Why Bulhari

In the language of the Thalanyji people who live on the lands to the east of Onslow in the Pilbara, Bulhari means “paperbark tree” – a tree which provides sustenance and nutrition through the water it holds in its centre.

It’s a fitting name for a business consultancy which believes in supporting its clients whenever and wherever needed; for a company which operates in Western Australia and South Australia and which is the first Aboriginal owned and operated Native Title Trustee and travel agency in either State.

We invite you to grow with us and reach out to communities who will benefit from what we can together provide.

Who we are

"Our lessons come from the journey, not the destination" Don Williams Jnr

As with all good things, we started with an idea - we built on a dream to be precise.  A simple dream really - one that said there had to be a better way for Aboriginal People to be involved with decisions that impact their future success and prosperity.

We adopted the view: Nothing About Us, Without Us.  For us that meant: Nothing About Aboriginal People Without Aboriginal People.  And it's this mindset that continues to grown and thrive today within our company.

Our history is a story of innovation and hard work that stretches back more than 60 years.  Our collective thoughts and collaborative efforts spans more than eleven years, and while our letterhead has changed over time, what has remained constant is the spirit of inclusion and progress.

Lenny Ashburton and his aunt Trudy Hayes, are proud Thalanyji People from Onslow in the Pilbara region, WA, and I am a New Zealand Maori from Wellington's surrounds.  We met in 2014 and quickly became firm friends and later stronger business partners.  Our values and ideals were similar, and we had the right amount of risk and dare.

The name Bulhari was given to us by senior Thalanyji elders.  It means paperbark tree, and in Aboriginal culture, has many uses.  The water which runs though the centre of a Bulhari, provides sustenance and nourishment.  We are proud to be thought of as a Bulhari.

As we've grown, we've stayed true to our core values which remain key to our success.  Ultimately, when you partner with Bulhari, you're not partnering with a multinational corporate or a big international brand, but with an authentic, locally-owned business that puts you, the customer, at the centre of everything we do.

With 50 percent of our staff being of Aboriginal descent, our cultural authority comes from our staff, their family, and their communities who are the traditional owners of their land.

That's our story so far, but the next chapter is even better - we hope to see you there.

Nga mihi, Wanthaya, Thank you

Trudy, Lenny, Georgia and the Bulhari team.


MEET THE TEAM TO TAKE YOU THERE

The secret behind Bulhari lies in the incredible individuals who are dedicated to making your experience memorable. Bulhari has developed a hand-picked and trusted team of multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-talented individuals throughout Australia, with a wealth of local knowledge at their fingertips who are passionate about what they do.

 GEORGIA LEWIS

Managing Director

Georgia Lewis is the Managing Director of Bulhari Holdings.  Georgia's professional background includes more than thirty years of proven proficiency in a diverse range of initiatives that support Maori business and economic development across the globe.

Georgia has an interest in strategies for social change and extensive professional experience in the family violence prevention field including working with courts, programme development, provider training, research and policy. Georgia's greatest achievement was her extensive involvement in the implementation of the Whanau Ora program which is an inclusive, culturally-anchored approach to provide services and opportunities to whānau and families across New Zealand.

Having completed her university studies in New Zealand and migrating to Western Australia in 2011, Georgia started her own business after she couldn’t find a company that practised the self determination principle.  “Aboriginal People are best placed to drive their own positive end results.  Our job is to provide a vehicle to do that”  Bulhari assists Aboriginal People to become self reliant.

TRUDY HAYES

Cultural Advisor

Trudy is the Cultural Advisor for Bulhari Holdings.
Trudy Hayes is a proud Thalanyji woman who has lived and worked in the Pilbara and Perth regions.  Trudy has more than 30 years experience in executive management roles in the Indigenous field and Mining sectors.

Described as personable, articulate, and knowledgeable, Trudy is an effective presenter to community, government, corporate and tourist groups keen to meaningfully expand their relationships with Aboriginal People and Aboriginal organisations.

Trudy's additional background within the mining sector has provided a range of experiences to add to her versatile approach when working at all levels of an organisation, and with internal and external stakeholders. She prides herself on her professionalism, innovation, and ethics.

While continuing her full time employment portfolio as General Manager for Ganthalha Enterprises, Trudy is completing her qualification with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

LEONARD ASHBURTON

Shareholder and Advisor

Responsible for guiding our Native Title Trust team, Lenny brings more than 16 years working with Aboriginal People and Aboriginal groups in Western Australia and South Australia.

With a particular focus on asset management, including executive leadership, research, compliance and social development, across Aboriginal-centred sectors, Lenny has forged a reputation as a commercially focussed, results driven strategic executive.