Sheryl Batchelor is a proud Kunja woman and passionate about neuroplasticity and the positive effects it has on people who have been through adversity. And that’s why she founded Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation in 2019.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neuro pathways and connections.
Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation uses culturally appropriate and tailored neuroplasticity programs to help vulnerable children, young people and families improve their brain health, heal their brain from adversity and strengthen their bodies through physical fitness activities.
Having already helped over 1,200 people since its inception, Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation is currently working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland and Western Australia to integrate neuroplasticity programs and strategies into their service delivery.
We spoke to Sheryl about her business and her journey as a Queensland female founder.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was inspired to start the business by reading about the power of neuroplasticity to improve the quality of life for people who had been through adversity. I wondered how we could use evidence-based neuroplasticity programs and strategies in a culturally safe way to help our most vulnerable children, young people and families through schools and government organisations that support children in foster/kinship care and in the youth justice system. This led me on a learning journey which I continue today.
What milestones have you reached?
Since our establishment in 2019, we have assisted over 1,200 children, young people and adults measurably improve their brain health. We are currently working together with a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland and Western Australia to integrate neuroplasticity programs and strategies into their service delivery to try and break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. Some of our Indigenous community-led initiatives we’ve already implemented are the Deadly Brains Program and Deadly Brains Playgroup.
What business achievements are you most proud of to date?
I am most proud of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, government and non-government organisations working together through system and individual barriers to integrate brain health, healing, and fitness messages in a culturally appropriate way into their service delivery. It is an ongoing process, but I am happy to see a change in the way people are changing the conversation from mental health to brain health and helping people in a more positive way without labels.
Have you participated in any Advance Queensland programs, or received any support from Advance Queensland to date?
I have a participated in several workshops and networking events and have enjoyed hearing about other people’s businesses. I look forward to the continued support that Advance Queensland provides for the business community.
What’s your advice for other female entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their entrepreneurship journey?
The best advice I can give is to engage in truth telling with yourself. Always check in with yourself by asking reflective questions that challenge you to think differently. Seek advice and support from others but ultimately the decision must rest with you, so be willing to explore and be vulnerable with others.