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Working with BHP an Indigenous supplier perspecitve

For the past three years, Aboriginal United Services (AUS) has been successful with two of its subsidiary companies securing ongoing contracted work with BHP in traffic management and transport services.

AUS Managing Director Steven Dhu said the reputation of his business as a progressive Aboriginal-owned company is thriving because of the focus it places on service delivery, safety and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people.

“AUS is working hard to position itself to be recognised as one of the best in class for the services we provide - which just happens to be Aboriginal owned,” Mr Dhu said.

“To date, we’ve partnered directly with BHP to provide traffic management solutions on a long term contract and more recently a dedicated freight service out of Newman collecting ore samples from mine sites.

“The result of these two great opportunities has given AUS a greater profile and backbone to create more work and employment opportunities in the Pilbara.”

AUS Holdings’ relationship with BHP started in 2017 when it was contracted to undertake traffic management services for rail maintenance and emergency call-outs, along with site specific work across the Pilbara.

With depots and offices in Perth, Port Hedland, Newman and Tom Price and a growing workforce of more than 80 employees, AUS Holdings is quickly establishing itself as one of the premier service providers in the Pilbara. It has also expanded its services to the Kimberley region and Northern Territory.

Mr Dhu said the opportunity to contract directly with BHP, rather than sub-contract to a Tier 1 supplier, enabled and empowered his business ‘to get a start’ and retain its unique, effective business model, self-developed safety systems and culture.

“I’ve dealt with the bigger contracting companies in the past, and for an Indigenous business it’s not always an easy road to go down.

“Working with BHP has helped AUS in its core mission to increase the economic development of Aboriginal people in the areas we operate.

“We have been able to train and employ local Aboriginal people and, importantly, continue to provide employment opportunities in a sustainable and supported work environment.

“As a group we are confident we can continue to grow our businesses in the Pilbara and beyond and in doing so, meet our objectives of increasing the number of Indigenous people and businesses we employ.”

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