Workforce Australia Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Cheryl Royle from The Finer Line, works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in the NSW Hunter region, to develop their aspirations and business acumen. Cheryl, a business owner herself, has supported and coached hundreds of business owners, freelance workers, consultants, entrepreneurs and artists nationwide.
Cheryl worked with the Collaboration through Art program to support budding artists to sell their artwork and products at local artisan youth markets and showcase their talent to a wider community and audience.
The program delivers 12 structured workshops to support Indigenous artists create their own pieces, learn how to start-up a business, and collaborate to develop an artwork. The workshops cover topics such as developing a growth mindset, business start-up requirements, marketing, financial literacy, and business planning. On completion of the program, participants were given the opportunity to showcase their artwork at an art exhibition. The course also counted towards meeting their mutual obligations under the Points Based Activation System.
“These amazing participants vary greatly in age and experience, the youngest being 17 and the oldest in their early fifties. The program has provided a unique platform for new artists and non-artists to showcase their talents while also gaining essential business skills necessary to succeed in today's competitive market,” Cheryl said.
Business mentors also work with participants to find out what they would like to do next. This could be employment, education, referral to Workforce Australia Self-Employment Assistance or further expand their connections and network. Two of the program participants are now working with Cheryl on potentially starting their own business.
Get to know The Finer Line’s Collaboration through Art program participants
Thomas Graham is in the infancy of starting his own business Newy Car Club and has been referred to Workforce Australia Self-Employment Assistance to get the guidance and support he needs to launch his business.
“The program was a great introduction into understanding where you might want to be. It provides a general starting point and gave me more confidence to further develop my business idea. I am now keen to enrol in the Self-Employment Assistance program to continue to build my business. Cheryl also introduced me to other potential mentors and investors,” Thomas said.
Another participant Katie-Lee Cooper is working to identify potential career options and is being referred to Workforce Australia Employability Skills Training with the intention to gain full-time employment.
“The program has been a great opportunity for Katie-Lee to re-engage in group activities and contribute to something that explores her cultural identity. Over the past 6 weeks, we have seen Katie’s confidence grow, and she is keen to explore new options,” Cheryl said.
The canvas, ‘Wolombai’, was completed by participants Natalie, Tara, Thomas and Carol in December 2022 as part of the collaborative art project that was commissioned by construction company, Multiplex. Awabakal and Worimi people are the traditional custodians of the land and water in the Newcastle local government area, including wetlands, rivers, creeks and coastal environments. This artwork has been printed on large shade screens at John Hunter Hospital during their renovation period.
For more information on how you can use your creativity or artistic talents to turn a business idea into reality, or to get help with improving an existing business, visit www.workforceaustralia.gov.au/individuals/training/activities/self-employment-assistance or find an Entrepreneurship Facilitator near you.