Why Barra-gi? The story behind the business
Barra-gi is a uniquely personal business, founded because of my own passion in working to Close the Gap. Unlike employment agencies, we do things a little bit different, working to engage Indigenous peoples in the workforce by providing both the skills and confidence for individuals to have fulfilling careers. Our end goal is a national impact on Closing the Gap – but our immediate response is personal and individual. I believe each person has their own unique story to tell, which can impact others and help them achieve their goals.
Here’s my story and why Barra-gi is so important to me.
Foundations for a passion in Closing the Gap
Like many children, I grew up watching both parents work within the communities we lived in. Dad was an Aboriginal police officer in a one-man station, while Mum worked in the hospital within the Indigenous community. Growing up in a small country town, I completed schooling up to year 10 and then went straight into employment.
My first job was in the Aboriginal Education Unit at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga as a Trainee in Business Administration. I worked alongside others in the Indigenous community and got my first taste of what it was like working with Indigenous community members and other organisations. From there I went on to Housing NSW to complete another traineeship in Business and have since worked in both the private and public sectors for the past 20 years.
Using my skills for something more
Over the years I’ve gained a wealth of experience with many transferable skills in business administration, although I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more that I could do with my experience and abilities. In my last job where I had been for six years, there was no flexibility; you gave your all but didn't get much back. I decided that I wanted to create something amazing and work with businesses that have the same passion as me in actively working towards Closing the Gap.
The moment I decided to build this business solidified when I left my permanent full time position with the government. As a mum of 6, it’s important to me that I lead by example, showing them that following your passions and dreams is vital. As a survivor of domestic violence, it is important to me to give back to the Indigenous community and use the skills I have gained to impact an important Australian issue – Closing the Gap.
The birth of Barra-gi
Creating opportunities is one thing, but creating impacting relationships is what this business is all about. Barra-gi means to fly or soar in Kamilaroi, and that is what I want to achieve - I want to give Indigenous people the skills and confidence to do exactly this, soaring through life to achieve their goals and dreams. For me, Barra-gi is about giving back to the community that helped me over the years, using my skills to give others opportunities for employment.
While my focus will always be impacting individual lives, it’s important to me to work alongside other like-minded businesses to achieve this. I believe that together we can make a difference in the lives of Indigenous peoples and actively work towards Closing the Gap.
Do you have your own story to share? I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, and how we can work together to soar!