Digging their way to success

29th October 2018

It’s Indigenous Business Month, celebrating the diverse range of Indigenous businesses that are excelling and Indigenous entrepreneurs who are leading their communities.

Leaders, such as Jodie and Ben Thomas who have built their haulage and earthworks contracting business following the floods in the Bundaberg region in 2011.

Based in Childers, since 2012, Jodie is a proud Waanyi woman and Managing Director of Red Dirt Haulage and due to the success of their business, has been able to give back to her community.

“We really are honoured to have an opportunity to invest in the next generation and the community around us,” Jodie said.

“We sponsor Childers Junior Rugby League, Boots Four Kids Inc and Queensland Indigenous Rugby League.

“It is our hope that we both personally and as a business have an opportunity to bring about real outcomes that really do make a difference in the lives of those around us.”

The husband and wife team recently completed their largest project to date, the earthworks package for the construction of a Queensland State Emergency Centre. The project entailed the business to be on site for 51 weeks delivering everything from site preparation to trenching for services and clean-up of the site at completion.

“Over the past 12 months we have grown considerably,” Jodie said.

“It is a huge learning curve navigating the growth of our business. We have been grateful for the assistance of the Accelerate Indigenous Small Business Growth Grant which has enabled us to become more compliant for our tenders, better positioned to be successful at tender and also to implement systems to support our growth.”

Red Dirt Haulage’s vision statement is ‘Changing the Landscape’. For Jodie and Ben this reflects their dream both personally and for the business.

“As a business in a small regional community it matters if we do well.

“If all small businesses in small towns were successful it really would change the outcomes for the entire community and not only the communities in which we live but also the ones that we work in.”

Indigenous Business Month is an initiative of the MURRA Indigenous Master Class Program (MURRA) alumni to promote the variety and depth of Indigenous businesses nationally and to provide an Indigenous business voice to the national conversation. Find out about events happening across Queensland, Indigenous Business Month.

Find out more about funded programs, such as the Accelerate Indigenous Small Business Growth Grant support, Indigenous business.

Keep an eye on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for our spotlight on Queensland Indigenous businesses during October.