Jamila Gordon

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Jamila Gordon
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EducationLa Trobe University
OccupationCEO, Founder at Lumachain

Jamila Gordon is a Somalian/Australia entrepreneur. She is the Chief executive officer and Founder of an Lumachain (start-up), an Australian Software as a service company applying Artificial intelligence and Blockchain to food supply channels.[1]. After escaping the Somali Civil War at the age of eighteen, she lived in Kenya, later moving to Australia and receiving a degree in Information technology from the La Trobe University[1]. Gordon later served as the Chief information officer at Qantas and CIMIC Group, and as an executive at IBM[1]. She has recently been named as Australia & New Zealand Innovator of the Year in the Women in AI Awards[2], Pearcey Award|NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year[3], and Microsoft's Global Awardee in the International Women's Entrepreneurship Challenge[4].

Early life and education

Jamila Gordon was born to a nomad family, having spent her first eleven years at a small village in the hinterland of Somalia[5]. Later, to avoid a drought, her family (herself and 13 of her siblings) moved to Mogadishu, the Somalia's capital[6][7].

On the brink of the Somali Civil War, at the age of 18, she was separated from her family and sent to live in Kenya by her father[5]. Shortly after, Gordon met an Australian Backpacking (travel), who helped her move to Australia[5]. After arriving to Australia, Gordon took English courses and soon enrolled as an accounting major at the La Trobe University in Melbourne. She switched her major to software engineering after taking a programming elective and eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Business and Information Technology degree[3].



Being born in Somalia, Gordon was forced to work from the age of five[8]. During college, Gordon stated she had worked as a dishwasher and a kitchen hand at a local Japanese restaurant during her years in college[5].

After college

After graduating, Gordon landed a software development role at QSP Software[9] She continued her work in software for British Gas and, later, at Emirates (airline)|Emirates Airlines[9]. She was later employed by Deloitte, and after that - as a senior project manager at IBM[9]. In 2007, she was hired as a CIO for Quantas, working there over the next (almost) six years[9].


In April 2018, Gordon founded Lumachain (start-up), that provides a blockchain- and Artificial intelligence that adds transparency to the global Supply chain and ensures that the produce comes from ethically responsible sources[10]. With Lumachain, she is tackling two problems: the demand for transparency in the origin of the products and the modern slavery[8]. By providing inexpensive, easily available, decentralized tracking that involves computer vision and blockchain, Gordon's company makes sure that the worker conditions are adequate and that all health code guidelines are followed during the production, which could be verified by the customers through an app[11]. The software Lumachain is developing also allows companies to deliver personalized, multi-language training to their employees[11].

Gordon recently revealed that the start-up has already a "half a dozen" customers, and that they have recently secured $3.5 million in funding[10]. Lumachain has also recently partnered up with Microsoft, with their CEO, Satya Nadella, mentioning the start-up at his Sydney keynote address[12]


In 2018, Gordon was chosen by Microsoft to be their global Awardee in the 2018 International Women Entrepreneurship Challenge (IWEC).[4]. She was also awarded the 2020 NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Pearcey Foundation[3]. Most recently, she was named as an Australia & NZ 2021 Innovator of the Year in the Women in AI Awards[2]

Personal life

Gordon is an advocate for diversity and inclusivity of women in STEM.[9], and is helping refugees from various backgrounds in succeeding in Australia, having previously volunteered as a Board Member at the CareerSeekers and the CareerTrackers social organizations[13]. She is also a global ambassador at the IWEC Foundation[13] and serves as a member on the Questacon Advisory Council[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Bio - Jamila Gordon". Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre. 2019-05-06. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Australia - New Zealand". Women in AI (WAI). Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "2020 NSW Award » Pearcey". pearcey.org.au. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 WECNY. "Awardees". IWEC Foundation. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "How Artificial Intelligence creates opportunity for all | Jamila Gordon". TEDxSydney. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  6. University, La Trobe. "Jamila Gordon". www.latrobe.edu.au. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  7. "My Australia: From washing dishes to Qantas executive". SBS News. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Vickovich, Aleks (2019-07-29). "Former Qantas executive raises $3.5 million for anti-slavery blockchain startup — inspired by her forced labour as a child in Somalia". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Connolly, Byron (2017-02-27). "Jamila Gordon: The CIO who escaped the Somali Civil War". CIO. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Lumachain lands $3.5 million for tech tackling modern slavery in food supply chains". SmartCompany. 2019-07-29. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "About | Lumachain". Lumachain.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. Satya Nadella features Lumachain in his Sydney keynote address, retrieved 2021-04-07
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Jamila Gordon | LinkedIn". LinkedIn.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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