Tradies & Small Businesses
Shane Lui is passionate about his Torres Strait roots and is putting that passion to work back on his home island of Erub with a new civil construction business.
After completing his schooling and developing his professional skills on the mainland, Shane was determined to build a business that is owned by a Torres Strait Islander employing Torres Strait Islanders.
He moved back home last year and set up Strait Support with the aim of boosting the local workforce and, thereby, the local communities.
The licensed Indigenous labour hire company also has a range of plant and equipment based on Darnley Island, making it well positioned to support or manage projects throughout the Torres Strait islands.
In the early years of his career, Shane accrued experience which led to him starting up his own earthmoving company before moving into work at various mines. Rising quickly through the ranks, Shane moved into management and developed skills in high-level project management and HR completing two diplomas in workplace health and safety and frontline management.
When he found himself without a job following the closure of Lawn Hill mine, Shane decided to use all of the experience and skills he had developed to start his own business employing Torres Strait locals back home.
Shane has made it through the challenging set-up period of the business and now ‘has some runs on the board’, making it easier to secure continuing work and new partners.
“I’m out to work with everyone and anyone that has a genuine interest in providing opportunities to the local boys,” he says.
Shane is a big believer in the value of training and is hoping to secure enough work to facilitate some meaningful training for his crew.
“Without the continuity of projects up here, the training on offer isn’t always achievable and doesn’t marry up with the work we are completing,” he says.
An accomplished business owner, Shane remains one of the local boys at heart and believes this has a big part to play in his low staff turnover rate.
“I am a local boy from Darnley, I relate to these boys and I make work fun.
“The boys really believe in Strait Support and they love coming to work because they are working for a locally owned Indigenous company.”
Looking forward, Shane remains focused on improving outcomes across the Torres Strait as a whole. He is currently exploring options to acquire a small barge to allow Strait Support to perform works on all of the outer islands more efficiently.