Feature: “Doing Small Business in the Bush”

Project: Capacity Building - business principles
Client: Central Desert Regional Council
Date: 2017
Location: Yuendumu, NT

Small Business in the Bush

Working with senior members of the Warlpiri community in Yuendumu, Matrix co-created a short course to introduce people to business concepts. The course was developed over six months and involved eight Warlpiri co-creators working with Matrix facilitators.

The idea was sparked as a result of a conversation between some senior Warlpiri men and a Central Desert staff member. They wanted to be part of building local businesses, but they could see that they lacked understanding of key business concepts and terms. CDRC approached Matrix to work together to create a program that developed these skills for and within the community.

The 2 day program was delivered by a Warlpiri facilitator in the Warlpiri language. The end result was a community literally buzzing with enthusiasm to learn more about running their own businesses and itching to start trying out their business ideas. This project was commissioned by Central Desert Regional Council in response to requests for training by the community. You can read the final report for the project here.


Otto Sims tells the story of the old Copper Mine that operated in Yuendumu in the early 1960's an example of Yapa running their own businesses. The last comment is a ripper "If the old people can do it, then we can too!"


Matrix commissioned Periphery Media to work with local artists to create a story of a business that many of the locals already knew. This was used in the workshops to identify a variety of business concepts.