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About Us


First People was established in 2001 as division of AWX Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest leading workforce management company. At the heart of our commitment to adding value, is our team of experienced staff, listening and offering workforce solutions that meet your business needs. 

In 2016 First People began operating solely as an indigenous owned and operated company, carrying the AWX legacy to pioneer the way forward for Indigenous workforce placement and training programs across Australia. First people is a partnership between two supply nation 100% owned businesses; Red Emu owned by Dale Shearer, a well renowned mentor and Rugby league legend as well as Mob Personnel Solutions, Group Manager Phil Thompson, an award winning indigenous business with support from AWX part of the largest ASX listed people management businesses. Together they form a successful combination that has run combined  for over 35 years and provided outcomes for indigenous staff through multiple industries including government, infrastructure and mining.

The First People business model is incorporated under OIRIC and the CATSI Act and is the primary geographic pathway growth for First People, utilising the national footprint of its founding Company and Member AWX Pty Ltd.


Since establishment in 2000, AWX has worked to position itself as an industry leader in the delivery of work placement to the industrial, construction and mining sectors as well as indigenous programs and apprentices to specific sectors.

First People's background in workforce creation, administration and placement in the industry is second to none as our parent company AWX Pty Ltd is part of the largest ASX listed Recruitment and Employment company in Australia.

First People will continue to utilise it's partnerships across 19 x office locations Australia wide with a workforce pool to supply trained and work fit people to various multinational industries and Government projects across Australia.

Our Systems and solid financial background carries a strong message to the market that we are here for the long term and continue to innovate our approach to business.

First People has partnered with sporting legends and hero ambassadors of Indigenous backgrounds to work within our framework and will be a benchmark for the community to aspire too and follow in their footsteps with pride and commitment. 


Our model is a “for profit” business that is successful and profitable which can foster both Ingenious and mainstream people who are entering the workforce for apprentices, traineeships and employment. This Brand awareness will be the face of the business and exposure is essential for future planning and market share.

First People has the experience and expertise required to operate in the dynamic and fiercely competitive workplace sector. It uses these skills to assist its clients and efficiently extract the optimum economic value of their resources.

We are a respected business within the community and increase social capital returns and deliver on workforce diversity to our clients Australia wide.

We are a diversified model that can move quickly and have  varied interests in many industries, including through Red Emu & Mob Personnel Solutions safety apparel and consumables.



Dale Shearer

 - Red Emu -

Dale Shearer is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative of Aboriginal heritage, he played club football in Queensland, New South Wales and England. His playing career included a NSWRL Premiership win with Manly-Warringah in 1987 and a Rugby League World Cup Final win in 1988. Ten years after his retirement, Shearer was still the all-time top try-scorer in State of Origin and he was named on the wing of the Indigenous Australian team of the century.

In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his "outstanding achievement in rugby league". In August, 2008, Shearer was named at wing in the Indigenous Team of the Century, joining other legends such as Eric Simms, Steve Renouf, Lionel Morgan, Laurie Daley, Greg Inglis, Jonathan Thurston, Arthur Beetson, Cliff Lyons and John Ferguson in the team.

Dale also travels around Australia as a mentor to Indigenous students.


Phil Thompson

 - Mob Personnel Solutions -

Phil Thompson was born and bred in a small rural township called Barcaldine, located in Central Western Queensland. His Aboriginal heritage originates from the Kara Kara and Bidjara traditional groups, both groups also from the Central Queensland region. 

With over 20 years’ experience in customer service within various government, not for profit and private sector positions, Phil is a communication and training professional when dealing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  He has extensive managerial experience with a strong focus on positive outcomes for his people and anyone else who has made the decision to better their lives.

Phil has owned Mob Personnel Solutions since 2013 and achieved a great deal for Indigenous people in that time. Working on major projects such as Rail Projects throughout QLD, NSW and VIC, The $90M Dubbo Hospital Upgrade as well as working with mining and government organisations to help manage land and biodiversity offsets. Phil is also Chairperson for the Indigenous owned and managed natural skin care company Native Secrets.




The First People Program utilises the cultural understanding of community connections and our industry expertise to break down the barrier and promote Indigenous employment opportunities. Through the First People Program, we are empowering individuals to be work ready and helping close the gap between industry and Indigenous communities. This program enables unemployed Indigenous people to join the workforce through training and mentoring.

Employing Quality People
We engage with the community to employ quality
local people.


Partnering Industry
We partner with the industry to allocate suitable positions, and to tailor role and industry specific jobs for our Indigenous workforce.


Developing Sustainable Workforce Solutions
We develop our people so that they are work ready - culturally, socially and vocationally, and we support and enhance their career and aspirations development.

Managing Ongoing Relationships with Industry Partners
We manage the on-going relationships with our industry partners, and provide on-going mentoring and support to ensure retention. We firmly believe in partnering with people, businesses, and communities to provide right, flexible and safe staffing solutions – guaranteed.


Our First People Program is creating an all-stars workforce that will be recognised by industry and society as exceptional. This is evident in the many success stories we have seen come out of this program.


AWX has the resources to offer flexible, reliable and industry-focused training programs. We work closely with our clients and training partners to devise training that meets their business needs and successfully upskill program candidates for future job placements.

Points of Difference


We understand and acknowledge the cultural diversity of Indigenous people and communities. Through First People, you are able to support your local Indigenous talents, therefore making a positive contribution to the local Indigenous workforce and community – today and tomorrow.

First People offers unique Indigenous community engagement capability and will deliver positive outcomes through our Indigenous specific recruitment, development, and employment and retention strategies.


First People is underpinned by AWX; an industry expert in providing short and long term staffing solutions. First People will create a skilled workforce through on-going mentoring. We are willing to understand and strive to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Through First People you will be delivered a workforce solution. Retention guaranteed.

First People is committed to aligning with your organisation through supplying the right talents with the right set of skills to ensure you meet your goals.

With a clear track record of safety management, you can be sure that safety is high on the AWX list and First People is committed to it. No compromises.



69-75 Sandgate Road, Albion Q 4010


188R Benolong Road, Dubbo NSW 2830


Tel:  07 3238 0800

Fax: 07 3238 0808

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