NANA Australia Pty Ltd – a newly created subsidiary of NANA Development Corporation (NDC), a US$1.8 billion dollar Alaska native people-owned company – has formalised a strategic alliance with Pilbara-based Aboriginal company PLWA Group. The agreement gives NANA Australia immediate access to an established workforce and enhances PLWA Group's capability to bid for larger, more demanding projects.
"This is the first contract between companies owned by the Indigenous Alaskan Iñupiat people and Australian Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders," said NANA Australia, CEO Simon Haigh. "It is also NANA Australia's first alliance agreement. We prioritised an agreement with PLWA Group because of their quality and reliability, with their Indigenous foundation being a terrific fit with our own company’s culture."
NANA Australia's initial focus will be the construction, facilities management and capability development areas, with modular and camp construction being a high priority. In addition, its oil and gas, federal contracting and technology capabilities will soon to come into operation.
"The contract with PLWA Group – which undertakes industrial services, waste management, civil and earthworks, landscape and horticulture and construction services contracting in the Pilbara – underlines the credibility that we already possess in the Indigenous and resources sectors,” continued Mr Haigh. "We anticipate this contract will be the first of many with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous companies in Australia."
PLWA Group Business Manager, Geoff Stocker, said: "PLWA Group is very excited to be a part of this alliance with NANA Australia. We are very much looking forward to winning our first project and growing the relationship from there. We are very optimistic about the opportunities to replicate the success NDC has enjoyed in the US. Both culturally and commercially, we see this as an excellent fit for both parties, providing a unique proposition to the project market in our region."
NANA Australia will support the resources, infrastructure and technology industries. Its presence here is driven by the twin imperatives of commerce and its unique moral foundations, informed by its Iñupiat (an Indigenous people of northwest Alaska) ownership. Like the traditional Iñupiat hunter, NDC seeks ways to use its land and 10,000 years of doing business to provide services that benefit its clients, shareholders and the communities in which it operates.
"What this means in practice is that one of NANA Australia's key legacies will be to share knowledge and expertise with our partner companies and clients, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous," said Mr Haigh. "Plenty of companies have failed to walk the talk on this, but it is an embedded part of our culture that has developed out of the Indigenous community shareholding structure of our company.
"One manifestation of this is the 'mentor/protégé agreements' we have in place with many of the companies we partner with. The purpose of these agreements is for the relationship that follows to enhance the capabilities of the protégé company (NANA being the mentor company) and improve its ability to successfully compete for contracts."
In addition to its international track record, the breadth, rigour and reliability of its processes and systems that have evolved and improved through multiple implementations, the $1.8 billion dollar size of NDC immediately injects a significant degree of credibility into its Australian presence. The company's muscle also enhances the scalability of its partners, benefiting Indigenous and non-Indigenous owned partners alike in securing projects that were previously beyond their capabilities.
"Our background and company culture, however, clearly gives us a head start in understanding Indigenous cultures and working effectively with companies that have grown out of these underpinnings," continued Mr Haigh.
Simon Haigh was selected as the CEO of NANA Australia. He is a successful international business leader with a diverse background, has worked for BHP Billiton Iron Ore and has held senior international commercial roles in the resources, infrastructure and technology fields.
Neil Willmett, one of Australia’s most respected and prominent Aboriginal executives, has agreed to sit on NANA Australia’s Board of Directors. Mr Willmett is CEO of the Willmett Group, a consortium of companies that provide professional services to clients in human resources, aviation, technology, telecommunications, finance and hospitality.
About NANA Development Corporation
NANA Development Corporation is the business arm of NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. Its earnings have a direct positive impact on the lives of the more than 13,000 Iñupiat who own the company. It is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska. NDC employs more than 11,000 people around the world in industries including mining, oil and gas, engineering and construction, facilities management, logistics, telecommunications and IT.
NDC has operations in nine countries on four continents and is a major service provider for the U.S. government. Its operations range from oil field service in the Arctic to ownership of one of the world’s largest zinc mines, where NANA has created a suite of subsidiaries to service the mine and provide job opportunities for its Indigenous owners and all Alaskans.
About Simon Haigh I NANA Australia Chief Executive Officer
Simon Haigh is a proven senior executive with a diverse experience in sustainable economic, resource, infrastructure and technological development. Mr Haigh received his law degree from Durham University in England and a Masters of Business Administration from Curtin University in Australia. Prior to joining NANA Australia, Mr Haigh was a Principal, Economic Development – Sustainability for BHP Billiton. He is a published author and regular presenter at business strategy conferences.
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Craig PearceP: (08) 9388 0944
M: 0438 003 430