Not only is South Australia’s Intract an Indigenous owned and operated business, it is also one of the country’s largest private sector employers of Indigenous personnel, boasting 120 Indigenous staff out of a total of about 125.
Owner John Briggs established the business with the aim of this high percentage of Indigenous staff.
“I want to do as much as I can to employ our people,” John said.
To that end, he has partnered with minority shareholder McMahon Services, to use their management systems and support the upskilling of staff.
“We are lucky that we share insurance, legal and commercial people with the McMahon Services Companies,” he said.
“We find it difficult to get Aboriginal people who are engineers, or project managers, or commercial managers to look after some of our highly technical and commercial projects.
“To build that expertise takes time. My people are learning off the McMahon Services personnel.
“Sooner or later, our people will step up and get to where we want them to be.”
As an example, John mentioned a staff member who began with Intract 8 years ago as his PA. The company supported her through university and she is now a qualified environmental scientist, about to start her PhD.
The company offers more than work. It actively helps staff apply for home loads, open savings accounts, create budgets and support children to attend school. John also personally advocates for staff who may fall foul of the law.
John’s vision can sometimes mean Intract’s pricing can be dearer than others. Yet for nearly 12 years, the company has been providing civil construction, building construction, building maintenance, asbestos remediation and demolition services for clients across Australia. Its success is largely off the back of clients that have a strong desire to close the gap and meet their reconciliation action plans.
They work with a range of Tier One contractors, including Lendlease and the South Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport and National Parks.
Find out more about Intract on the company website