Indigenous consultancy business Curijo marks second anniversary

Business milestone: (From left) Tanieka Berryman, Tina McGhie, Belinda Kendall and Lauren Dunlop. Photo: Supplied
Business milestone: (From left) Tanieka Berryman, Tina McGhie, Belinda Kendall and Lauren Dunlop. Photo: Supplied

It started off as just a one-page idea written on a napkin at a pub one night.

Now, two years later, that idea has become a fully-fledged business that shows no signs of slowing down.

The Fyshwick-based Indigenous consultancy business Curijo will mark its second birthday on June 30 with a small celebration.

One of its partners Darren Schaeffer said in that time, the business has grown substantially.

“We’ve definitely had our ups and downs, but we’ve re-established ourselves over the 12 months,” he said.

“We started off with three staff and now we have nine, eight of which are Indigenous.”

Anniversary: (From left) Curijo members Darren Schaeffer, Lea Palij and Michael Murphy. Photo: Supplied

Anniversary: (From left) Curijo members Darren Schaeffer, Lea Palij and Michael Murphy. Photo: Supplied

During their two years, Curijo has secured contracts with several federal government departments in order to help secure employment for more Indigenous people in the Canberra region.

Mr Schaeffer said while the business is still in its “foundation" stage, Curijo has helped to place many Indigenous people into the workforce.

“Our aim is to increase the capacity of Indigenous Australians into the professional service world,” he said.

“While we work with the government, we also work with the community and companies like Marymead.”

From that initial meeting in the pub with Mr Schaeffer as well as the company’s now-fellow partners Tina McGhie and Belinda Kendall, the business has now expanded to digital offices in Batlow, Wollongong as well as Sydney.

Mr Schaeffer said in addition to consultancy work with agencies such as government departments, the company is also focusing on getting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into careers.

“We’re now working with universities like ANU and the University of Canberra in promoting different career paths to students,” he said.

“It’s all about creating jobs, pure and simple, as well as pathways to education.”

Despite a “low point” for the company 12 months ago, Mr Schaeffer said Curijo has come back bigger than ever to reach its second birthday.

He said there is the potential to expand the business to physical offices in Wollongong and Sydney.

“That is a possibility, the world is our oyster,” he said.

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