Murdoch’s Kulbardi course turns runaway teen into runaway business success

A course at the Kulbardi Centre proved to be the turning point for Ingrid Cumming.
A course at the Kulbardi Centre proved to be the turning point for Ingrid Cumming.

HOMELESSNESS, child abuse, drugs and alcohol was the only existence Ingrid Cumming knew as a teenager. Today, however, she is the CEO of a successful business and has the world at her fingertips.

“I had a pretty interesting life when I was 17 years old and was homeless and had a lot of dramas in my life,” she said.

“I experienced some hefty trauma as a child – abuse from a family member – and went on a roller coaster ride for 10 years of my life.

“My whole thing was to choose alternative pathways such as running away and getting into drugs and alcohol and the homeless route.”

It was not until she had had enough of that life that Ms Cumming finally rang her parents, who told her to come home.

“I was homeless and in Sydney and then made contact with my parents who told me to come home,” she said.

“I found out about a course at Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre at Murdoch University and I was very lucky to meet some great people at the centre – both indigenous and non-indigenous – and to have supportive parents,” she said.

Today Ms Cumming is the CEO of award-winning indigenous consultancy business Kart Koort Wiern, which offers training and workshops promoting reconciliation and awareness.

“I was awarded indigenous business of the year and finalist for the NAIDOC awards. I have two beautiful kids and an amazing husband and all because I started that course at Kulbardi,” she said.