Bec Sampi, a local Gija woman, is the head guide at Kingfisher Tours. She is pictured at Blue Hole, one of her favourite places, in the Purnululu National Park, East Kimberley. 8 MAY 2021 Picture: Danella Bevis The West Australian

Corporate Social Responsibility is a phrase that’s been thrown around big industry for the last couple of decades. It’s an important part of any business, to acknowledge and give back to the community you profit from, whether you’re sponsoring local sports teams, schools, or offering community grant programs.

At Kingfisher Tours we realised a really beneficial way we could add value to the communities we work with was by offering our skillset and so we developed a pro-bono micro business support program for tourism industry partners that has been running for the last 3 years.

Kingfisher tours has a number of projects that we support from the ground up, they range from training programs to development of infrastructure on country and research and development of our staff’s business ideas.

One of these business ideas came from our head guide Rebecca Sampi, who has been leading the tours on her country in Purnululu National Park since 2019. Bec has always had a keen interest in using botanicals from her country to make medicines and now spending much more time on country in Purnululu began experimenting with some of the bush botanicals to use in cosmetic products. She discussed the uses of the plants with the Olgamen (women elders) for the region and starting making scrubs and bath salts whilst based on tour and bringing them back for us to use.

The products smelt and felt beautiful! And the idea of setting up a small enterprise that could use the bush botanicals in cosmetic products, starting with soaps began to form. The business would be called Garingbaar products.

Kingfisher provided the opportunities to Bec to develop the product using Kingfisher facilities and providing introductions to work with people who could help her develop the product. We provided marketing support, assisting with copywriting and providing a contact between Bec and WAITOC who have taken on a big support role in the last 12months. Kingfisher also provided the mentoring for setting up the business, and putting the appropriate people in place as mentors as and when are needed.

In January this year the first big contract was signed, sealed and delivered! Garingbaar soaps are now available to the Public via Go-To Skin care online store.

The relationship with Go-To cosmetics started in the Bungle Bungle’s early 2021 whilst Bec was hosting the ‘Holiday Here This Year’ Tourism Australia campaign, who bought Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake as their ambassadors. Zoe took a keen interest in Garingbaar and approached Bec to launch 5000 of her soaps on line for international women’s day 2022, just last week!

What’s next?

The launch of Garingbaar through Go-To Skin Care has been a huge success and Kingfisher are now working with a number of Tourism Partners who are placing large wholesale orders through Garingbaar.

We are working with Bec and one of the local training organisations in Kununurra to provide training in the bush botanicals and showing the women how to make the soaps as quid pro quo and the women will commence collecting the bush botanicals and making soap for Garingbaar. Bec will be looking to employ 3 of the women from the training program in the next 6 months.

Kingfisher tours is also sourcing a warehouse in Kununurra for Garingbaar to have a base as a shop front, bush botanical garden and workshop by the end of 2022.

Kingfisher tours is absolutely committed to the development of our staff, their aspirations and the employment of Aboriginal people into our business and the businesses we develop.
Watch this space to hear about other projects we will be developing in the future!

If you have a particular skillset and want to offer your time to any of these community development projects, please do not hesitate to contact us. or call 08 9168 2718.