CGU Insurance announces First Nations small business award winners

As part of celebrating NAIDOC Week, IAG's CGU Insurance business has announced the winners of its CGU Kayku Kumpa awards program, which aims to celebrate and grow First Nations small business owners.

Small business owner working on laptop

The five winning First Nations small business owners will each receive a $5,000 grant to go towards their professional development to support the growth of their small business.


CGU Indigenous Engagement Manager Phil Lockyer said: “As an insurer of businesses around Australia, we proudly support the ambition of small business owners. We were really impressed with the quality of entries we received from many unique and innovative First Nations small businesses.

“We know it’s been a tough year for many small businesses due to the pandemic, so we’re proud to be able to support the growth and skills development of five First Nations small business owners each with a $5,000 grant.”

The five winners of the CGU Kayku Kumpa Awards are:

  • Professor Gregory Phillips, Founder and CEO of Abstarr Consulting – A consulting agency that works with communities, businesses and governments to provide strategy solutions and training in cultural safety and decolonisation.
  • Raelene Talbot, Founder and Managing Director of Barra-gi – An agency that sources and creates employment opportunities, provides mentoring services and creates job-ready programs for Indigenous people by partnering with non-Indigenous businesses in the corporate and private sector.
  • Ashleigh Pengelly, Founder and Owner of Little Black Duck Aus – A small business that sells unique Aboriginal hand-painted teapots, serving boards, terracotta pots and wall art.
  • David Parkin, Founder and Managing Director of Luggarrah – An education management business that runs events and workshops in regional areas to upskill First Nations people and communities and provide them with career opportunities within the technology industry.
  • Leisa Wahlin, Founder and Managing Director of Yellow Balloon – A marketing and digital agency that specialises in helping small and medium businesses across Australia succeed through connected marketing strategies that create enduring customer connections.

The CGU Kayku Kumpa awards program was run as part of Indigenous Business Month. It takes its name from the local language of the Gringai people of the Wonnarua nation of the Hunter Valley in NSW.

Kayku Kumpa (pronounced Kuy – koo Koom – pah) means ‘strong yesterday, stronger tomorrow’. It was chosen as it represents the opportunity for participants to become stronger business owners and help create a better future for themselves, their communities and their business.

IAG is a proud supporter of the reconciliation movement in Australia. In 2019, IAG launched an Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan, its third RAP, which is the highest level of endorsement from Reconciliation Australia. The IAG RAP outlines commitments such as providing employment and internship opportunities to First Nations people, as well as supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.



Media enquiries

Contact IAG media team