NAIDOC Week a special celebration for Indigenous owned company

Published 9:00am 15 July 2022

NAIDOC Week a special celebration for Indigenous owned company
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

As a proud Indigenous man, NAIDOC Week is an important event on the calendar for Jade North.

“It’s about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” Jade says.

“The Aboriginal culture has been around for 65,000 years and is one of the longest and oldest cultures on earth, so NAIDOC Week is a great way to share our knowledge and educate other people.”

Jade is one of the Owners and Managing Partners of Bridgeman Stainless Solutions – an Indigenous owned and operated and Supply Nation certified company, meaning the majority of the company is owned by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

“We have got close to 100 people employed in construction and metal manufacturing. Everyone has some sort of background, such as being Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Scottish and Irish, just to name a few.

“We all came together on Friday (June 8) to celebrate NAIDOC Week with a barbecue that included traditional kangaroo meat, other bits of Indigenous food, plus the everyday food you have at a barbecue.

“We also had a smoking ceremony, and we spoke about the surrounding area and where our mobs are from.

“I spoke about my family and how I am a Biripi man from Taree, and how I got to where I am today.”

Kicking goals in life

In addition to his corporate life, Jade is also a heavily decorated sportsman, having played in the A-League Championship with the Brisbane Roar, and represented Australia with the Socceroos at the Olympics and the World Cup.

“Most of my family are into rugby league, but I have always been passionate about soccer,” Jade says.

“I have played with the Socceroos 41 times and was the first Indigenous man to captain the team.

“I have also been to two Olympic Games – I went to Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

“One of my co-workers, Adam Sarota, who is also an Owner and Managing Director of Bridgeman Stainless Solutions, also played for the Socceroos.”

Jade also received the honour of being announced as the 2016 National NAIDOC Sportsperson of the Year award in 2016.

About the company

The company’s head office is based in Brendale, and work with all metals including stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, brass and copper.

They also specialise in construction, from minor refurbishments to major construction projects.

Recently, the company supplied and installed 2700 bunk beds to Queensland Corrective Services after receiving a contract from the State Government.

Through this contract, Bridgeman created 17 new employment opportunities including 23.5 per cent Indigenous, 23.5 per cent apprentices and 17.6 per cent past offenders.

Bridgeman also have a number of award-winning social initiatives to provide leadership, support and encouragement to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

These include the Future Program, One Mob Initiative, Career Transition Program, Women in Construction Pathway, Bridging the Gap with Bridgeman and the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program.

More information can be found on Bridgeman’s website.

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