Friends and workmates Jarrod Bennell and Shane Duhau took the leap out of middle management to form their own electrical business in 2003.
Twenty years later, their firm Core Contracting Group has kicked onto nation-leading work on solar farms, wind farms and recycling facilities.
It was crowned with the top prize at the South East Business Awards 2023 held at Woodlands Golf Club on 26 October. It also took out the Building and Construction category.
“To be honest, we’re humbled by the awards,” Duhau said.
“When we first started, what we just wanted to do was to run our own company.
“We just decided we have a lot to offer, so let’s start an electrical company.”
Seven years later, they expanded into offering a “turn-key” product of electrical and mechanical contracting services.
This meant they could “deliver the whole package” on major projects such as the Sacyr food organics and composting facility in Dandenong South – the first of its kind in the Southern hemisphere.
CCG is set to embark on a similar plant for Orez in Tasmania.
“It was all done in-house. I think our European partners just wanted to have confidence in a company that would deliver their project.”
It was also involved in one of Australia’s first soil-contamination recycling facilities, the Renex waste recycling plant.
With up to 40 staff and a $7.5 million turnover, the Hastings-based CCGis now considered “a fairly big player in the renewable sector”.
It is perfectly located just a “stone’s throw” from the State Government’s off-shore wind farm installation project at Port of Hastings.
“We have the passion, drive and care for our clients – and that reflects on our employees as well,” Duhau said.
“I think that’s what sets us apart.”
Another of the big winners on the night was Wallara Australia – which took out the Business Citizen and Employer of Choice awards.
Also on the impressive list of awardees were Cloudcon, Cornish College, The Bridge Inc, Steppin Out, Granny’s Food, South East Leisure, Dandenong Pavilion, P1 Technology and Hi Spec Group.