: 26 Nov 2004

Master, Griffith University Queensland


Award Date: 10 Jun 1999

Bachelor, Griffith University Queensland


Award Date: 20 Jun 1996

TAFE Queensland


Award Date: 1 Mar 1990

External positions

Indigenous Advisor, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

2017 → …

Member, Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

2013 → …

Editorial Board, Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand

2013 → …

Reviewer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

2010 → …

Founding Director, NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce

2009 → …

Editorial Board, Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues

2007 → …

Reviewer, Royal Society of New Zealand - Marsden Fund

2007 → …

Fellow, World Business Institute

2007 → …

Member, NSW Justices Association

1978 → …


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