In 2013, BADGE was working with NUDJ Plumbing on a $15m expansion of Broome Senior High School in Western Australia. It was a great success, and soon BADGE was talking with a local Aboriginal Corporation about a new partnership: one that would provide high-quality construction services while offering Indigenous Australians an industry-leading pathway into construction work.

By 2015 this idea had grown into NACP Projects, a joint venture to support and develop Indigenous communities through sustainable construction. True to the original vision, the partnership focuses on boosting Indigenous participation in construction, but the benefits stretch much further – with project profits shared across Indigenous community business development, education and employment.

For the past few years the partnership has worked hard around the country to grow its brand and reputation while delivering a range of construction projects, mostly through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP).

Now, from those humble beginnings, the partnership has taken its next big step.

The original shareholders – National Aboriginal Construction Partners (comprising Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation, Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation and Waanyi Aboriginal Corporation) and BADGE Constructions – signed a new agreement last month to become NACP Projects Australia, an incorporated entity.

This means the partnership has formally established itself as a major construction company dedicated to providing opportunity for Indigenous Australians in the construction industry.

I started my role as Manager only this year, so obviously I picked a very exciting moment in time to become part of the organisation.

As a proud Jaadwa man, my main attraction was the way the team provides value to clients while engaging with Indigenous communities and businesses around work sites as much as possible. Their passion has turned this philosophy into sustainable business growth.

However, I know the business has only scratched the surface of the opportunity in the marketplace.

As an incorporated entity, we can focus on pursuing sector diversification with a solid business platform. We can expand our internal capabilities to take on work in new sectors, and in turn offer more opportunities to Indigenous employees and subcontractors – which ultimately means more money flowing through our non-profit shareholders into community projects, training programs and events. We also have much greater scope to mentor Indigenous Australians embarking on their own construction careers.

The signing of the agreement represents the confidence that our shareholders have in our business position and the potential for us to build on it.

NACP Projects attending the School of Signals sod-turning ceremony at Simpson Barracks, Victoria

NACP Projects attending the School of Signals sod-turning ceremony at Simpson Barracks, Victoria. Pictured L-R – Michaela Crosbie (KPMG), Lizzy Santo (NACP Projects), Tom De Garis (NACP Projects), Daniel Robinson (NACP Projects), Lee Gibson (KPMG), Captain Joel Bell (Department of Defence CFI), Paul Dawson (Department of Defence CFI)

We’re entering the new era with some exciting work for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). As I write, our team is busy in Victoria building a new training centre for the School of Signals at Simpson Barracks and conducting refurbishment works at HMAS Cerberus under a $14.8m contract. We’ve also just signed a contract for construction works at the ADF’s Port Wakefield Proof and Experimental Establishment in South Australia.

There’s a wealth of investment in building and infrastructure taking place across Australia every day. We’re here to work with companies, agencies and the Indigenous community to ensure Indigenous Australians can benefit from a slice of that investment – and for us, the future looks great.

Feature image caption (see right): The signing of the new shareholder agreement (L-R) Kevin Cairns, Daniel Robinson & Dickie Bedford.

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