Because of Her, We Can Ebook Female Leader, Kylie-Lee Bradford said, “Growing up in a small Aboriginal community, I wanted to prove to Indigenous women all over Australia that if you have a dream and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”
You had the idea for Kakadu Tiny Tots to blend your cultural heritage and a solution for your baby’s eczema, and applied to be on the Shark Tank series, but ultimately declined the investment. Your baby wear is now retailed in hundreds of stores and airports. Tell us how you built the business independently.
Kakadu Tiny Tots was built on one Indigenous Founder’s drive and belief to succeed. I believed in my product and mission. Growing up in a small Aboriginal community I wanted to prove to Indigenous women all over Australia that if you have a dream and believe in yourself, anything is possible.
Learning to be very resilient and mastering the ability to haggle was key for me to keep going even when we got knocked back. I’m always open to learning new skills and networking with like-minded business people.
You’ve just won a national pitch investment competition. Tell us about how you plan to use the funds to grow Kakadu Tiny Tots and to drive opportunity for women in your community.
This is a very exciting time for our company! Building an interactive platform enabling customers to be able to customize their own organic baby designs using hand painted Indigenous art from all over the world.
We continue to build and support a community of Eco Sellers enabling women all over the world to have their own micro business under the Kakadu Tiny Tots Brand.
The Kakadu team is extremely passionate about giving back to our community and helping Indigenous communities become more sustainable.
As a Co-Founder of Kakadu Kitchens, why have you started this business? How are you using Australian ingredients and showcasing traditional methods?
Kakadu Kitchens was an idea that came from wanting change and driving sustainability within Indigenous communities. Many Aboriginal children have become disengaged and there was nothing happening within our Aboriginal community to become self-sustainable. So, we started Kakadu Kitchens to showcase traditional Indigenous foods, stories and foraging in a modern way. This drives employment, health and economic growth in our community. We have built an eco-garden in the community for everyone to use. We hope to encourage other Indigenous communities to do the same.
How has growing up on traditional lands in Kakadu National Park grounded in your culture affected your leadership approach? How are you helping the next generation to find their land and culture?
I’m a very proud Murrumburr woman. My mother is a traditional owner of Kakadu so I grew up rich in culture and heritage, which I now carry down to my children. I believe connecting with country is one of the most important and fulfilling journeys you will take as an Indigenous woman.
It has enabled me to stand strong against criticism and doubt, and become a leader and mentor in my community. The Kakadu team run many cultural programs for disengaged youth. It has always been a passion of ours to teach and mentor our younger generations. Knowing your cultural stories and respecting what your Elders pass down to you makes you such a strong leader within your community.
The National Because of Her, We Can Ebook is a tribute to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Right across Australia there are endless examples of strong and successful Indigenous women leading the way. This Ebook shines a light on 12 of our country’s Indigenous women, including four Queenslanders, who are leading and succeeding in business. These women show the strength, resilience, hard work, creativity and intelligence that are crucial elements in business success. Their stories, journeys and the lessons learned are as diverse as they are, but all offer inspirational advice.
The Honourable Di Farmer MP
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
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