Doing good is just good business

Kiara Suzann Johnson, the founder and owner of KSJ Consulting, took home the Social Impact Award from Community Corporate at this year’s 40 Under 40.

Johnson founded KSJ Consulting in 2019, which is the first majority-owned female Aboriginal business operating in South Australia.

After overcoming challenges of sexism and racism in the civil construction industry, Johnson chose to create an organisation that would take inclusion seriously and create tangible outcomes.

She formed KSJ with the mission to raise the bar for awareness about Aboriginal history and cultural sensitivity, particularly in civil construction.

“We don’t just talk about economic opportunities, job creation and career pathways for Aboriginal Australians – we make them happen,” she says.

With 25 staff, KSJ has been engaged by SA Health, SA Water and the state’s Industry Advocate to create equitable outcomes, consult with Traditional Owners on civil projects and increase Aboriginal workforce participation.

Awarding Johnson the Social Impact Award at this year’s 40 Under 40 gala dinner at the Adelaide Oval, the founder and CEO of Community Corporate Carmen Garcia said Johnson has a burning purpose and unwavering passion to revolutionise the lives of Aboriginal Australians through work.

“She is carving out opportunities where none existed before working with governments, business and communities, she is definitely smashing through those glass ceilings!” Garcia said.

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Garcia said that social impact is “not just about the feel good”.

“Real impact comes from demonstrating the financial and future good of doing it differently with meaning and what it can bring to your business.”

Garcia, a 40 Under 40 alumnus, said she hoped all the 40 awarded on the night grabbed onto this recognition to help amplify your impact.

“You all help to prove that doing good is just good business,” she said.

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