A far north Queensland civil construction business Strait Support has taken out the Queensland Government Small Business Achievement Award at the Queensland Community Achievement Awards event in Brisbane.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman congratulated Erub (Darnley) Islander Shane Lui on the award and his commitment to his community.
“Strait Support is a proud Indigenous owned business that employ Indigenous staff with a focus on increasing employment opportunities in the Torres Strait,” Ms Fentiman said.
“This is fantastic news and I congratulate Shane and the team for their incredibly hard work.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said Shane started Strait Support on Darnley Island to deliver infrastructure, employment and training services for the Torres Strait community, by locals for locals.
“The company is increasing sustainable employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by engaging with reputable organisations as project partners and supplying labour, plant and equipment hire and training solutions,” Ms Lui said.
“They also support, mentor and upskill people looking for work to develop the confidence and skills they need to gain permanent employment independently.”
“They are great employers of the local community and we want to grow the number of indigenous businesses across the state as we know indigenous businesses are 100 times more likely to employ indigenous staff.”
Shane Lui moved back home to Darnley Island after studying and working on the mainland, building Strait Support from a sole employee in 2017 to employing 17 staff as carpenters, labourers, cleaners, Indigenous compliance officers and compliance rangers and project managers.
“Strait Support’s point of difference is our focus to assist, support, mentor and grow our own people to have the confidence and skills to gain permanent employment,” Mr Liu said.
“We do this by connecting Indigenous jobseekers with current opportunities with our network of clients.”
Apart from civil construction works, Strait Support last year won a $1.5 million contract with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to deliver Indigenous labour hire.
The Queensland Government Small Business Achievement Award, part of the Queensland Community Achievement Awards, highlights the success and achievements of small businesses and their leaders.
“Small business is the engine room of the state’s economy and the Government is committed to ensuring Queensland is the best place for small businesses to start, grow and create more jobs,” Ms Fentiman said.
“That’s why we are consulting with small businesses across the state until December 13 to develop a new small business strategy, asking what else can be done to help them succeed.”
Other finalists for the Queensland Government Small Business Achievement Award were Phoenix Security Services of Mount Isa, Tambo Teddies at Tambo and Thom & Ann’s restaurant at Yarrabilba.