• New Indigenous-owned supplier joins ATCO

    Representatives of Countryman Safety Matthew Ellis and Lawrence Hillary with ATCO employees Hamish Johnston and Kirsten Sherry

    Coinciding with NAIDOC Week, ATCO has become the foundation client of new Indigenous-owned safety supply company - Countryman Safety.

    Coinciding with NAIDOC Week, ATCO has become the foundation client of new Indigenous-owned safety supply company - Countryman Safety.

    The company will supply all of ATCO's corporate clothing, workwear, personal protective equipment (PPE) and site safety gear.

    Countryman Safety was founded by Yamatji man and Managing Director Lawrence Hillary, with the goal of becoming WA's largest Indigenous industrial safety equipment supplier, with a commitment to cultural change and inclusion.

    The business partners with Safeman WA, one of the largest suppliers of safety equipment and workwear in WA and the Northern Territory, allowing Countryman to meet the service requirements of their larger clients.

    Lawrence and Countryman Business Development Manager Matthew Ellery met with Procurement Specialist Hamish Johnston during NAIDOC Week to tour ATCO's Jandakot Depot and the Six Season Garden, during which Lawrence expressed his enthusiasm for working with ATCO in the future.

    "As a brand new and fairly small business, for Countryman Safety to have a major company like ATCO choose us as their supplier is a tremendous opportunity for us to demonstrate our capabilities for meeting the safety workwear and PPE requirements of their workforce," said Lawrence.

    "With ATCO as our foundation client, I am looking forward to a future of building and growing Countryman Safety into a prosperous enterprise and becoming an even bigger employer of Aboriginal people."  

    Countryman joins ATCO's growing list of majority Indigenous-owned supply organisations, which includes: 

    The theme for this year's NAIDOC celebrations is 'Voice.Treaty.Truth. Let's Work Together for a shared future', which Procurement Specialist, Hamish Johnston said ATCO strongly supports in its procurement practices and takes into consideration when seeking new suppliers.

    "ATCO is committed to supporting Indigenous businesses by creating equity which complements the organisation's corporate social responsibility, and provides opportunities to improve outcomes in Indigenous communities by working collaboratively," he said. 

    Lawrence said the procurement of Indigenous businesses by companies like ATCO had a significant impact on improving employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.

    "When you see how Aboriginal-owned and run businesses are likely to employ Aboriginal people, there's a flow-on effect from partnering with them – and that is providing more opportunities for employment, which can positively impact families and communities," he said.