GJK and Killara Services Win Property Council of Australia Award for Diversity
“GJK and Killara Services strongly believe that businesses can change lives” GJK CEO, Elias Stamas.
GJK Facility Services and Killara Services are thrilled to win the Diversity Award at the 2021 Property Council of Australia’s Innovation & Excellence Awards for businesses of over 250 employees. This award acknowledges the leadership that GJK and Killara Services demonstrate in engaging, employing and empowering Indigenous Australians through its business operations.
“We are immensely proud to take home the 2021 Diversity Award from the Property Council of Australia”, says Elias Stamas, CEO of GJK Facility Services. “GJK and Killara Services have put in place some powerful Indigenous engagement programs over the past few years, which has gone a long way to improving the economic welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”. Mr. Stamas continues, “These actions have made us one of the most respected and attractive employers of Aboriginal people in our industry”.
Managed by the Property Council of Australia, the National Innovation & Excellence Awards is one of the most prestigious property awards programs in Australia. The 2021 Awards were held on 15th December 2021at the ICC Sydney and crowned the industry’s best projects, people and companies.
One of 19 prestigious award categories, the Diversity Award recognises the positive contribution made by organisations within the property industry that demonstrate a holistic and long-term commitment to diversity. The judging criteria was based on diversity leadership, building a diverse talent pool and creating an inclusive workplace, and applying innovation to achieve diversity.
In 2017, GJK founder, George Stamas, co-created Killara Services (then GJK Indigenous Solutions) as a Joint Venture business with Jasmine Newman – a proud young Aboriginal woman. Through GJK’s continued support and leadership, Killara Services achieved commercial independence in 2021 and is now a certified Indigenous business in its own right. Killara Services has the vision of being one of the largest Aboriginal owned and operated cleaning companies in Australia.
Today, Killara Services creates opportunities for hundreds of Aboriginal people through employment and career pathways. They deliver cleaning, waste, hygiene, pest, grounds and cultural awareness training to customers across Australia.
In the judgement period of 2019/2020, GJK and Killara Services achieved outstanding results in workplace diversity and promoting Indigenous engagement in our industry. Killara Services achieved a 38% Indigenous engagement rate across the company, which far exceeds most other business’ KPIs in this space. In a large Defence cleaning contract, Killara Services had over 50% Indigenous participation in employment, completed 27 formal traineeships and supported Indigenous suppliers, earning them the award for Aboriginal Business of the Year in the Defence Industry Awards in 20201
In the innovation space, GJK undertake several sponsorship opportunities to support Indigenous participation in our industry, including sponsoring one Indigenous student per year for the FMA scholarship – Diploma of Facilities Management.
In its holistic approach to D&I, GJK’s leadership team has fostered diversity & inclusion across all levels of the business, through promotion of education, awareness and mutual understanding. In addition to its own Indigenous engagement strategies, GJK has set objectives to achieve greater gender balance, pay equity and opportunities for disadvantaged Australians. One initiative we are particularly proud of is the Public Tenant Employment Program, where we have enabled long-lasting changes for tenant employees since 2003.
“GJK and Killara Services strongly believe that businesses can change lives” says Mr Stamas, “We have seen first-hand how transformative our work to support Indigenous and disadvantaged people can be. GJK and Killara Services are true champions of change, and it is wonderful for us to be recognized by the peak body in the property industry”.
George Stamas and Jasmine Newman proudly accepted this award together as a joint achievement of GJK and Killara Services.
From humble beginnings in 2017 (as GJK Indigenous Solutions), Killara has achieved commercial independence and business maturity and has evolved to become a certified indigenous business in its own right.
Our journey together has evolved, from the initial support of George Stamas and the executive team at GJK Facility Services, Jasmine Newman is now an Indigenous business owner that has grown Killara to compete on a national scale.
Staying true to George and Jasmine’s vision, today, Killara is one of Australia’s fastest-growing Indigenous cleaning companies – reinforcing the potential of Indigenous-led businesses to create jobs and careers for First Nations Australians and improving cultural understanding across industry.