Wildflower team and Andrew Foster

Roman Deguchi and the team at Wildflower are on a mission: to support Indigenous and disadvantaged people into meaningful jobs, and to change perceptions about Aboriginal Australians.

Ventia gave the team at Wildflower their start when it contracted them to provide grounds maintenance services for the Northern Beaches Hospital.

Ventia provides facilities management services to Healthscope, who operate Northern Beaches Hospital on behalf of the NSW Government. 

Roman said he started the landscaping and horticulture business only 12 months ago, and it's rapidly grown since then.

We are very thankful Ventia took us on. We really are a start-up.

The company provides maintenance services and creates "soft" landscaping, which means creating green spaces that respect nature and country, rather than radically changing the environment.

"We do a lot of things by hand to be sensitive to the local environment, rather than use machines," Roman said.

Wildflower has about 15 employees and there is a core team of three who work at the hospital, with about two others brought in for training.

Roman said the company's mission is to provide meaningful work for people who face barriers to employment.

"This is not just a business for us. We want to be a positive force and empowering community is our first focus," Roman said.

'We want to offer opportunities to anyone who faces disadvantages to gaining employment and build something sustainable for everyone. We also want to change the narrative about how Aboriginal people are viewed in society.'

"Many people don't have opportunities to engage with Indigenous people and we want to engage with the patients, the visitors and the hospital staff and create strong partnerships."

Ventia Contract Manager for Northern Beaches Hospital Andrew Foster said Ventia was committed to providing sustainable jobs for First Nations people.

Ventia actively seeks opportunities to work with Indigenous people, either through our TRECCA program, which provides dedicated Indigenous recruitment and mentoring services, or engaging First Nations businesses.

"When the opportunity came up through Supply Nation to provide Wildflower with their first start, we jumped at the chance, as their philosophy aligned with Ventia's diversity and inclusion principles, and they offered the type of service we were looking for."

In the past 12 months, Wildflower has also managed to secure Mirvac, City of Sydney and Canada Bay councils as clients and several schools have engaged them to create yarning circles. They are also working with the Royal Botanic Gardens to revitalise a public housing site at Waterloo.


National Reconcilation Week 

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. 

Through our programs, our training offerings and the initiatives we encourage across our business - our people reflect upon ways we can improve Indigenous engagement, foster employment and support Indigenous communities.

Learn more here: https://www.ventia.com/page/national-reconciliation-week-be-brave-make-change