Multhana Property Services was established in 2017 to give opportunities for Indigenous people to enter the workforce.
The company employs more than 200 people across South-East Queensland. This includes school leavers, mature aged workers, long-term unemployed and other marginalised groups – with Indigenous staff making up 24 per cent of its workforce (as of June 2022)
As founder Joseph ‘Joey’ Wallace explains, Multhana translates to “coming together to help each other” in the Kalkadoon language.
“Its about empowering mob of all races, and all nationalities. I’m about giving everyone opportunities, second chances,” Joey said.
He works with Tier 1 companies to meet their reconciliation action plans, as well as Commonwealth and state Indigenous procurement policies. The company has landed some big contracts, such as the Cross River Rail project and cleaning 1200+buses for Brisbane City Council. It has also just won the contract for ongoing cleaning for the Brisbane Metro site facilities and information centre.
Multhana is big on community support, including sponsoring a variety of Indigenous sports people, including players from the Ipswich Jets rugby league and netball.
“I’m a big believer that if you do the right thing, good things will happen for you,” Joe said.
One of the biggest challenges the business faced in its infancy, recalls Joe, was the 60- or 90- day payment terms for big projects.
“Carrying 3 months of wages is extremely hard for small businesses – it’s a huge risk and very daunting.” Joe said. “It’s a big barrier for many Indigenous businesses to working with organisations who are keen to help.”
“If they are fair dinkum about engaging Aboriginal businesses, there has to be a compromise.”
Last month, Joey won the Queensland Resources Council’s Indigenous Advocacy in Queensland Resources for actively fostering an inclusive environment. But he said his greatest achievement is being able to employ marginalised people and seeing them succeed, upskill and then “jump ship”.
“I’m happy for any of the mob to use Multhana as a springboard,” he said.
For more information on Multhana, go to the company website.