In 2004 the Plumbers Union initiated an Indigenous Apprentices Program whereby Aboriginal youth learn and gain plumbing trade qualifications.

The objective of the program was to empower Aboriginal youth in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions through up-skilling and for this to be translated back into their local community. The Union was looking for the ripple affect whereby the qualified plumber returns to the region and imparts their knowledge, becoming a mentor and effecting a generational change. Expanding on this program and its benefits, NUDJ plumbing was formed in 2009.

NUDJ Plumbing is the amalgamation of the Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation, the Victorian Plumbers Union, Cooke & Dowsett Pty Ltd and the Jarlmadangah Burru Aboriginal Corporation with a combined purpose of providing employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians. They are dedicated to enriching the lives of Aboriginal people through plumbing apprenticeship programs with the Victorian Plumbers Union, employment with NUDJ and the provision of labour hire through Cooke & Dowsett Pty Ltd.

Having learnt plumbing services skills, including improved sanitation and water management, qualified plumbers can then return to transfer this knowledge and enrich their communities. This is proving to enrich the regions whilst providing real economic benefit.

The Indigenous Apprenticeship Program in association with NUDJ has seen many winners of awards including the MPMSAA Apprenticeship Award, the Outstanding Achievement Among Indigenous Australians Award and has trained the first Indigenous female plumber who has returned to NUDJ as an employee.

NUDJ Plumbing has completed numerous plumbing contracts ranging in complexity and scale and has provided labour to a number of sites throughout the region. It is a proficient contractor that provides quality plumbing solutions to its clients and has completed projects that range from housing maintenance to airport redevelopments. NUDJ has the business model to continue with its success and build on its reputation. It embraces the region and its people and seeks to expand this commitment to improve the quality of living conditions through recruitment, training and empowerment of Indigenous Australians.
In a recent speech to parliament Senator Mark Bishop recognised NUDJ as having “developed a model which shows a clear way forward in tackling disadvantage in remote communities. They have provided opportunities for young people to learn new skills and to benefit from the dignity that is inherent in ongoing work, to say nothing of the improvements to their communities, which will have an enduring impact on their families, friends and homes.”


Bret Sheehan
NUDJ Plumbing Services Pty Ltd
29 Clementson Street, Broome WA 6725
Tel: +61 8 9192 5144
Fax: +61 8 9192 1005