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Why this Gomeroi and Barkindji business owner, celebrates Indigenous excellence every week

09 Jul 2024
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Grafton resident, grandfather, owner of three small businesses and proud Gomeroi and Barkindji man, Wesley Fernando, reflects on what success means to him this NAIDOC Week and how he celebrates Indigenous excellence every day of the year.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wesley says that while NAIDOC Week is a special time for him, it’s important to recognise and celebrate Indigenous excellence and heritage every day of the year.

“My work has taken me all over the world, from representing my people at the United Nations to working across communities in NSW, but I always come back to celebrating what we have here in the oldest living culture in the world,” said Wesley. “This is what NAIDOC is all about.”

Wesley and wife Laura bought the Just Cuts Grafton salon in 2019 after Laura worked as a manager and learnt to love the business model, followed by Just Cuts Armidale in 2021. Laura started a hairdressing traineeship with her mother when she was 19 before becoming a Just Cuts Stylist.

Wesley and Laura now employ 15 Local Stylists across the two salons and sponsor many local sporting teams and community organisations.

Wesley started his new business consultancy, Gombiz Solutions, in October 2023. Gombiz refers to the Gomeroi people, one of the four largest Indigenous nations in Australia.

“My business has taken me all over the world, and Just Cuts gave me the stability to do what I really wanted to do,” said Wesley. “Gombiz builds governance capability within organisations and individuals, with a focus on connecting business and people with life-changing outcomes”.

“Family business is really important to me. I’ve had that with my wife in Just Cuts for many years, and now I’m proud to share the next step with my son Wes Jnr, a trainee at Gombiz Solutions.”

Wesley and Laura were named Finalists for Just Cuts Franchise Owner of the Year 2024. The winner will be revealed at the upcoming Conference in Fiji next month.

“Seeing some of the other nominated owners, we were so proud to be in the same category. We’re humble but happy,” said Wesley.

Wesley says his advice for small business success for anyone is to do your homework.

“We love that Just Cuts is a place anyone can go to and feel welcome. The decades of history told us it wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan brand. Due diligence is really important in any business. And you have to believe in what you are doing.”

“We love how diverse the franchisees are and the professionalism in the Just Cuts support network. So many of my local customers are surprised when they find out I own the salons, as you don’t need to be a hairdresser to own a Just Cuts.”

Visit Gombiz solutions: https://www.gombizsolutions.com.au/

Visit: Just Cuts Grafton: https://www.facebook.com/JustCutsGrafton

Media Contact:

Andrew Stewart at Alpha Consulting

0400 964 222

astewart@alphaconsulting.global

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