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Member Spotlight: Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation

The Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce caught up with Michelle Kivits Regional Manager of Ashburton Aboriginal last week as part of our member profiles, it was great to chat to Michelle and find out a little more about Ashburton Aboriginal

We asked Michelle what is the motivation behind their business name?
Our motivation is to help local people find meaningful employment.

Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation’s mission is to establish and maintain an environment that benefits Aboriginal people through the creation of culturally appropriate employment, enterprise opportunities and the provision of education and training services throughout the Pilbara.

AAC provides direct services to enable Aboriginal people to participate in employment and economic opportunities.
We asked Michelle what her favourite part of working in Port Hedland and what are the advantages.

AAC has an incredible opportunity to partner with individuals, organisations and communities to create lasting positive change within this amazing region.

AAC gets to be a part of the growth of the Pilbara’s SME sector and that we have the potential to foster greater innovation and collaboration, increase regional competitiveness and provide new and diversified employment opportunities here in Hedland.
That we not only get to directly contribute to the Pilbara economy, we also benefit local communities in the region.
The added advantage of small business is that the money earned stays in the local community and this has many benefits.” We employ local and all of our staff live here in Hedland.

How many employees do you have?
We have three locations here in South Hedland and across these three sites we have thirty three staff, with a further two operating out of our Marble Bar office, making a total of 35 staff. We are currently looking for a further three staff to join our vibrant team. Our amazing staff at AAC go above and beyond to deliver excellent service to the people of Hedland overcoming challenges presented by COVID-19 to deliver projects, provide key services, operate facilities and lead reforms that support the wellbeing and prosperity of our job seekers within this region.

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? AAC works with individuals, communities and other organisation to provide a range of services, enterprises and programs that facilitate increased participation in employment and economic opportunities. We offer a complete employment wrap-around-service starting with job seekers meeting with one of our professional Employment Placement Advisers, then going on to being referred to a suitable vacancy or training through the Employment Services team and finally, being supported though our Post Placement Service team for twenty six weeks. During each of these stages we financially assist the job seeker by paying for upskilling, PPE equipment, interview clothing, mobile phones or training that their new employer may require them to undertake. We also deliver and offer a number of paid “Work Ready Programs”.

Michelle is a busy lady but we asked her what are your hobbies and interests outside of work life?
Bike riding, online study, South Hedland F45 member. Active member at C3 Church South Hedland, you will often find me on Sunday as the residential barista at their in-house Café.

It was interesting to find out a bit more about Ashburton so we asked Michelle how long have they have been a PHCCI member and why did you join the Chamber?
I have been member for nearly three years and sat on the committee for two of these years. I joined the Chamber as I believe that it is an excellent way that small business and community organisations get to have a voice on issues that we may face. It’s a great resource of information for local business and it offers an opportunity to network with other business, hosts professional development events, consumers are 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from your business if you are an active member of the PHCCI. I would encourage any business that is not a member to definitely become a member. I will look forward to hopefully meeting you at their next monthly “Business off the clock” networking event.
What are the biggest issues for running your business?

We are living in a time of unprecedented change, with technological, environmental and societal developments transforming the way we live and do business. This year so far is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present not only us, but the world, with a unique and pressing challenge in cooperation, adaptability and resilience. For this reason, innovation has been a core element of the past year’s strategic priorities and achievements. Our ability to harness technological opportunities, adapt to change and deliver our projects sustainably remains a key to us continuing to achieve our portfolio vision of providing employment solutions and services accessible to both Job Seekers and local Employers.

What do you see as the future for the business?

I’m pleased with how we are working together to face the above challenges, evidenced through the many successful outcomes and initiatives we profile connecting people to local employers.

That we continue to create a strong identity that meets employees’ needs for affiliation, social cohesion, purpose, and meaning while providing a culture that continues to attract and retain the best employees.

To create leaders who are compassionate, empathetic, passionate and heart-centered. That these leaders will make courageous choices and lead from their heart. They will have the goal to positively impact the world and the people around them here in Hedland. I see AAC being the Best Employment Service in the region.

To finish of our chat with Michelle we asked her to tell us something that your employees may not know about you that you can share with the rest of Port Hedland?
That I recently completed a double diploma and four extra units, through our local North West Regional TAFE-“Leadership and Management” plus Human Resources. While living and working in Cambodia for an Australian NGO in 2017-2018, I had the absolute honour and privilege of delivering the first ever “Job Club” training model to the only disability Service Provider operating in Phnom Penh at the time.

Give them a call today on 91401246
Or pay them a visit at 31 Throssell Road, South Hedland


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