Aurecon and the partly Indigenous-owned engineering company Elevate Consulting Engineers have forged a partnership to create sustainable development opportunities for Australia’s First Nations communities.
International design and engineering consultancy Aurecon has partnered with Elevate Consulting Engineers, a civil engineering design company registered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait business directory Supply Nation, to provide training and employment opportunities to upcoming engineers with Indigenous backgrounds.
The initiative forms part of Aurecon’ Reconciliation Action Plan to support and engage with First Nation communities.
Based out of Brisbane, Elevate Consulting Engineers was founded in early 2020 by engineering veteran Jason Marshall, who has amassed more than three decades of experience including five years as a construction and development manager at Lendlease, and Kamilaroi man Sean Whitfield, Elevate’s client engagement manager who has served in public and private sector roles in Queensland, New South Wales, and the Northern Territory for over two decades.
Described as an Indigenous-focused business, Elevate offers a range of civil and structural engineering services with a focus on project management and design across residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Its new partnership with Aurecon will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and cultural insights, along with providing Elevate with guaranteed engineering and design work and access to Aurecon’s technology, systems and expertise.
“The professional services industry is very competitive, and it can be difficult for First Nations people to grow their businesses within that environment,” said Aurecon’s Property and Place Industry Leader, Jared Lillywhite. “We are providing Elevate with the opportunity to build a successful team and culture in their own way, while working with us as if they were Aurecon employees, so that they can thrive as a business in their own right.”
Aurecon, which last year featured on the Diversity Council Australia’s list of ‘Inclusive Employers’, stated that the industry-first partnership with Elevate is one of its 2022-2024 RAP initiatives to support and engage with First Nation communities, including a more than $1 million spend with Indigenous-owned businesses since 2019.
Previously, the firm won awards for its Project Gilghi off-grid water purifying system for remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
“There is a lot of eagerness from Indigenous communities, but not a lot of opportunities, especially for the technical aspects of engineering,” said Elevate’s Whitfield of the Aurecon collaboration. “This partnership means we’ll be able to expand our work in Brisbane to a much broader scope in the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria, helping create employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people who want to have a career in STEM.”