12 July 2018


In 1979, Mick Power AM, Founder and Group Board Chairman and Managing Director became interested in starting his own business after an opportunity arose to price tendering opportunities on contracts with values of less than $200,000. Mick founded BMD together with his wife Denise, brother-in law Bevan and sister Beverley. Still today, BMD’s name epitomises the family values which are so important to the company; B stands for Bevan and Beverley, M stands for Mick and D for Denise. After marrying in 1971, Mick and Denise started their own family with the birth of their first son, Dare, named after Mick’s father in 1972. Scott was then born in 1974 and lastly, Hayley in 1977. Growing up, Dare, Scott and Hayley spent many a weekend on a construction site with Denise and Mick and the family would often embark on road trips to proudly show off the company’s latest projects to the children. Denise truly epitomises this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, Because of her, we can! Her strength and perseverance in raising a young family while supporting Mick in the early days of the company’s operation, as well as contributing to the business itself through undertaking administration and bookkeeping tasks, helped to build the business and ensure its success. Hear what Denise has to say about her journey with BMD… In the early days of the company’s history, BMD focused on civil engineering for the residential subdivision market with the business operating out of a study at our house in Manly, Brisbane. In 1980, Mick and I became sole owners of the company but retained the name and family connection – something which is a strong and personal value of ours. In the early days, employees were handpicked and the way this happened is very different to how people are hired today. It would often involve a visit to the pub where you could get to know someone and understand if they were going to be a good cultural fit for the company. Mick has always believed that capability is just one parameter in employing people and we made sure that the new people coming into the business were going to culturally fit in with our existing employees. Our motto has always been ‘those that play together, stay together’ and this is a philosophy we still believe in today. It is important to celebrate our successes, even if they seem small such as winning a tender or laying the final asphalt on a job – we need to celebrate these milestones together as a family and as a team. BMD is now in its 39th year of operation, something that we are enormously proud of and I believe this success comes back to our company motto – ‘our business is our people’. This is illustrated through the continued growth of our 20 Year Club and this year we have 77 members, reinforcing our values, and the loyalty and dedication our people have to BMD. As a woman who has worked as part of a start-up company while raising a family, I absolutely relate to this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘Because of her, we can!’. Our nation’s history is full of strong, influential women who have helped to make Australia what it is today. As pillars of society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played an active and significant role as change advocates, fighting for justice, access to education and employment and the continued celebration of Indigenous culture. I am very proud that BMD acknowledges the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in both our business and the communities in which we work. In 2017 we launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which formalises our commitment to the importance of reconciliation and reaffirms our pledge to creating meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. BMD has extensive experience working in regional and remote areas and within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and we are very proud of our diverse workforce and their contributions to our business. BMD is founded on long term relationships and our commitment to the RAP is an extension of this. Gender equality is now a worldwide movement and reinforces everyone’s right to access resources and opportunities, regardless of gender. This week, it is important to remember that traditionally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women may not have had the same opportunities as other factions within Australia and offers us the chance to reflect on this and acknowledge the amazing things Indigenous women have achieved, and continue to achieve, in Australia. I like to think our gender equality at BMD is progressing naturally and I am very proud of BMD’s approach, with 37% of our undergraduate engineers currently female. Both men and women should be free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices. I believe ‘Because of her, we can! is a philosophy we should celebrate not just during NAIDOC Week, but every single day. Denise Power

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