From the Founder

Building on foundations for growth in 2022 and beyond.

As 2022 draws to a close, I’m pleased to report on another strong year for National Group and update you on our work to deliver sustainable, long-term growth.

At the company’s 25th anniversary in April, I said National Group was entering the next chapter of growth in its history. That has been the case.

In July, National Group was awarded a three-year (plus two) mining-services contract at Yancoal’s Moolarben coal mine in NSW. That followed the extension in January 2022 of a National Group equipment contract for Anglo American Australia at its open-cut coal mines at its Capcoal Operations in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland.

These and other contracts  – including one in 2021 to supply fully maintained mobile mining equipment to Newcrest Mining’s Cadia gold mine in NSW – have contributed to a period of significant expansion for National Group.

While it’s easy to focus on top-line growth and contract wins, as important in 2022 was our team’s work to build on National Group’s foundations. Growth on its own is not enough. The key is consistent growth that continues to diversify our business, by geography, commodity and service.

On this front, four areas stand out. The first is people. Since 2019, National Group’s full-time headcount has doubled to over 250 people, with more to join in 2023.

In addition to new people joining National Group, many of our current employees took on new roles and trained up new staff. Some relocated interstate permanently or temporarily to help on new projects. Suffice it to say, I’m grateful for our employees’ effort during this period and their flexibility and commitment.

The second area of progress was staff development. In 2020, we committed to training more employees in the National Group way. That led to the creation of the company’s first apprenticeship program in Queensland.

We’re now seeing the results of that work through the skills of our second- and third-year apprentices. As I see it, this is a long-term investment in increasing National Group’s internal supply of diesel fitters and its future leaders across the company.

I’ve said many times that National Group’s maintenance team is among the best in the business. So, it makes sense that we implement more structures to share that knowledge internally and develop our own people from day one in the job.

The third area of progress was National Group’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. We did much work this year internally and with an external ESG expert to develop National Group’s ESG focus and understand which United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we can contribute to.

There’s more work to be done, but National Group is focused on expanding our ESG strategy and measuring and reporting on it over time.

The final area of progress is the company’s work on Corporate Social Responsibility – the ‘S’ in ESG. Under the leadership of Kain Ford, Head of Marketing and Partnerships at National Group, we are doing more work in the community.

National Group has a long record of supporting grassroots sporting and industry events where our employees live and work. We took that up a few notches in 2022, highlighted by our support for an Aboriginal community in Mapoon in Cape York, about 80 kilometres north of Weipa on the mouth of the Wenlock River.

National Group wants to expand its CSR work in 2023, particularly in remote areas. Greater support of health-related charities is another focus for us.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Unstoppable and would be delighted if you refer it to friends, family or colleagues who might also find it interesting.

Our articles on Scott Tobin (National Group Recruitment Officer), Craig Weller (National Group Queensland Maintainance Manager), Jessica Nicholls (Site Administrator for our Moolarben work) and Simon Brown (National Machinery Xchange) give a sense of the teamwork within National Group and our employees’ passion to help customers.

On behalf of everyone at National Group, I hope you and your family have a happy and safe holiday season. We are grateful for your support in 2022 and look forward to working with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in 2023.

Mark Ackroyd

Founder and Managing Director

National Group