NPJV, an un-incorporated joint venture between Njamal Services Pty Ltd and the Pilbara Resource Group Pty Ltd, has partnered with a Njamal family, one of the traditional owners of the land stretching east of South Hedland, past Marble Bar and out to Wandanya to create a service provider based company that will provide jobs and a viable business in the Pilbara.
Bithari is being run by Doris Eaton, her son, Troy Eaton and his wife, Denise Smith, and has already secured its first contract with ASX listed Pilbara Minerals to transport workers from offsite accommodation to the mine-site and from the airport to the worker’s village during the construction phase of the project.
There is also an opportunity to expand to permanent personnel transfer during mine operations, providing long term employment opportunities for Njamal people.
NPJV worked in partnership to assemble the tender proposal to win the $250,000+ contract on behalf of the family, and assisted them through its job ready program, pre-employment medicals, training and education including detailed walk throughs to demonstrate what working on a mine site and away from home would entail to the newly formed company’s employees.
NPJV also ensured Bithari and its directors were compliant with all licences and regulations by providing general business advice and support, recruitment assistance and maintenance.
Troy Eaton said he was very excited to be part of the new business and was looking forward to being able to use his past knowledge and experience to help run the company and provide jobs for local people.
“It will be good to see Pilbara Minerals providing indigenous businesses with genuine opportunities,” he said.
“The backing and guidance we got from NPJV was what helped us get the contract over the line.”
NPJV will continue to oversee the Njamal family business and provide on-going support to ensure professional high standards are maintained to support the company and give the directors the confidence and skills necessary to eventually run the business by themselves.
Bithari will employ up to 12 predominantly Indigenous workers for the Pilgangoora mine site contract with Scott Dryland, Managing Director of NPJV taking on the role of General Manager of Bithari to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the Indigenous contracting company for the long term.
The name of the company is a tribute to the life of Alice “Bilari” Smith (1923– 2013). Alice is the grandmother of Bithari director and Banjyma traditional owner, Denise Smith who is the wife of Njamal Traditional Owner, Troy Eaton.
Bithari was Alice Smith’s Aboriginal name. Alice raised nine children and fostered 15 others retaining her language and traditional customs when she relocated from the Pilbara to Roebourne to allow her children to attend school.
Scott Dryland said that as a fully accredited training provider, NPJV will be continuously training and qualifying workers across a range of skills and disciplines.
NPJV breaks up the large mining and maintenance contracts into small, bite-size pieces, then helps Njamal families set up business to service the parts of the contract that might otherwise go to multi-national companies.”
“Newly created businesses for the Njamal people include labour hire, Transport and Logistics, Waste Management, Water Management and Crane Hire to name a few. NPJV provides accounting, HR, operational, management advice and practical support to ensure the businesses not only get up and running, but are sustainable.”