4 July 2022

Indigenous identity boosts father and son business

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In just 12 years, WorkControl has grown from a couple of old utes based in Forbes to a fleet of about 130 vehicles, a staff of more than 300 and depots in Forbes, Parkes, Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo and Narrabri. 

And if you have driven around the central west of NSW, there is a good chance you have seen one of the distinctive vehicles, featuring Indigenous artwork, and traffic controllers clad in pink shirts. 

“We knew we had to come up with a different approach,” Director Ben Gunn said. “We needed to let people know who we are and our identify.” 

As a proud Wiradjuri man, Ben had been involved in a lot of community, sport and Indigenous programs.  

“This was an opportunity to showcase who I was and to give others an identity with the workforce,” Ben said. 

“That was a big turning point for us too. That ownership. Not just indigenous staff but non-indigenous as well.  

Ben is most proud of his staff, nearly a third of whom are Indigenous.  

“A lot of staff been with us from the start. They are our priority,” he said. 

“We have a large workforce for western NSW, and we’ve created a culture I am proud of.” 

While the company has seen rapid growth over the past 8 or so years, it wasn’t always easy. 

For the first 3 or 4 years, Ben and his father, bricklayers by trade, worked in their day jobs while building the business. 

“We overcame [the knockbacks] by being consistent,” Ben said. 

“It’s a high-risk industry and people were reluctant to give us a start. We didn’t have much of a resume.” 

That was until Downer in Bathurst gave the company a chance. 

“Downer in Bathurst gave us a bit of a go on a project. Consistent work with them laid us a base and gave us an image on the road when we were working on the Great Western Highway.” 

The company is now upskilling staff and diversifying into heavy vehicle and plant. 

Find out more about WorkControl. 

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