CEO, Message Stick
Michael McLeod has been described by a senior Federal politician as one of Australia’s most valuable sons. Michael and his family are part of Australia’s stolen generations. At the age of two, Michael and his siblings were taken from their parents – never to be reunited as a family. Michael grew up on his own in State ward homes and foster homes. He first met his mother at his father’s funeral. By his mid-twenties, he was a chronic alcoholic and heroin addict.
By his early thirties Michael was homeless and living on the streets of Sydney. A successful rehabilitation program has seen Michael clean and sober for fifteen years. Michael didn’t want to be the typical Aboriginal man, dependent on Government social handouts or welfare. He refused employment benefits and Aboriginal housing benefits and chose to do it the hard way – he started his own niche telecommunications business. Today Message Stick is a growing multimillion dollar business and has no debt. The business paid back the initial start-up capital in its third year.