Jirra Lulla


Communications consultant, business strategist


Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri


Dandenong, VIC

Jirra Lulla is the founder and director of Kalinya Communications, an Aboriginal-owned PR and communications agency specialising in public relations strategy, brand development and event design, with a focus on sharing Indigenous knowledge. Jirra’s new project, Kalinya Retreats, is an all-inclusive experience for Aboriginal entrepreneurs and friends, with every product and every experience created by First Nations entrepreneurs.

"Make time for connection. Moments where you block out the rest of the world."

How did you get to where you are?

I learned by example, I watched, and I listened – to family, Elders, community leaders and business mentors. I stopped consuming TV or social media that didn’t bring new knowledge and inspiration into my life – I created a world around me that fuels my passion. And I worked hard. There aren’t shortcuts and we do have to work harder than others to get what we want. I think it’s important we acknowledge that and talk about how we can look after ourselves and each other in the process. I love my work. I’m constantly learning, travelling, growing. But if I’m not strong within myself, I’m no use to anyone else. The minute I started looking after my health, my business grew.

What’s your plan for the future? / Where do you want to be heading?

I want to build places for us – event spaces, accommodation, product studios. Places built for our needs, using our knowledge and responsive to our ways of being in the world. It’s about taking land back and it’s about creating inspiring environments for us work, catch up and create in. First, we had our land taken and then during the mission era, our families were moved around a lot. Today, we put so much of our money into renting spaces, hiring venues, or paying for hotels and we’re not always treated well. I want to build places where we feel secure, where we have land to care for and beautiful buildings to gather. I’m so excited about the way they will look and feel, with our creative skills and knowledge of Country. This brings together my love of nature, culture, design, wellness, travel and business.

One piece of advice for the next generation of Warriors?

Make time for connection. Moments where you block out the rest of the world. Turn your phone off, go out bush, get up before everyone else and go for a walk. Create moments to connect with your thoughts so you can listen to what you truly want. Connect with your body, so you can feel if something isn’t right or if you need more or less of something. And connect with the people you care about, in real ways, in equal and reciprocal ways.

"We are most powerful when we identify the unique ways we can contribute – that honour our personalities, our skills, our passions."

What’s that one bit of advice you wish you’d had when you were younger?

That you can care deeply about a million things, but it doesn’t mean all of it is your work. We all want our people to thrive and that means so many interconnected things: physical and emotional wellbeing, relationships with Country, economic freedom, justice, kinship. When you try and attack from all angles, you spread yourself too thin and burn out, or become so overwhelmed that you end up doing nothing. We are most powerful when we identify the unique ways we can contribute, that honour our personalities, our skills, our passions. Finding your work – that little niche just for you, the magic you want to bring into the world – is the key and often it starts with saying no to things that aren’t meant for you.

What does ‘Warrior’ mean to you?

Fighting for what’s yours. Fighting to protect your people, your peace, your land.

Lastly, any recommendations of one or two Indigenous Warriors out there killing it in their fields that the reader should know about?

I want to give people their flowers, but honestly this question is hard because there are so many people killing it right now. Nooky, you are killing it – in a way that is completely you. You have found that special magic you want to bring into the world and are buckling down on it. I’m working on a project I’m really excited about with Kieran Satour from Garuwa and two young creatives you are about to see a lot more of: Wimiya Woodley and Iya Ware. We are working on the branding for a new clothing and homewares range coming out of the Juluwarlu Group in Roeburn, WA. Young people from a remote community representing their own stories – that’s something we all want to see.

meet the other warriors

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