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One of only a few First Nations professional services businesses in the country, Yanun specialises in project management, schedule and planning support and project controls, playing a key role in the management and control of several major projects and programs around the country.

David Mallett, founder and Managing Director

Stemming from its roots in the defence industry on programs such as Australia’s Attack Class Submarine ($90b), Hunter Class Future Frigates ($45b), and Collins Class Submarine Life of Type Extension ($6b), Yanun is now diversifying into other industries which include transport infrastructure, built environment, natural resources, international development and utilities.

This shift of focus is providing Yanun the opportunity to regularly transfer expertise gained from working on major defence programs, to better support more traditional infrastructure projects. Yanun are for example, challenging the approach and application of Earned Value Management (EVM), with defence contracts regularly auditing a level of compliance not often experienced in other industries. In practice, Yanun has been supporting organisations to embed EVM into their project environments, which enables the comparison of cost and schedule metrics as they relate to planned versus actual performance.
While project teams often concentrate on project management, contract management and procurement, project controls is frequently given little focus. Yanun has identified this trend and offers clients end-to-end EVM expertise, ranging from basic training to fundamental technical adjustments and system overhauls, exposing diverse markets to decades of defence EVM expertise. The result is that project leaders and their teams receive meaningful up-to-date information to support informed and timely decision making.

While project innovation underpins Yanun’s approach to its clients’ projects, the team is also challenging ingrained social norms to empower First Nations people into professional careers. Through its unique First Nations Development Program, the company is providing young people with the opportunity to undertake formal project management training, while they gain on-the-job skills. An extremely important and core element of the program includes cultural support and pastoral care provided by Yanun team members whom understand both organisational requirements and the challenges often faced by First Nations people.

In 2022, Yanun received a UNESCO Achievement Award for its unique approach to creating training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, and for their contribution to the creation of The Circle – South Australia’s First Nations Entrepreneur Hub, which supports First Nations businesses to grow, build capability and create connections.

Photos by Trim Photography

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