The Company You Keep

WINYA Indigenous Furniture

Greg Welsh, Director and Co-founder of WINYA Indigenous Furniture shares the inspiring story of how he makes an impact in the indigenous community with furniture – an idea that evolved out of his passion to provide more indigenous employment opportunities.

Listen for practical advice on how you can establish long term partnerships to help other businesses achieve their corporate social responsbilities and why you should actually address your mistakes head on, rather than shy away from them.

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WINYA Indigenous Furniture

It’s a strange leap to make from being an air traffic controller for 10 years, to then running a furniture business. But Greg Walsh has done just that – and the company’s clients include massive businesses like Telstra, CommBank, and more.

But succeeding in the indigenous business community is no small feat. When starting up, Greg tried to find indigenous companies to partner with, but couldn’t find any. 

“This is actually the first generation of indigenous business that's really ever existed in Australia. There's no businesses really been handed down from father to daughter or son,” he says.

During the early stages, Greg tried to find employers among long-term unemployed indigenous people. Unfortunately, many of them left within the first three to six months, which strained his relationships with factory owners. 

Greg says the business has had to “exceed every expectation” of the company’s clients, as they’re judged on such a harsh curve. But not only is the business winning first contracts, it’s winning second, third, fourth, and more. 

That doesn’t just serve as a business success story – it’s a pride story as well. Greg says workers feel a sense of ownership when they see the furniture they’ve built sitting in Parliament House. 

The business has enjoyed growth by using My Business resources too, like the Perfect Your Pitch Workshops. “We found it useful across a whole range of levels because it really questioned some of the marketing we were doing.”

Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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