Paul Olsen's Gladstone crane business is already benefiting from his involvement in the Whanu Binal Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program.
Paul Olsen's Gladstone crane business is already benefiting from his involvement in the Whanu Binal Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program.

Entrepreneurial program taking man’s business to new heights

Paul Olsen is hoping to lift his Gladstone crane business to new heights through an Indigenous Entrepreneurial program partnership with CQ University and Arrow Energy helping him realise his dream.

Arrow Energy has been running the Whanu Binal program in various forms since 2013, and in July 2020 it joined forces with CQ University.

Created for Indigenous entrepreneurs, executives, managers and Traditional Custodians, Whanu Binal offers participants a chance to build upon their business and entrepreneurial skills through a virtual yarning space, Indigenous learning styles, experienced mentors, and the opportunity for networking with peers and business accelerator organisations.

The Managing Director of Brolga Cranes, Mr Olsen participated in the first program delivered in collaboration by Arrow Energy and CQ University in 2020.

Belonging to the Wakka Wakka mob, Mr Olsen grew up in Gayndah.

He said the Whanu Binal Program provided the tools and guidance to start a business from bottom up and insight into what achievements can be reached.

"I decided to participate in the Whanu Binal Program to learn and gain further information to become a successful entrepreneur," he said.

"The (method of) delivery was exceptional.

"I wish I had access to it when I first started my business 12 months ago."

Since he became involved in the Whanu Binal program, Mr Olsen said the mentorship he received helped him personally and professionally.

"The biggest help I received was to learn to take time out and look after my mental health - to learn to switch off from business to family," he said.

"From a professional standpoint I learned how to interact and look at other avenues and approaches and to always refer to my business plan.

"I also to realise that there is always help available no matter what help is required.

"I hope to build on my experiences, and I plan to build this business to become Australia's premier Indigenous crane hire service."

This year's Whanu Binal program will centre on 'Bringing the Mob Forward'.

The program not only enables participants to access content anytime, anywhere on any device, but also to build a professional support network.

Whanu Binal is open to Indigenous current business owners or those who have a business idea to develop.

The first Whanu Binal program for 2021 is now underway but expressions of interest for the next program which will commence in mid-2021 are now open.

To find out more about the program visit the website.

Indigenous CQ University alumni can apply to become program mentors by visiting the website or contacting alumni-enquiries@cqu.edu.au.

 

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