Easternwell team pictured with Waddi Water

In Queensland, our Rig & Well Services business has built strong relationships with Indigenous businesses over the years, working hard to develop avenues to increase Indigenous participation in their business through employment and enterprise.

One relationship that has gone from strength to strength is with Indigenous Beverages Australia, a unique company run and owned by a Goreng Goreng heritage family. 

Waddi Springs was formed by Indigenous Beverages Australia in 2015 and is an Indigenous majority owned and managed business that offers a range of quality natural spring water, beverage and specialty coffee products, and aims to actively create change within the Indigenous community.

In 2017, Indigenous Beverages Australia introduced themselves to Rig & Well Services to offer their natural spring water products. It was after this fortuitous cold call that the team made the decision to trial Waddi Springs products. 

Darren Truscott, General Manager Operations says the bottled water trial started with the Camp Management (catering) business division of Rig & Well Services to supply mobile camps, which service rigs in the oil and gas fields throughout Queensland.  

"We soon increased supply to include our camps in South Australia," says Darren. "Through word of mouth, and national reporting on new Indigenous suppliers to the business, Indigenous Beverages Australia then expanded their supply to other divisions across Ventia, as far out as the Minerals business in WA."

In October 2018, Indigenous Beverages Australia were a significant participant and partner in the celebratory launch of our 2018-2021 Reconciliation Action Plan at Chinchilla in Queensland, kindly donating natural spring and sparkling water for the event. It was also an opportunity to showcase the strong relationship developing between Ventia and one of our major Indigenous suppliers.

Darren says that Indigenous Beverages Australia has proven their supply reliability and become known for the quality of their product, resulting in a significant expansion of the range of Waddi Springs products now being supplied across Ventia. 

"We're purchasing items like coffee cups, coffee beans and isotonic drinks, and elevating our spend with this growing business to over $165,000 in January 2021 alone," Darren says.

Ventia's procurement team are working with Indigenous Beverages Australia on a national agreement, and our Defence sector has engaged with the company to provide products to their contracts. 


Waddi spring water bottle


Meaningful Indigenous engagement and participation

Ventia is proud of our long and rich history of meaningful Indigenous engagement and participation and has been supporting Indigenous businesses through our partnership with Supply Nation since 2010.

Supply Nation works across Australia with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses along with procurement teams from government and corporate Australia to help shape the Indigenous business sector. Their world-leading verification process ensures that all businesses listed on Australia's largest national directory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, 'Indigenous Business Direct', are not only Indigenous-owned, but are also regularly audited for changes in company structure and ownership.

This month, with over a decade invested in building our support for and spend with Indigenous businesses through this important partnership, we celebrate Supply Nation's Supplier Diversity September, an annual initiative held to promote the benefits of supplier diversity and showcase the range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses in Australia.   

We are keenly aware that support for enterprises such as Indigenous Beverages Australia generates a wide range of direct and indirect benefits.

"Increased opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurship, employment and training, often result from the support of large business like ours," Darren explains.

Plus, there are the positive effects on Indigenous communities including enhanced individual and family wellbeing, economic and community development and social benefits.

Supplier Diversity September banner


Supporting communities

Ventia was a finalist for the 2021 Corporate Member of the Year Award at the Supplier Diversity Awards, which recognise companies, government agencies and individuals working to create a prosperous and sustainable Indigenous business sector.

During more than 10 years of Supply Nation membership, we have increased our procurement spend with Indigenous businesses year on year, spending $72 million with Indigenous businesses across FY2020-21.

Through growing strong relationships with Indigenous businesses, like Rig & Well Services' with Indigenous Beverages Australia, we will continue to focus on closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and communities through an ongoing process of reconciliation and relationship building.