Kakadu National Park

It’s Indigenous Business Month during October and we would like to highlight one of the Indigenous businesses that operate within our Australian national parks.

Aboriginal artist and Kakadu ranger Jacqueline Cahill took some time out of her busy schedule at Kakadu National Park to tell us a little more about herself and her business, Lightning Arts ‘n’ Artifacts.

Jacqueline Cahill

1. Your name, title and name of your business?

My name is Jacqueline Cahill, I am the owner/manager of Lightning Arts n Artifacts

2. What is the nature of your business?

My business is based around aboriginal culture, the traditional artwork I paint is done on canvas and other artifacts.

I sell my art to the Warradjan Cultural Centre which is located in the Yellow Waters region near Cooinda Lodge, and also the Crocodile Hotel in the township of Jabiru.

I also run Cultural Art Activities for Parks Australia as well as Bush Tucker Walks ‘n’ Talks at different locations throughout the park during the Taste of Kakadu festival and the interpretive ranger guided activities program.

3. What’s your business tagline?

Come and paint your Piece of Kakadu

4. How long has your business been operating in the park?

My business has been operating in the park from 2005, when I took over the business from my brother.

5. Why did you choose to operate your business in the park?

I started because there were no Aboriginal-owned-and-operated art businesses within the park. I thought it would be a good opportunity for myself and now it is going very well. I am starting to teach my children how to paint so I can employ them and be a family operated art business.

Young artist shows artwork during class

6. What are the advantages or highlights of operating your business in the park?

The advantages of operating in the park and working with Parks Australia, is making my business become more sought after, which has made my business much busier all throughout the year.

7. What have you learned about Indigenous business that you would like to pass on to others?

I have learned a lot over the past few years. I was once a shy Indigenous person and now am doing things I have never thought I would do. So stay strong to your dreams and speak up for what you want.

“So stay strong to your dreams and speak up for what you want.”

8. What else would you like to tell us about you?

My last name Cahill is connected to the Cahills Crossing within Kakadu, so my Indigenous grandfather was adopted by Old Paddy Cahill Of Oenpelli (which is located outside of the park) but my grandfather’s country is located around the South Alligator region of Kakadu, and my great grandmother’s country is around the Cooinda area of Kakadu.

Thanks for chatting with us Jacqueline!

Indigenous Business Month is an initiative of the MURRA Indigenous Master Class Program alumni, designed promote the variety and depth of Indigenous businesses nationally and to provide an Indigenous business voice to the national conversation.

MURRA program director Dr Michelle Evans says Indigenous entrepreneurs provide everyday acts of leadership, from working with clients, communities and consumers, creating new market opportunities and income streams.

This month let’s celebrate Indigenous entrepreneurs who are role models and ambassadors for their communities.

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