Aurukun start-up business thrives in its first quarter  

[by Liz Inglis]

Leonard Yusia and his happy customers in Aurukun. Image: supplied

While Australia was bunkering down to stop the spread of COVID-19, an Aurukun resident was planning to launch the isolated Cape York community’s first start-up business for 2020.

 

Leonard Yusia, a Torres Strait Islander man from Bamaga, grew up and was schooled in Aurukun and returned to the community a decade ago to settle down with his partner, Wik woman Shauna Giblet.

 

“I was tired of working out of town away from my partner and wanted to start something up for the local youths to show them a good work ethic,” he said.

 

“I was cruising around town and seeing high grasses at the homes of old people and I thought I might start a business to help them.

 

“Many Rivers and Charlie Street from Cape York Employment helped me to set up Yusia Lawn Care and Aurukun Shire Council has given me a contract to keep the old people’s yards tidy.

 

“My clients love it and I am getting good feedback from the community, so I’m getting heaps of jobs cleaning other people’s yards.

 

“I like going to a house where the grass is overgrown and seeing the smile on the client’s face when it is tidy.

 

“I’m so busy that I employ my brother Andre Wapau and two locals, Zarlee Woolla and Chad Sigai.

 

“I hope other people in Aurukun can start up their own business and I would be happy to support them.”

 

Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Keri Tamwoy said there were opportunities for local people to start up their own business.

 

“Council is seeking expressions of interest for the cleaning of numerous Council facilities and we would love to see a local person win that contract,” she said.

 

“Small business is the backbone of many communities and we hope to one day have local people giving tours to visitors and running the kiosk at proposed airport terminal redevelopment.”

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