8 July 2022

Supporting Indigenous business

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While RJ Precision Flooring is a small company in terms of permanent staff, it has capacity for large projects and is a large supporter of other Indigenous business.

In fact, its Indigenous spend for the last year was close to $60,000.

Founder Joshua Haddock, who owns the business, said he was “not interested in taking artists, making them labourers and making them unhappy.”

Instead, the company engages with, and supports, Indigenous artists and other Indigenous businesses. For example, they buy pallets of Waddi Water and have it available on site. “There’s no return., but I believe in the cause of what they are doing, and I want to help them build their business,” Joshua said.

To consolidate this support, Joshua launched a side business, Dreamtime Flooring, early in 2022. This supply-only company engages across the country with local Elders and Indigenous artists, or artists with permission to work in local areas.

They get original artwork and develop CAD drawings and vector files to have their carpet manufactured Geelong and the vinyl water jet or had cut.

“We capture the ‘perfect imperfections’. That is all part of the story,” Josh said.

Meanwhile, RJ Precision Flooring is developing a strategy whether young people can do work experience and see “what a successful Indigenous business looks like.”

“I built this business from nothing and turned it into a successful, prominent business in the flooring industry,” Joshua said.

“That is itself is an achievement for any Indigenous person – to be able to get through the battles of leaving school early, and all the other things associated. I made it. And I could have quite easily gone the other way.”

There have been challenges, most commonly builders that assume RJ Precision Flooring doesn’t have the capacity. So, they might award a partial tender to tick an Indigenous procurement box. But with a recent project covering the size of the MCG Oval, RJ Flooring punches well above its weight in a competitive industry.

For more information on RJ Precision Flooring installation or Dreamtime Flooring, go to the companies’ websites

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