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WYATT ROY: Australia needs to ditch the tall poppy syndrome

Wyatt Roy at the GQ awards. Caroline McCredie/Getty

Australians must learn to celebrate success as part of encouraging a more entrepreneurial culture, says Wyatt Roy the Assistant Minister for Innovation, back from a study trip in Israel.

In an interview with The Australian, Roy said there was a lot to learn from the Israeli innovation ecosystem.

“We should not allow us to fall into the tall poppy syndrome which can drag us down,” he said.

“We need all elements of our society to celebrate our successful entrepreneurs, which will help drive cultural change in our society.”

Israel and Australia are very similar, says Roy. With small, but well educated populations. The two countries also share an “anti-authoritarianism”, which is a driver of entrepreneurialism.

“When you are not afraid to challenge authority, it drives a more entrepreneurial mindset, a more aspirational and egalitarian mindset,” Roy said.

But in order to foster that entrepreneurialism, Australia needs to encourage it culturally and with regulation.

The interview came as Roy officially presents the results of last month’s Policy Hack. The ten solutions include tax initiatives to encourage R&D and foreign capital, opening up government data for entrepreneurs, and the creation of an entrepreneur program for kids.

The intiatives will be taken to the appropriate Ministers and departments for consultation and implementation. Although some of the proposals have already been acted upon. The federal government has partnered with Pollenizer to encourage startups using government data.

The government’s digital transformation office has is finally up and running and working on opening up government to startups.

You can read more of Roy’s interview at The Australian.

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