Wirra Hub empowers Aboriginal Businesses

It was a photo of her late grandfather that inspired emerging artist Jarni McGuire to pick up a pen and start sketching. Now years later, and with the help of the Wirra Hub, Jarni is turning that passion for art into a growing graphic design business – Jarni Creative.

Through support provided by the Wirra Hub and Business Coach Christine Sindely, Jarni has been able to continue to turn what was once a hobby into a viable business opportunity, seeing growth in not only her business opportunities but her confidence in herself as a young Aboriginal female entrepreneur.

A Whadjuk Ballardong Yued Nyungar woman, Jarni is no stranger to the arts industry, having been inspired by her family.

“My dad’s an artist and a lot of my family are and they’ve mostly been my inspiration,” she said.

Growing up in Boorloo (Perth) and with family ties to McGuire, Ryder, Stack and Bennell, Jarni felt the pressure of her large and talented family.

“I never considered myself to be the artsy one because my brother is a fashion model, interior designer and developing a fashion line. I felt that was his space and I simply wasn’t creative enough.”

Sitting down with a ‘gammon’ piece of paper and blue pen was where her journey with art began when she decided to draw her late grandfather.

“I saw a picture of grandad and thought ‘I really miss my grandad’ I am just going to draw him and thought why don’t I actually try and see if this looks any good, so I did. I told myself ‘Jarni, no one’s here to see you fail’ so you might as well give it a crack.”

It was this fearless attitude that led her to start her business and sign up as a client with the Wirra Hub, where inspiring and empowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to cultivate competitive and resilient Businesses is at the heart of the services we offer. Whether that is a start-up idea or an already established business, we provide a culturally-safe space for clients like Jarni to connect with expert advice, grow business capability and access new markets.

With the help of her business coach Christine, Jarni has been able to pivot her business into areas she hadn’t thought were possible.

“The opportunities I’ve started to come into a space that I actually wasn’t expecting but she was able to recognise this and work with me around what could be.”

“She’s amazing. I think the best thing about having someone is bouncing ideas off them. Because they’ve got that experience and that knowledge they are able to one-up your ideas and open you up to something more and that’s what I’ve found with Christine. She’s been able to break it down and make things a lot more realistic of how to get there and give me road map to success.

“If you haven’t got experience, there’s a little glimpse of doubt saying, ‘is this the right thing to do’ whereas having a coach they are able to reassure you to say this is actually what you should be doing, go for it.”

Our team of experienced business coaches who support our clients have all previously run their own business and have extensive experience providing commercial advice to Indigenous and non-indigenous businesses across a diverse range of industries.

“The one thing I was really looking forward to was having a black woman to be my coach, I didn’t really want a male, so for me that was really important. Having a mixture of men and women and people from different industries at the Wirra Hub broadens the opportunities for other Aboriginal people in the community, because as we know the Aboriginal community has so much to offer the economy.”

The Wirra Hub also facilitates connecting the wider business community to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. Our goal is to help the wider business community to meet their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement and engagement targets and increase the number of businesses in the Western Australian supply chain.

“For everyone to thrive in a western world plus embracing and thriving in our culture we need some sort of segue or bridge to close that gap which the Wirra Hub provides.

“Aboriginal people have been denied so much for so long and so having a space where you can go to, talk about your ideas and dreams with industry professional who are focused on you, turns a dream into a reality and I believe that really important for our mob.”

“I don’t want to see myself being just an Aboriginal artist that just gets pushed through and used for one project or commission piece. My ultimate goal is to bring Aboriginal culture, and for me Nyungar culture, but Aboriginal culture across the nation into the mainstream and normalise it. For other business, it just should be embedded in mainstream not just opportunistic. This is our everyday life and this is who we are.”

Find out more about the Wirra Hub here


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