Katherine, the point where the traditional lands of the Jawoyn, Dagoman, and Wardaman Aboriginal peoples converge, is a town rich with culture, history and tradition. It has a population of 10,000 and is a hub for people exploring the many attractions to the greater Katherine region including art, culture, nature, wildlife, festivals and adventures.
In 2016 we partnered with Aboriginal entrepreneur Nathaniel Joshua to develop the first ELP supported enterprises in Katherine, Speargrass Bike Tours.
Speargrass Bike Tours- a bike tour, hire and repair shop- is a social enterprise with the aim of addressing the high levels of unemployment and the lack of available job pathways in Katherine for young Aboriginal men. The venture will also support young fellas who are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, by creating diversionary pathways through referrals from police and magistrates.
The development of Speargrass as an enterprise has been participatory, with a group of 10 young men, lead by Nathaniel, working with ELP to develop the concept, attract start-up funding and build the foundations of the business ready for a launch in dry season 2017. A key aspect of the business will be a mentorship program, providing a platform for young men to develop new skills and become role models for their peers and the local community.
“I’m going to mentor young fellas, teaching them how to fix bikes and run the shop. Over time they will grow confidence and knowledge and I will be there to support them when they’re ready to take a step towards starting their own enterprise!”. Nathaniel Joshua, Co-Founder and Manager, Speargrass Bike Tours