September 2016 Client Stories

Jamie Kokles-Ridgway, Travelling Tadpole Swim School
Nhulunbuy, East Arnhem NT | September 2016

jamie-kokles-ridgway-nhulunbuyWhat were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I’d only started out the business, so was just in the early stages.  My mother works in the same office as Jarrod, and she told me she had met someone who could help me with any business questions I have.  So I met with Jarrod, and he asked me what I was doing and what I wanted to be doing and he helped me with all of the beginner start-up stuff.

What is your previous work history and experience?
I’ve been doing swim teaching for nearly 10 years.  I’ve always been swim teaching or working at schools as a Teachers’ Aide, and I have just finished up a nursing degree.  It’s an awesome degree, I have learnt so much and so much of what I have learnt is transferable.

Who referred you to Many Rivers? When?
My mother!  That was over six months ago at least, around the beginning of the year.

Why did you want to go into business?
To stop children under five drowning.  That was the sole reason.  One of my friends’ little sisters had drowned and I have grown up in Indigenous communities and seen that swimming programs out here don’t last longer than a week and the swim teachers fly-in and fly-out.  When one of the former swim teachers in the community left, there was no longer a program as she didn’t train people in the community to run it.  So I saw that we needed a community-based program.  The whole point is to make it sustainable, to train up people in the community so they are not reliant on one or two people to keep things going. … Continue reading →

Dallas Purdie, D&H Contracting Pty Ltd
Warmun, East Kimberley WA | September 2016

dallas-purdie-east-kimberleyWhat were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
In the beginning, I was working with IBA to get my earthmoving business going, but it was mainly over the phone as they didn’t have an office in the East Kimberley.  Then I met up with Peter Day in Kununurra.

What is your previous work history and experience?
I’ve been a machine operator and motor mechanic.

Who referred you to Many Rivers? When?
I saw the logo and I found out more about them myself.  Then I bumped into Peter, and he explained what Many Rivers do, and then he helped with a proposal for work in Kununurra with the Ord Stage Two Irrigation Project.  That was in 2011-2012.

Why did you want to go into business?
Mainly it was to own my own machinery and to employ local Indigenous workers. I wanted to create opportunity for my people to be employed.  I come from a little community, Warmun, and there is not much opportunity there. I also wanted to build a better life for my family. … Continue reading →

Meagan Dodgson, Condoblin Pizzeria
Condobolin NSW | September 2016

meagan-dodgson-condoWhat is your business? How is business going?
I run a pizza bar. It’s been really good. We do 90 to 140 pizzas on Sunday nights which is just ridiculous. Sunday night is our busiest night. Sometimes, I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom! Our Fridays are 50-70 pizzas and it’s our second busiest night. We started early August so it’s been just over two months.

When the floods happened last month, I sent my manager down to ask the SES workers whether they wanted something donated as I knew they couldn’t get away from sandbagging. We gave them ten pizzas and 6 drinks. We want to give back to them. The next day they rang and asked whether they can order another 20 pizzas as they couldn’t get out. This Saturday coming, they ordered again – 11 pizzas and two cheesecakes.

What were you doing before you started your business?
I was actually a stay at home mum and I was just about ready to look for work. My partner at the time (now ex-partner) said he wanted to buy this business. He tried to get a couple of loans but couldn’t. Then my dad said you’re not letting this go. We used to do pizza nights at home, nothing like this though. … Continue reading →

Jillian Asquith, Asquith Workforce Solutions
Newcastle NSW | September 2016

jillian-asquith-hunterWhat is your business? How is your business going?
Asquith Workforce Solutions is an Australian Indigenous owned and operated recruitment agency that specialise in permanent, temporary staffing and labour hire solutions for New South Wales. As the Director of AWS, I like to encourage an atmosphere of collaboration with all of our business partners. Business is thriving at the moment. We recently just won a work program for a project in Williamtown which is very exciting.

From a historical perspective, I started as a sole trader in permanent recruitment then moved into temporary white collar. It’s been operating just on 18 months. We just signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for four years with a big company and there’s a lot of interest.

Why did you want to go into business?
I’ve always had a keen interest in recruitment and training. I worked for a couple of different agencies during the course of my career so it was a natural progression for me to start AWS. I really enjoy being the link between clients and candidates and find it very rewarding to work hard and get results. … Continue reading →

Phillip Thomas, Drone Photography
Gunnedah NSW | September 2016
We spoke to Phillip and his wife Kaysie.

phillip-thomas-moreeWhat is your business? How is your business operating?
It’s a drone business called ‘The skys the limit’, which is aerial photography and videography.  It was very slow to start with but it’s starting to pick up which I knew it would. My business is still fairly new, but so far I have been shooting for real estate, local events including the fireworks at the show and the speedway and most recently I was hired to do a wedding.  Every day I take my drone out and capture the sunrise and sunsets of Gunnedah and landmarks. These shots are available for purchase which gives me an added source of income if I don’t have any jobs on. Drones are going to be everywhere, anything from mustering cattle to delivering mail. They’re even delivering parcels and pizzas in America.

What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I was working in the mines before but I was unemployed when I met Natalie. … Continue reading →

Charlene O’Brien, Cob Designs
Perth WA | September 2016

charlene-obrien-perthWhat were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I had some business ideas that I had wanted to put into action, but I needed help with the business plan, and with coaching.

What is your previous work history and experience?
Basically I have run businesses in the past.  I have previously done fashion design and my business operated around the world – I exported my products overseas, including Hollywood and stocked local stockists all over Australia.  In 2011, my house was destroyed in a bushfire and we lost everything. So we had to start from scratch with everything.  Before I met Joy, I hadn’t been in business for about five years, as I had had to get a job after the bushfire, but in that time it gave birth to an idea to set up my business, so I got in touch with Joy.

Who referred you to Many Rivers? When?
It was Deborah Newenham, another client of Many Rivers.  Deb is an Indigenous artist and we wanted to collaborate, and she suggested I catch up with Joy to get help putting our ideas into action.  That was towards the end of last year. … Continue reading →