A lifetime building sustainable businesses drives Garry King
First Australians Capital has lofty ambitions. We exist to partner and help grow the individual, as an entrepreneur and disruptor. We believe in a future where Indigenous Australians are empowered to create a sustainable future through business ownership. We have a deep understanding and unwavering belief that each entrepreneur and business we support has a multiplier effect and that supporting growth for a business also supports family, community and Country.
Garry King, First Australians Capital’s Business Relationship Manager, is at the heart of that process. An Awabakal man who grew up on Gadigal land, Garry is humble by nature but huge of heart. Garry’s backstory is inspiring and demonstrates how the world can be changed one conversation at a time.
Garry joined First Australians Capital in 2015, utilising his varied and diverse experience to mentor, support and facilitate Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners in navigating their own paths to success.
At 14 years old, as Garry tells it, he “…left school and started out as a brick laying/concreting apprentice. I hated it, but in those days, you just did what your Dad did” he says candidly. Gary goes on to say that was ‘several’ decades ago (read into that what you will). “Back then, everybody went down either an academic path, or a trade path, it was that simple”.
“I did that for a relatively long time, quite well I think, and then went to East Sydney tech to get my pilots license, and then commercial pilots license” says Garry. “I started flying night aircraft and night charters, still do actually”.
From there Garry went on to support his brother’s bus transport company as Operations Manager. “We all pitched in over the years, my family I mean. Again, that’s just what you did” he says matter-of-factly.
A common theme naturally emerges which symbolises Garry’s journey and why he is so effective in his role as Business Relationships Manager at First Australians Capital: he has spent much of his professional career growing and running successful businesses.
After working with his brothers, Garry owned and run a heavy vehicle dealership in Nowra. He then started his own flying school at Temora, which he still does while also working full time with First Australians Capital!
At his flying school, Garry uses his spare time to work with his team and fellow instructors, always mentoring and supporting them in their own success. Garry says “I’ve never held just one job in my life. You could say I’m an overnight success – but it only took 40 years” he laughs.
Garry talks openly about the fact that he was one of 7 children, or 8 if you count one his parent’s ‘took in’. He grew up without much but incredibly strong life lessons and values, he says. “I was taught that if you want something you have to go and get it. No one will give it to you. We believed everyone was successful in their own right. It’s all about having that early guidance that makes all the difference”.
And it’s this message he carries into his work at First Australians Capital every day. “I love the role that I’m in. I enjoy it. I love seeing success. Capital is not all about money. It’s about growth in people. And that’s the path I tread” he says.
Garry enjoys the diversity his role offers, connecting him with businesses in a vast variety of fields from engineering to farming to fashion to civil works. Garry’s own varied experience enables him to work closely with Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners in charting their own course and accessing support and guidance across the business in a holistic sense.
“At First Australians Capital we work with businesses to help them grow” he says. “We might be helping to develop their business plan, build their models or help them navigate the path to building capacity. I have great passion for helping businesses grow, everywhere from small businesses to multi-million-dollar enterprises. They all have the potential to grow in their own way. I don’t care who you are – everybody is capable of learning and everybody is capable of succeeding if you put in the effort”.
He laughs at this point and draws his message back to First Australians Capital. “Look at First Australians Capital for example, it only took 10 years. 10 years of knocking on doors, 10 years of persistence, 10 years of belief, and look at us now, having real impact”.
Garry’s story illustrates the future he and First Australians Capital work to create every day; one where Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the support, services and capital they need in order to take control of their own future, to build a robust and sustainable First Nations’ economy.
First Australians Capital understands that investing in people, relationships and lifetimes of experience helps build a sector where 14 year-olds (like Garry ‘several’ decades ago) can see opportunities and understand that business is a viable and desirable pathway to take.
If your business needs support from someone like Garry – contact us to have a yarn about how we might be able to help.