ISS Australia partners with Indigenous cleaning start-up

ISS Australia partners with a new Indigenous cleaning company to help ‘close the gap’ for the Lockhart Indigenous community in far-north Queensland.
From left: Rachael Smart (ISS), Barbara Bally (Lockhart Asset Services), Susan Johnson (Lockhart Asset Services), Allana Liddy (Lockhart Asset Services) and Ben Smart (ISS)

ISS Australia has partnered with a new Indigenous cleaning company in a bid to help ‘close the gap’ for the Lockhart Indigenous community in far-north Queensland.

In 2016, ISS Australia joined with business and education leaders to visit and speak to Elders and Councillors in Lockhart River, North Queensland, to see how they could assist the community.

[quote]“In our conversations, it was clear that financing the start-up costs is one of the main barriers to setting up a new business in remote areas like this,” said ISS executive general manager for specialised services Andrew Weaver.[/quote]

[quote]“I realised that this was certainly something that ISS could help with in terms of providing equipment, supplies, uniforms and so on, which would allow them to establish a cleaning business owned by local people and employing local people.”[/quote]

Since then, ISS has worked with My Pathway, a provider of employment and health services in rural and remote locations across Australia, to make connections with Indigenous communities and businesses in Lockhart River.

Through My Pathway, ISS partnered with ‘Lockhart Asset Services’ – a new cleaning company that had just been awarded a contract at the Lockhart State School.

ISS provided the start-up team with training on best-practice cleaning methods and chemical storage/handling. The company also supplied new uniforms and consumables, while supplier Bunzl donated cleaning products and equipment.

[quote]“Through our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), ISS Australia has made formalised commitments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to provide employment opportunities and build stronger relationships with these communities,” stated the company.[/quote]

[quote]“Since initiating the RAP in 2015, ISS has directly employed 216 Indigenous Australians. The Lockhart River project supports a key RAP objective for ISS by improving business opportunities and promoting prosperity for Indigenous people.” [/quote]

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