With a focus on empowering Aboriginal women in the workforce, Raquel Todd has launched her business, Sista Girl Sign and Print (Sista Girl).
Todd is an Aboriginal woman from the Banyjima and Kariyarra language groups in WA’s Pilbara region who has a passion for her people and giving back to community.
“I’m really rapt with how it has all come together, I didn’t expect it to turn out how it has … The first time I saw the logo, I was so excited, it was like my firstborn child,” Todd laughed.
“It’s not about making more money, it’s about how can I benefit from making money to help my community benefit.”
“You can always make more money, right? But you can’t always help the community. I am in a … position to be able to give back to where I came from.”
Launching last week, Sista Girl is a joint venture with WA’s largest signage business, Jason Signmakers. This partnership has enabled Sista Girl to succeed.
“With their capabilities, it allows us to do exactly what they are doing. We are mirroring that, and with the backing of [an organisation] like Jason Signmakers, it allows us to make sure we can have a stronger focus on our three pillars of Aboriginal engagement from the get-go,” Todd said.
Sista Girl’s three pillars centre around giving: giving Aboriginal women jobs, giving Aboriginal businesses space in their supply chain and giving back to community.
“A lot of businesses have to build up and get that capital before they can give back, but we can give back straight away. It has allowed me to be true to what we are, which is an Aboriginal business that wants to empower Aboriginal people, especially women.”
Managing Director of Jason Signmakers, John Mancini, said the joint venture with Sista Girl supports the organisation’s wider mandate of Aboriginal engagement.
“I’m pleased to confirm that our experienced sign experts will be providing training, coaching and mentorship to the Sista Girl Sign and Print team as they grow their capabilities. It’s been great to work with Raquel again and help her become an entrepreneur in her own right,” Mancini said.
Todd has been able to ensure mob are involved in Sista Girl, a main priority in her company’s three pillars of Aboriginal Engagement.
“We have done it through the supply chain. We recognise that mutual benefit [can be] achieved and [it’s] a way to help other Aboriginal businesses. With the community, we’ve been able to assist … unfortunately, [I] lost a cousin to suicide, but we were able to print the eulogy,” Todd said.
“Lastly is the workforce, which is where I want to have a strong focus on employing Aboriginal women.
“Being a business that does all our own manufacturing here in WA, all our procuring is done from WA. It means we can have traineeships, we can have apprenticeships, so we can start from the ground up with someone and build them up to where they want to be.
“I do what I do to give back to my community. I’m all about empowering Aboriginal women, I want Aboriginal women to feel that they can really break that stigma of having to be stay-at-home mums or having to rely on men or other family members to bring in income.
“I want them to feel powerful. I want them to be able to go on and be entrepreneurial and start their own businesses or become CEOs or managing directors.”
“Don’t strive for less just because you are a woman, and especially because you are an Aboriginal woman. You are entitled to everything as much as anyone else.”
Sista Girl specialises in keeping people safe at work, whilst also providing Australian and Main Road WA compliant road signs and business signage.
Currently, the company is working on a campaign to support organisations with COVID-19 workplace messaging.
By Rachael Knowles