Indigenous and Veteran Operated Company Jannila Office Supplies Builds Momentum

April 3, 2024

Leighton Smith | Townsville Bulletin

A First Nations veteran is helping reduce cost of living pain for NQ businesses and families with his online stationery supplying venture, which is building a loyal base of customers.

Following a distinguished 20-year military career which saw him serve in Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea, Regimental Sergeant Major Justin Jones retired in 2021.

The long-term Townsville resident embarked on a new mission in early 2023 when he founded Jannila Office Supplies – named after the street where he lives in Cranbrook.

Mr Jones said Jannila was an indigenous word which means a “full moon and a new beginning”.

Comparing the business to an “online Officeworks”, he has gained “solid traction” after pushing through a challenging first year.

“I’d studied business and I’ve done a lot of work in business through defence and whatnot so I thought I’d have a crack as there’s not too much need for combat engineers out here,” Mr Jones said.

“So I just used the skills that I learned through uni and the operations side of things and came up with this. (Customers) already know what they want before they get there.”

He has secured a wide range of customers in the defence, construction, banking and property industries with goods sourced from distributors across the country.

“The way that I’m set up, I can do it so much cheaper because I don’t have the overheads of warehouses … so I’m able to pass on all those discounts to families and businesses and basically try to put more money back into the community,” he said.

In the future, he hoped to grow the business into a warehouse where he could create work opportunities for veterans re-entering civilian life, as well as a place to upskill First Nations people, particularly at-risk youth.

Mr Jones has become the sole provider of office and stationary for one of Australia’s leading property investment firms, Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group.

A regular visitor to Townsville, the group’s CEO Warren Ebert has mentored Mr Jones.

“It’s the same quality service and price as any other stationery supplier, and all online, user friendly and delivered on time to the office – why wouldn’t you use such a service?” Mr Ebert asked.

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