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Building social change and collecting awards long the way

Dianne Bortoletto -

Barpa Construction Services in Victoria is one of 14 national finalists and one of two in Victoria in the Indigenous Excellence category of the 2024 Telstra Best of Business Awards.

Formed in 2014 by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations and Icon, Barpa Construction Services is a proud and dynamic commercial construction company seeking to empower Indigenous people and enterprise.

Barpa's capabilities include construction of commercial buildings, manufacturing facilities, retail outlets, educational facilities, hospitals, and sports/recreation facilities.

Barpa New Business Manager Jeremy Clark said the award has given the business a platform to demonstrate that Indigenous businesses are highly capable, and that commercial businesses can deliver positive social impact.

"It's exciting, the award recognises the efforts of our Owners for their leadership and vision, and that of our hard-working staff who make us a highly respected and capable construction company that brings about social change by empowering Indigenous people and businesses," said Mr Clark, who has worked at Barpa for more than nine years.

"While construction is our business, our reason for being is to bring about social change through Indigenous economic empowerment.

"Our Indigenous engagement and empowerment actions are proven and recognised as being authentic and effective.

"The culture we've created in the business motivates our staff to come to work every day knowing that they are playing their part in changing the lives of Indigenous people and reconciling Australia."

Clark said that Barpa strives for excellence and prides itself on its advanced construction capability, respectful Indigenous engagement, dedicated training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people, and its support of the Indigenous Business sector.

"We're proud to be a leader in the growing Indigenous business sector and will continue to use our success to make a difference," said Mr Clark, who is from Djap Wurrung and Peek Whurrung in South West Victoria.

Barpa has collected a slew of awards since its inception including winner of the 2022 Kinaway Chamber of Commerce (VIC) Excellence Award and took the title of 2022 Business of the Year Award at the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

State finalists of the Telstra Best of Business Awards will be announced on November 3, and the national winners will be revealed at the National Gala Dinner on February 8 in Sydney.

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