Business bulletin - 22 September 2016


Group shot of men from Shell Prelude and Rusca Group

Photo: Shell Prelude and Rusca Group

A local Indigenous owned family business has secured a major contact for Shell Australia’s ‘Prelude’ Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project.

Rusca Environmental Solutions, part of the Rusca Group, was awarded an independent contract to provide waste management services for Shell Australia’s ‘Prelude FLNG project for the next three to five years.

The deal, will see the Rusca Group provide services that include container provision, coordination, receipt, storage handling, transport, tracking, disposal of waste and industrial cleaning.

Rusca Group CEO Shane Maraldo said the contract provided an opportunity for Rusca Group to diversify its activities.

"We are thrilled to be awarded this contract and look forward to working and building a long term sustainable partnership with Shell Australia," Mr Maraldo said.

"Shell is pioneering the way forward for large corporation in supporting local Indigenous people, providing real job opportunities for people in the Northern Territory."

The Prelude FLNG facility will be located approximately 800km out of Darwin Northern Territory, in the offshore Browse Basin, and will be the be the largest floating offshore facility ever built. It will allow Shell to produce, liquefy, store and transfer LNG at sea.

Rusca Group have a diverse industry profile within civil, mining and construction industries and are known for their strong and genuine focus on Indigenous employment.

The contract will make use of Rusca Group’s Indigenous employment and training capability to provide real job opportunities for local Indigenous people in the Northern Territory.

Robert Rusca, Managing Director and Shannon Rusca Director, sons of the founder Sid Rusca said: "This contract enables us to continue on the ‘Rusca way’, which is all about the local Indigenous development of our people. It has been a rigorous evaluation process for Rusca Environmental Solutions, proving to Shell our ability to build waste management services capabilities."

Denise Dunn leaving on front of a vehicle

Photo: Denise Dunn

Entrepreneur and owner of Slappa’s Thongs, Denise Dunn is putting her best foot forward as a finalist in the Northern Territory Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Known for her innovative footwear Slappa’s Thongs, Denise Dunn built her business at one of Darwin’s iconic stomping ground, the Mindil Beach Markets in 2010.

"Mindil Beach Markets have been a great place to sell and market our thongs, we’ve met so many amazing people and our business has grown through word of mouth," Ms Dunn said.

Made in a closed-cell injection mould means Slappa’s Thongs are all one piece, unlike most rubber thongs which have a plug.

"Slappa’s Thongs are designed to mould to your foot shape and offer great arch support for people who suffer from foot problems. They are comfortable, practical, lightweight, and come in a fabulous range of colours," Ms Dunn said.

The business has since expanded and Slappa’s Thongs can be bought online, in some retail stores as well as from podiatrists, physios and chiropractors selling in Australia. The demand for Slappa’s Thongs hasn’t slowed down with steady stream of enquires to stock the items and online sales breaking records every day.

Ms Dunn said the secret to her success has been finding the right balance between creating an amazing product with providing quality customer service.

"We have a very local customer following they enjoy the personal service we provide and are prepared to promote Slappa’s."

Now in their 22nd year, The Northern Territory Telstra Business Women’s Awards celebrates women in business and ensures their achievements are given the recognition they deserve.

The Darwin based business owner said she was honoured and exited to be named a finalist for the Entrepreneur Award.

"To be recognised with such an elite group of women is very rewarding and it will allow me to meet more amazing women in businesses and inspire other women to pursue their goals and dreams."

"I couldn’t have done all this by myself and the awards are a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge my mentors, family, friends and customers for the support they have given me to build a successful business," Ms Dunn said.

Winners of the 2016 Telstra Northern Territory Business Women’s Award will be announced at a Gala Dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre on Tuesday, 4 October 2016.

For information about the awards and to purchase tickets to the Awards Gala Dinner please call 1800 817 536 between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday.

State and Territory category winners will be flown to Melbourne for the National Awards judging, culminating on Wednesday 16 November 2016.

Finalists for the 2016 Telstra Northern Territory Business Women’s Awards are:

Entrepreneur Award

  • Churyl Scheppard, Fitness Works, Nightcliff, Alawa, Cullen Bay and CBD
  • Denise Dunn, Slappa's Thongs, Darwin
  • Karen Sheldon, Karen Sheldon Group, Darwin
  • Mahongo Fumbelo, Born To Win Consulting, Darwin
  • Rhonda Dunne, Raw Cloth, Nightcliff.

For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award

  • Andrea Mason, Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council, Alice Springs
  • Ilana Eldridge, Cast Your Net Consultancy, Ludmilla
  • Liz Reid, YouthWorX NT, Darwin
  • Rachel Kroes, Down Syndrome Association NT, Rapid Creek
  • Terri-ann Maney, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Darwin.

Public Sector and Academia Award

  • Carolyn Edwards, Henbury School, Tiwi
  • Michelle Walker, Department of Housing, Casuarina
  • Professor Sue Carthew, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina.

Corporate and Private Award

  • Andrea Moriarty, Killarney Homes (NT) Pty Ltd, Winnellie
  • Neilia Ginnane, Housing Industry Association Ltd, Leanyer and Berrimah
  • Ruth Palmer, Property Council of Australia, Darwin

Coleman's new PUR Binding machine

A Territory business is carving out a new niche in the printing industry, unveiling a machine that will provide the highest quality book binding service in Northern Australia.

Coleman’s Printing have invested in a machine that completes 'PUR Binding', a form of perfect binding where the pages and covers are glued together at the spine and the other sides of the book are trimmed as needed.

"We’re pleased to be the first company in not only the Northern Territory to offer this service, but across the whole of Northern Australian,” said managing Director Tony Coleman.

"It is a real milestone moment for printing in the north and we know our customers will love the end result, PUR perfect binding is like the icing on the cake when it comes to a publication whether it be a cookbook, novel, magazine or annual report."

The machine - a Horizon BQ-470 clamp binder - can bind almost any kind of publication, including manuals and high end catalogues to educational booklets.

Mr Coleman selected the machine after seeing it in action in Drupa 2016, the world’s largest and most important trade fair expo for print and across media solutions, held in Dusseldorf every four years.

Tourism NT, together with heavyweights from Google and Trip Advisor, are offering local tourism businesses a helping hand to navigate the growing online digital world.

NT tourism businesses, tour operators and hospitality businesses are invited to an intensive workshop on digital marketing hosted by Tourism NT next month.

"With more and more customers buying everything from holidays to tours to restaurant bookings online, it’s critical for tourism and hospitality businesses to be operating in this space, said Department of Tourism and Culture CEO Alastair Shields.

The Digital Leap workshops will take local businesses through step-by-step on what they need to do to be featured on, which us designed to highlight local operators and drive customers to their website.

"A strong online presence is vital for tourism businesses to connect their products with customers from around the world. It is also becoming ‘expected’ by the modern day traveller. Without real time availability to accept payment online, tourism businesses simply won’t be able to connect with potential customers," Mr Shields said.

The Digital Leap workshops will feature special presentations from Mr Mitchel O'Donohue, Agency Development Manager Google and Ms Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing from TripAdvisor and include interactive sessions on topics such as:

  • How to get listed on Australia Tourism Data Warehouse Online (ATDW-online).
  • How to make the most of TripAdvisor and positive reviews.
  • How to use advertising on Facebook and Google.
  • Creating a new approach to digital local area visitor marketing.
  • What channels and media types to use and what approach is best for you.
  • Who can support you if you don’t have time to market yourself.
  • What level of commissionable distribution are you interested in and how it works.
  • How to measure results and keep on track.

The one-day sessions will be held in Alice Springs on 6 October and Darwin on 7 October 2016.

For more information on the workshops and to register go to or call Tourism NT on 08 8951 8518.

Man and women working on an electrical panel

Migration NT will be hosting two seminars to inform local businesses and employers on how to prepare their business to qualify as a sponsor of overseas workers.

Existing workforce shortages mean that at times business owners and employers will need to look outside the Northern Territory for suitable workers.

For employers who are experiencing workforce shortages, it is important to be aware of the requirements to sponsor skilled overseas workers.

Topics include the type of employer sponsored visa schemes available, how to get ready to sponsor an overseas worker and the responsibilities and obligations around sponsoring an overseas worker.

The seminars are part of October Business Month, a Territory wide program of events to support local businesses to grow and develop, and will cover a range of topics to address your business workforce shortages.

Seminars will be held in both Darwin and Alice Springs.

Seminars are free to attend but you must register beforehand.


When: Monday 17 October 2016
Where: Litchfield Room, Double Tree Hilton, 116 The Esplanade, Darwin
Time: 5pm - Networking, 5.30pm to 7pm - Session

Alice Springs

When: Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Where: Ballroom C, Double Tree by Hilton, 82 Barrett Drive, Alice Springs
Time: 5pm - Networking, 5.30pm to 7pm - Session

Migration NT officers will also travel to Tennant Creek on 19 and 20 October for one-on-one appointments.

If you are interested in attending a session or would like to discuss visa options for your business please contact Migration NT on 08 8999 5254 or email

OBM 2016, over 90 free business events across the Territory, register now

Last updated: 07 July 2020

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