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CGU reveals Kayku Kumpa small business award winners

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This year’s five winners of CGU’s Kayku Kumpa awards, which celebrate First Nation small business owners, have been named.

Each receives a $5000 grant for professional development to grow their small business.

Indigenous Engagement Manager Phil Lockyer says CGU was impressed with the quality of entries received from many unique and innovative First Nations businesses.

“We know it’s been a tough year for many small businesses due to the pandemic, so we’re proud to be able to support the growth and skills development of five First Nations small business owners,” he said.

The program takes its name from the local language of the Gringai people of the Wonnarua nation of the Hunter Valley in NSW. Kayku Kumpa (pronounced kuy-koo-koompah) means “strong yesterday, stronger tomorrow”.

CGU parent IAG is a supporter of the reconciliation movement in Australia, launching its third Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan last year and outlining commitments such as providing employment and internship opportunities to First Nations people and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

The five winners of the CGU Kayku Kumpa Awards are:

  • Professor Gregory Phillips, Founder and CEO of Abstarr Consulting, which provides strategy solutions and training in cultural safety and decolonisation.
  • Raelene Talbot, Founder and MD of Barra-gi, an agency that sources and creates employment opportunities for Indigenous people by partnering with non-Indigenous businesses.
  • Ashleigh Pengelly, Founder of Little Black Duck Aus, which sells unique Aboriginal hand-painted teapots, serving boards, terracotta pots and wall art.
  • David Parkin, Founder and MD of Luggarrah, an education management business that runs events and workshops in regional areas to upskill First Nations people and provide technology industry career opportunities.
  • Leisa Wehlin, Founder and MD of Yellow Balloon – A marketing and digital agency that specialises in enduring customer connections.