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Melbourne Water project wins award for Indigenous business partnership

The Wara Paring Come Walk The Path initiative, delivered in partnership with Aqua Metro Services and Melbourne Water, has won an inaugural Kinaway Business Award for its outstanding record of effective Indigenous collaboration and engagement.

Wara Paring involves a 100% Indigenous-owned civil construction business working on Melbourne Water projects with the aim of creating further job opportunities and career pathways for Indigenous young people across the water industry.

The initiative won the Organisational Excellence Award at the 2021 Australian Water Awards and continues to garner national and international recognition, including being shortlisted for a global award by the World Commerce and Contracting Association.

Indigenous collaboration

Melbourne Water’s Strategic Procurement Manager Leanne Hill said the Wara Paring Come Walk the Path initiative is all about genuine collaboration with Indigenous expertise.

“The aim is to expand the business to create further job opportunities and pathways  for Indigenous young people across the water industry. Melbourne Water and Aqua Metro Services have a passion for this work, and collaboration is at the heart of this significant project,” she said.

“Wara Paring is providing exciting employment opportunities for Victorian Aboriginal people, and Melbourne Water in turn gets the benefit of the expertise and insight of an innovative and growing company.”

Indigenous civil construction

Aqua Metro Services Manager Soyun Punyadasa says Wara Paring continues to grow and showcases the successes that can be garnered when organisations work together.

“The creation of Wara Paring is an example of what can happen when like-minded and innovative organisations join forces to support social value through meaningful programs,” she said.

“The Wara Paring team are blazing a trail to help create employment for Indigenous Australians. We hope that other organisations can follow this example to create a legacy of positive change in our Country.”