Comm Games spurs Indigenous business growth and creates jobs

THE Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games continue to boost growth and support jobs for many Queensland Indigenous businesses, according to new data released today.

Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said Queensland Indigenous businesses secured more than $14 million in contracts and revenue from the Games, enabling many to create jobs and grow their business.

“Many of these Indigenous businesses have been able to maintain the momentum from the Games and have continued to prosper,” she said.


“We delivered the first ever Reconciliation Action Plan for a Commonwealth Games because we were determined to ensuring the Traditional Owners of our state benefitted from the biggest event in Queensland’s history.

“Supporting Indigenous businesses was one of the key aims of the GC2018 Reconciliation Action Plan – to provide opportunities for procurement, employment and training.”

Snap Underwood Owner Karen Seage was awarded several printing contracts associated with the Games which enabled her to employ two new staff members and to transfer two casual employees to full-time apprenticeships.

Karen, a Nunagal woman from Minjerribah on North Stradbroke Island, said being able to offer full-time apprenticeships had been life-changing for the two employees and gave them long-term financial security.

“Our business has really expanded since the Games, and we have had increased Tier 1 business, and much more business from Government departments,” she said.

“I’ve been really thrilled that since the Games, our sales figures have stayed at the same high level as they were during the Games. The work has continued to steadily come in,” she said.

Since the Games, Snap Underwood has opened an Indigenous design studio which has provided employment for an additional staff member and the appointment of a female Indigenous artist-in-residence.

Another Queensland Indigenous business CivtecQld increased their staff numbers since securing a battery supply contract for the Commonwealth Games.

CivtecQld founder and Managing Director Ricky Talbott said the 100 per cent Aboriginal owned and operated company expanded their Corporate Services Team since the Games.

“Winning the tender enabled CivtecQld to recruit for two significant roles – a Commercial Manager and an Office Manager which has put the company in good stead for other major contracts,” Mr Talbott said.

“The process of tendering for the battery supply contract provided an invaluable first-hand insight and understanding of the Queensland Government tendering process.”

Through the Games, CivtecQld established networks and partnerships with other businesses which provided leads for work in Townsville, Gunnedah and South East Queensland.

Pacific Facilities Services (PFS) has been involved in the Commonwealth Games since March 2015 when they were engaged for cleaning services during the Parklands construction.

More than 6000 hours of Indigenous training and employment were completed during the construction period. They employed up to 12 full-time site cleaners during this phase.

General Manager Stephen Driscoll said the company continued their involvement, working alongside JLL and GOLDOC as part of the Athletes Village facilities management team before and during the Games.

“The facilities management and cleaning work has continued to flow after the Games with Pacific Facilities Services engaged through the refurbishment work,” Mr Driscoll said.

“The Commonwealth Games work allowed us to offer ongoing employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Staff member Josh Ah Wing is just one example of how opportunities continue to open up.

“Josh started with PFS in 2015 as a cleaner and was promoted to a supervisor of 10 people at the peak period of construction. Almost 12 months after the Games, Josh has secured permanent employment still working at the precinct,” he said.

Stephen said since the Games, the company has secured government and major project contracts including interstate projects.

Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said more than 800 employment and training opportunities were created because of GC2018.

Far North Queensland business, Mossman Gorge Centre and Voyages provided tourism and hospitality internships for 13 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the Employment Pathway Program.

The program aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to work in the industry after the four-week program. Nine participants successfully gained employment following the Games.

Hutchinson Builders partnered with Verifact to train Indigenous participants in traffic control and provide employment to participants who completed the program.

Six Indigenous people qualified and have continued employment in the industry. Since the Games, Verifact has promoted the initiative across Queensland and have committed to filling 55 position.