First Nations owned and operated business Yalagan Group has joined forces with WA printing company Crystal Printing Solutions to provide training and employment opportunities to First Nations peoples and communities.

In early 2021 Yalagan and CPS formed an alliance to design Yalagan Imprint, a printing services division of Yalagan Group. Yalagan Imprint will offer commercial offset printing, folding carton printing, graphic design and cross channel marketing integration.

A 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Yalagan Group, Yalagan Imprint combines the expertise and passion of both Yalagan and CPS to provide something new for the industry.

Yalagan Group’s WA business manager Jessica Wilson said the alliance was a long time coming.

“We have known CPS for some time, so the relationship developed organically from that,” she said.

“Printing was a space that we wanted to explore, and CPS had goals within their own business to build diversity in their workforce, so it was a great fit.

“We know now what it is, what the goals are and what we want to achieve through it.

“Now it’s just about getting out there and doing it. I really think the sky is the limit. I’m very excited about the opportunities.”

She noted the pride Yalagan has in creating an avenue to empower First Nations people in WA.

“I have a clear vision that it is going to be a great vehicle to create exciting jobs for First Nations people.”

“And a variety of jobs too, so anything from business development, marketing, sales, graphic design — jobs that can create amazing long-term opportunities,” she said.

Bringing a big name to the game, Yalagan has also employed former CPS director and football great Jon Dorotich as its Yalagan Imprint Business mentor.

“I can see that anyone who comes into the business to learn from him will get such a broad range of not only professional advice, they’re going to get skills for life,” Ms Wilson said.

“It really turns itself into this great business which is managed, run and operated by First Nations people.”

Mr Dorotich is excited by the opportunity to support First Nations people starting in the industry.

“I think back to when I first started in the industry in Melbourne in 1986, all the knowledge that was within the business I was working at, the people that gave their time, energy and expertise to upskill me in my journey,” Mr Dorotich said.

“Thirty-four years down the track, I’m really excited … I see this flourishing team of First Nations people out there under my guidance delivering great outcomes to our many customers.”

Dabbling in butchery, postal delivery and playing for both South Fremantle and Carlton in the 1980s and 1990s — Mr Dorotich has a wealth of experience that extends beyond the printing press.

“In all my years of experience, I know what’s important is when you wake up in the morning, you want to go to work and make a difference,” he said.

“With Yalagan and what they’re doing, and what they have historically done … this is something that makes me wake up and smile.

“Thinking I can have an impact for First Nations people who will not only work with the Yalagan Imprint business but alongside the Crystal Printing team members — that is exciting.”

While supporting First Nations employment and self-determination, Yalagan Imprint is also dedicated to caring for Country, Ms Wilson said.

“For Yalagan Imprint, there is an opportunity to give back to Country. We want to create a sustainable business that leaves a positive impact on the land on which we operate.”

By Rachael Knowles