Alumni Stories

Kardan Construction

2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards | WA | State Winner

Indigenous Excellence Award

When it comes to key Australian infrastructure projects, Kardan Construction isn’t just in the business of building, it’s focused on creating a stronger and more capable society by cultivating community relationships.

Frank Mitchell, a proud descendant of the Whadjuk-Yued Noongar people, co-founded Kardan – the Noongar name for a type of River Red Gum tree – is based in Perth, Western Australia. His philosophy for the business was simple: community infrastructure should have community outcomes. Frank also wanted his business to inherit the responsibility of creating a stronger and more resilient legacy for future generations, and particularly those of proud Aboriginal identity.

Franks says, “we aim for deep long-term impact. Kardan Construction not only employs Aboriginal Peoples wherever possible, but we also empower Aboriginal businesses, including suppliers, contractors, and sole traders to grow."

“By targeting employment, the flow on effects of individual economic benefit can empower whole communities, from a job comes the ability to buy a house, start a business, and employ other Aboriginal People. We want to see generational change, and construction is the perfect platform.”

As of December 2020, Kardan Construction has created 13 Aboriginal apprenticeships, six traineeships and three trade assistant positions – numbers that will continue to grow. It has awarded $3.8 million in contracts to Aboriginal-owned sub-contractors, which is part of its pledge to create jobs and security for Aboriginal People and to reap benefits for all Western Australian residents.

More recently, Kardan Construction has been involved in important projects such as the Kunawarritji basketball court, the Fremantle Prison Commissariat and Boorloo Bidee Mia – Perth’s first Community homeless shelter.

In recognition of its outstanding, long-term commitment to community, Kardan Construction was recognised as the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards, Indigenous Excellence, WA State Winner.

 

“Aboriginal empowerment is our passion, not only in providing opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples but also changing the narrative on business in broader society. We also want to provide a platform for other businesses to be engaged with social responsibility, in whatever way inspires their passion. We are also focussed on encouraging women, over 55’s and people of all abilities to enter the construction industry. This is how Kardan Construction has started to, and will continue to, disrupt the construction industry – through reciprocity,” said Mr Mitchell.

Moving forward, Kardan Construction has bright plans. It has forecasted between 30 – 60 per cent growth and now employs 25 full time staff, a number that the business expects will only rise. With support from the Awards program, the business is continuing to search for new opportunities to employ and upskill people, while fostering and nurturing a respectful culture that flows from the top, down.

 

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