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Indigenous construction firm TVN On-Country cements reputation after successful year

David Prestipino -

Leading Albury-Wodonga construction company TVN On-Country has continued to build its reputation in the construction sector after a year of success and expansion in the sector.

The prominent Indigenous-owned and operated commercial construction, project management and procurement company won yet another major Indigenous business award last month, named Regional Business of the Year at the 2023 Victorian Aboriginal Business Awards for the third consecutive year.

Managing director and proud Wiradjuri man, Jebb Hutchison, said 2023 had been the busiest and most rewarding yet in six-year history of the company.

"At the beginning of 2023 we started work on our largest project to date, the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence, on Yorta Yorta Country in Shepparton," Mr Hutchison said.

"This project really excites me because we are building a piece of history for mob."

Due for completion next year, the MCRE is a state-of-the-art, Indigenous-led educational, sporting, cultural and community centre funded by the Victorian Government and Melbourne University.

Winning the project saw TVN's operations expand significantly in 2023, with more than 50 new staff employed across the business, whose workforce is 25 per cent Indigenous.

TVN On-Country, which was established in 2017 by Mr Hutchison and friends Jon Whelan and Gareth VanNoort, manages commercial construction projects in three states from its regional headquarters, with offices also in Melbourne and Adelaide.

"It is fitting this year's Kinaway awards theme is growth, as that's exactly what we have experienced, at a rapid rate," Mr Hutchison said.

"I look back and think... how have we - three boys from the bush just having a go - come to be up on a stage in front of all these people at an awards night in Melbourne?

"Gareth and I were mates at school in red dirt country up around Hillston, New South Wales. We set up in the rumpus room at Gareth's brother's house in West Albury."

Almost a third of the company's staff is female, while 25 per cent are Indigenous, and many Defence veterans, with the majority of its contract work tied up with the Australian Defence Force.

TVN On-Country has also invested in creating pathways for young Indigenous people to enter the industry after the launch in 2022 of its On-Country Pathways, a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity that provides pathways into employment for youth, with the initiative already attracting partnerships with several local businesses who have provided work experience and job placement support, traineeships and cadetships.

Hosted by Kinaway Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne, the Victorian Aboriginal Business Awards celebrate excellence among First Nations businesses, giving them a platform to be recognised and inspire other like-minded organisations and communities.

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