Toowoomba's Indigenous Business Women Break Expectations

23rd May 2019 , The Chronicle

Nyssa Blades, Burunda Creations

For some indigenous business owners, it is the first time someone in their family has owned a business. It has not been inherited.

I make and sell indigenous arts and craft, specifically jewellery. I could not find anything local so I decided to create my own. I started my business in September last year.

The hard thing about being an indigenous woman in business is people's assumptions of you based on your cultural background.

I still work full-time at USQ, I have three children and I study part-time doing a bachelor of human services with a major in counselling. I run the business in the little time I have on the side.

One day I would like to work for myself so I am turning my passion and hobby into something I can share with others.

My parents were pretty much non-existent in my life so I was raised by my grandparents.

I am determined to be better, to break the cycle and be a good role model for other indigenous people.

I had my first child when I was 17-years-old, she is 18-years-old now and she thinks I'm pretty amazing. She said she strives to be just like me.

My youngest is seven-years-old, and she thinks it is great that I work so much.

My grandmother likes to make things and she taught me a lot. She has dementia now but I know she is really proud.

Rebecca Balfour, REM Business Solutions

I saw a need to help clients in real time rather than after the end of the financial year.

We help sort out a business's paperwork mess.

I have been a consultant with Indigenous Business Australia for the past four years. I offer training and booking assistance for indigenous businesses.

Nothing in business is easy, whether you are indigenous or not. Understanding the information that is in front of you and being able to read the figures is a skill a lot business people do not have.

I help business all over Queensland, I'm about to look after one in Burketown.

It looks after traditional fire methods, it runs course on indigenous education and tourism.

Carol Vale, Tiddas in Business

I'm a Dunghutti woman, my business is Murawin, which is an indigenous consultancy and my other business is called Game Enough, an indigenous food business.

We work with the Queensland Government under the Advancing Women in Business Initiative. It is about aboriginal and non-aboriginal women coming together to have conversations about doing business well.

We had indigenous women share their challenges and insights about their business journey.

There is a huge range of indigenous business owners. We have had people in consultation, catering, IT, construction, recruitment, printing and office supplies.

I am talking to businesses about the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy. It has helped a lot, it has created so many opportunities. Indigenous businesses are renowned for employing our own, which lifts everyone up.

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Networking at the Morning Sky Project are (from left) Carol Vale from Tiddas in Business, Rebecca Balfour from REM Business Solutions and Nyssa Blades from Burunda Creations. It was a networking and professional development seminar for indigenous women in business. Picture: Nev Madsen