HOW it cares for its staff could be the key to the success of Bama Services – an indigenous maintenance, landscaping, building and civil construction business.

Established in 2010, Bama’s annual turnover is $3 million and clients include Cairns Regional Council, private companies and government agencies.

In conjunction with employ ment and apprenticeships, it offers staff organised support including health, legal, social, mental health and training needs.

Its support and wellbeing manager, Melissa Hardham, said the support the company provided was embedded in the company’s daily practice.

“It’s not an external program and it’s a fundamental part of the employment experi ence,” Ms Hardham said.

“We consider it as important as the job and the training.”

At the start of their employment recruits complete a questionnaire with the support and wellbeing staff to assess their background and hopes.

“People often come into employment and they’ll have issues that might be challenging and present barriers for the employee to perform to the best of their ability,” she said.

“We’re dealing with all that backstory and issues that might be impediments to their success.”

CAREER PATHWAYS: Cape York Partnership Co-chair, Marcia Langton chats with apprentices and staff at Bama Services. PICTURE: BRAD NEWTON

Bama – one of the Cape York Partnership’s entities – also provides support such as cooking classes and “demystifying the counselling process”.

Third-year carpentry appren tice Monty Noble-Swan was raised in Yarrabah and hopes to start his own business there to support indigenous youth in finding work.

“I want to try to get the young people out of drugs and get them doing something,” Mr Noble-Swan said.

“Hopefully I can go back there and change people’s lives and make a difference.”

READ: The Cairns Post