My name is Cade Dawkins and I'm from Bama Services based in Cairns.
[Why is your role in Bama Services?]
So I'm the General Manager of Bama Services. So we have 4 operating divisions here, we have Landscape Construction, Landscape Maintenance, Civil, and Building Projects and I'm the General Manager overseeing all those four entities and the management structure.
[How was Bama able to achieve prequalification for working on TMR projects?]
Sure so Bama started out, we took on smaller low-risk projects with TMR's Roadtek division and we built up experience and capability on two or three projects. That enabled us to go for our pre-qualification assessment and we were successful from there in being awarded larger more complex projects, to where we are today where we're completing a $15million project in a joint venture with Downer.
[Why is completing prequalification so important for Bama?]
Effectively the pre-qualification allows us to be able to tender for TMR project opportunities so without it we wouldn't be able to be a project delivery partner of TMR, so it's critical to our business that we have that pre-qualification and maintain it.
[What projects have you worked on with TMR?]
Predominantly in remote Far North Queensland along the Peninsula Developmental Road. So we're on our fifth project now with TMR called Kennedy to Rocky Creek but before that we've done south of Duck Holes, 10 Mile Creek, and then we did three projects with Roadtek all around Cape York region along the Peninsula Developmental Road.
[Do any of the projects you worked on really stand out to you?]
They're all standouts in the sense that every project's enabled Bama to increase our capability and experience, and take another step forward. And the other thing that we've been able to do in collaboration with TMR is really exceed our key result areas around Indigenous employment, training, and economic development outcomes
[What experience has Bama gained through working with TMR?]
The experience we've gained on those TMR projects has enabled us to then go to the likes of a blue chip client like Rio Tinto, who's based in Weipa, to do road works there. And a lot of the Far North Queensland councils we've been able to get them on board as clients as well and deliver similar works for them directly. So without the TMR relationship and the project experience we've gained, we wouldn't be able to deliver those projects or pre-qualify for those projects.
[What has the value of this partnership been for Bama?]
The other value that the TMR relationship has brought to Bama is Bama was awarded small employer of the year, late last year, for the Far North Queensland region. And TMR had a big role to play in that because the employment outcomes and training outcomes that we were able to deliver was through having projects such as with TMR. Furthermore Bama's starting to be approached with large tier one contractors to be a joint venture partner and that's off the back of the delivery of TMR projects. So they're seeing value in in Bama locally here in Far North Queensland. And the bigger tier one contractors, that want to deliver some of the major works, who are looking to partner with a local outfit are approaching Bama.
[Where do you see the future relationship between Bama and TMR going?]
So from my perspective I think Bama is progressively earning the right to take on bigger projects and more complex projects with TMR. We're delivering the biggest project we ever have on our books in our 10-year operating history now with TMR. If we finish that successfully you know, then take on our next one, and just progressively, as I say, earn the right to take on larger, more complex projects and grow this business to deliver win-win outcomes with TMR.
[Why do you think it's important for wholly Indigenous owned businesses like Bama to play a role in road infrastructure programs?]
I think it enables Indigenous people through those Indigenous businesses to participate in the real economy. You know if people have been on social welfare long term, or there's other social barriers, Indigenous businesses give them the opportunity to go and work on a real project, earn a real wage, you know improve their confidence, self-esteem, take those skills, the training, the experience, put it on their CV. And then it enables, open doors for them, and enables them to do other things with their career, beyond that specific TMR project.
[What advice would you give to other First Nations business looking to contract with TMR?]
Based on our experience, we found it integral to our business, we're very pleased to have TMR as one of our top clients. I would strongly encourage them to look at the requirements of being a service provider to TMR. TMR have a very healthy pipeline of project works so yeah if you can add value I think it's just setting up the capability, looking at the pre-qualification requirements, getting the right people on board to help you run the business and deliver the project successfully and safely, then yeah I think it provides a great opportunity.
[Where do you see TMR's partnership with First Nations businesses and people going in the future?]
I think from my perspective TMR are one of the leading agencies in terms of Indigenous business engagement and their emphasis on Indigenous business participation as well as partnering with businesses like Bama to deliver on the ground Indigenous employment, training, localised economic development. So we're very pleased and very aligned I guess with TMR to be partnering with them on those fronts. Where TMR could go as a next step? Maybe like Defence where you have a ring-fenced portfolio of project works that's a Indigenous business-only panel? That might be something that TMR will explore down the track.