March 2018 Client Stories

Cherie Johnson, Speaking in Colour
Newcastle NSW | March 2018

Cherie JohnsonWhat is your business? How is business going?
Our business is called ‘Speaking in Colour’ and there are three parts to the business. First and foremost is the Aboriginal education and training for educators and corporates. We are NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) accredited which means that educators can come and do training with us to maintain their professional education hours. Training is our biggest prong. I’m working on this full-time and there’s a part-time administration person.

Our second area is the cultural immersion experience we offer to organisations and schools. If people want to do an event or a celebration, we perform welcome to country, facilitate workshops and organise bush tucker. We have nine contractors, each with an area of speciality and for NAIDOC week, we are completely booked out. It’s been fabulous.

The third area is Aboriginal educational resources. These are tools designed to embed Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom or workplace. It’s linked to the school curriculum so that they can be easily incorporated into classes.

We are a leading provider in Newcastle and Hunter in this type of service and we are expanding into other areas. The business has been operating for two and a half years. But even before, I was piloting these projects on a small scale and developed training which we’ve since systemised. … Continue reading →

Maggie O’Neill, The Spirit of Spa
Grafton NSW | March 2017

Maggie O'Neil GraftonWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
It’s a day spa, almost like a boutique wellness and beauty therapy clinic. It existed in some form for seven years, working from home primarily. I decided that I needed to take it more into the township that I live in. In April last year, I found an opportunity inside a pharmacy where I could rent rooms to create a little spa.

What is your previous work history and experience?
I have 25 years of experience in this area. … Continue reading →

Maria Wellington, Yuluwirri Gii Quilting
Moree NSW | March 2018

Maria Wellington MoreeWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
I make quilts from home. I make a variety of quilts – plain quilts, aboriginal quilts and footy quilts with NRL logos. My business has been operating since October last year. It’s been going ok, a bit slow as I’ve been quite ill for some time.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I was volunteering at One of a Kind which is an op shop. My previous work experience consists of a variety of different things. I’ve worked in an office, I was in telemarketing and retail for 10 years and I’ve also been a teacher’s aid so I’ve done a variety of work. … Continue reading →

Aaron John, Optimal Ink
Bundaberg QLD | March 2018

Aaron John BundabergWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
It’s a tattoo studio in Kingaroy which opened a few days ago. I’m a tattoo artist running it and my partner helps me out a little bit.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
Before this, I was with Sarino Russo (job service agency) looking for work. … Continue reading →

Daniel Shad, I Fix It Gladstone
Gladstone QLD | March 2018

Daniel Shad GladstoneWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
It’s an electronic repairs business. We do all types of electronics – mobile phones, computers, tablets, tv and anything electronic. It was a home business for two and a half years but now it’s in a shop.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I have over 30 years experience in the electronic business, mostly overseas. And I worked for two years as a technician manager at Leading Edge Electronics. Actually, I was hired to move to Gladstone from Melbourne for a restaurant business which wasn’t going well. My job services provider gave me Many Rivers number to start my home business. … Continue reading →

Leann Iverson, LAI Art
Roma QLD | March 2018

Leean Iverson Roma 2What is your business? How is your business going?
I’m an artist, I paint mainly and draw. I’ve been trying to run my business for a few years and since I started with Colin, it’s taken off a bit.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I tried to do NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) and I needed help with marketing but I didn’t get the help I needed from there. I could paint pictures but getting my products out there was hard. … Continue reading →

Tina Saunders & Nicolas Burrell, Raw Choice
Bendigo VIC | March 2018

Bendigo 2What is your business? How long has the business been operating?
About two and a half years ago my husband hurt his shoulder. We thought about quirky things we could do like juice stalls out of a caravan and things like that but one day I made a dessert and we thought, ‘Wow! We need to share this with people!’. It sort of sprung from there.

We make tasty desserts that are healthy – gluten, dairy, egg, wheat and cane sugar free. The basis of what we do is, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates). … Continue reading →

Jo-Anne Stutley, Kicharee Kitch’n
Adelaide SA | March 2018

Jo-Anne AdelaideWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
I opened 2 years ago, in March and it’s a dahl bar. I do 7 different dahls. The first one I did was a coconut coriander snap crackle and pop. I’ve been cooking dahl for about 30 years so the recipes flooded in.

I fell off a 50m cliff when I was 25. I’m now 50. I was working as a nurse back then and after recovering I went back to work but didn’t tell them I had a broken back. When I reached about 45 I got a labral tear and that’s when my surgeon said they couldn’t operate. He told me to go away, not lift more than 5kg and meditate. I couldn’t nurse anymore so I had to do something and that’s when I applied to the government and did the NEIS program, the running your own business course. I created an organic store back in my community but people gravitated towards my dahl. Everything is biodegradable, even the containers I use. The lentils are organic and/or local, mainly because I found they make the most amazing dahl, and I use organic seasonal vegetables. … Continue reading →

Bradley Kyne & Gary Alexander, East Kimberley Services
East Kimberley WA | March 2018

EKSWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
Security is the business. I created East Kimberley Security in April 2016. In November of the same year under the guidance of Peter Day (previous Many Rivers Field Officer) Gary and I formed East Kimberley Services. East Kimberley Services was the beginning of our Workplace Drug and Alcohol testing business as well as East Kimberley Cleaning Services. In September 2017 East Kimberley Security merged with East Kimberley Services. Three services under the one entity – East Kimberley Services Pty Ltd.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers? What was your previous work experience?
I was the Assistant Manager at Coles in Kununurra on a 2 year secondment from Perth. When the 2 years was up and it was time to go back to Perth I had fallen in love with Kununurra, I really liked it here and wanted to stay. … Continue reading →

Tania McKenzie, Indigenous Mentoring & Money Matters
Broome WA | March 2018

Tania McKenzie West KimberleyWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
My business is called Indigenous Mentoring and Money Matters. It’s not running yet. We’re still in the starting stage.

I’m focusing on running workshops to help people stay in jobs and work on job readiness as well. I am planning on running 5 different workshops: Health and Wellbeing; Money Matters – Savings and Budgets; Job Sustainability and Communication; Wellbeing and Work Ready; and Getting Ready for Interviews.

Broome has the highest rate of unemployment so we’re just trying to support people to stay in jobs. … Continue reading →

Shayna Daniels, Sun Drop Catering
Perth WA | March 2018

Sundrop PerthWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
I’ve been operating for almost 5 weeks now. I offer corporate catering, specialising in grazing boards and tables. At the moment I’m only doing corporate events with a few private parties here and there but I’m hoping to open up into the funeral industry very soon.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers? What was your previous work experience?
I used to work as a corporate event coordinator. I worked for Clubs WA and organised events for them. Prior to that I was a chef. Before joining the events industry I was in hospitality most of my life. … Continue reading →

Amy McKinney, Theatre Arts Australia Newman
Pilbara WA | March 2018

Theatre Arts Pilbara 3What is your business? How long has the business been operating?
It’s a theatre arts business where I teach drama, singing, piano and musical theatre and I do some tutoring as well. Our slogan is, “While Theatre arts Australia does cater for students with stars in their eyes we believe the skills developed through our classes are skills for life, not just for the stage. The self-confidence, poise and self-awareness they develop will last long after the show is over. Students learn to express themselves more easily as they develop their natural imagination and creativity.”

I’ve been operating in Newman for about 2 years but overall about 5 years now. I used to live in NSW and taught over there but it was more drama based. My partner is from overseas and he got a job here in Newman working with helicopters, so I followed him here and brought the business with me. … Continue reading →

Brenton Smith and Justin GaraWirtji, Nhawe Enterprises, Elcho Island
East Arnhem NT | March 2018

NhaweWhat is your business? How long has the business been operating?
It’s called Nhawe enterprises and it’s a mechanical, tyre and glass business. We’re the only ones on Elcho Island. I used to run a company under my name but it’s been about 10 months since we’ve started up under this name.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers? What was your previous work experience?
I used to run the local workshop out here for an Aboriginal organisation. He’s no longer around though. I’ve been on the island for about nine and a half years now. … Continue reading →