Two men wearing high-visibility uniforms standing in front of a car.

In today's business landscape, companies need to demonstrate not only financial responsibility but also social and ethical accountability.

The partnership between Transurban, Ventia and Muru Mittigar, established in 2022, is a great example of how social procurement can be effectively employed to drive change.

This alliance didn't just mark another recruitment drive; it signified a change towards creating meaningful employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and in the process, is reshaping the way we approach social procurement.  


The beauty of collaboration 

Transurban and Ventia's decision to collaborate with Muru Mittigar, a Dharug controlled not-for-profit, wasn't solely philanthropic, it made good business sense.   

Transurban and Ventia recognised the potential of aligning with their respective Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) by tapping into an often overlooked talent pool. Through the partnership, First Nations individuals were given the opportunity to work on Sydney's Hills M2 motorway, while also advancing their skills by working towards  a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens.

Each entity had to stretch beyond its traditional operational boundaries. Muru Mittigar, transitioned from being a sole supplier to offering 'labour-hire', a shift from its original model. Similarly, Transurban and Ventia had to reimagine their approaches, and shift focus to a training-style arrangement, different to traditional hiring methods.


Why are programs like this essential?

  1. Tangible social impact: Beyond the evident financial gains, the most compelling aspect of this initiative is its real-world impact. Social procurement efforts like these tackle pressing societal issues head-on. In this case, fostering financial independence and long-term employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  2. Economic sense: Social procurement can open up new markets, cultivate fresh talent pools and foster innovation, ensuring businesses remain competitive and resilient.  
  3. Broadened advocacy: Such collaborations can serve as catalysts, prompting other organisations to reconsider their procurement strategies. Transurban's 'Indigenous Procurement Champions' initiative and Ventia's widespread advocacy are examples of how these efforts can snowball, creating industry-wide shifts.

Man wearing hard hat and high-vis uniform


Measurable and tangible impact

To date this specific program has created social value estimated at more than $800,000. But beyond the numbers, the real value is supporting a social enterprise grow. Collectively it's about creating value for first nations people. It's evident in the pride of an apprentice moving out of their home or another procuring their first car, that initiatives like this have a true ripple effect.

The partnership was also recognised as a finalist in the 2023 Social Traders National Game Changers Awards for NSW/ACT, which recognises social enterprise procurement that is creating positive social outcomes across Australia.

The corporate world is facing a transitional moment where the conversation about ethical and sustainable business is beginning to shift from 'why' to 'how' - Tara Anderson, CEO, Social Traders.

The program between Transurban, Ventia, and Muru Mittigar is not just another business story. It's a call for other organisations to rethink their approaches, to be more inclusive and to recognise the immense potential that lies in social procurement. After all business isn't just about profits, it's about people being at the heart of everything we do.