Thomas Hilleary, Vendor Engagement Specialist

A proud Larrakia man from Darwin, Thomas’ career has centred on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders build confidence in their lives and careers.

May 14, 2024

And he continues to do so at JLL, as a Vendor Engagement Specialist and an active member of JLL’s Reconciliation Action Committee.

Thomas’ role is dedicated to supplier diversity. It was created when JLL identified a need to increase engagement with local Indigenous businesses (IBs) in regional and remote areas where we support several clients. JLL wanted to ensure we were maximising the opportunities for these businesses to be included in procurements, aligning with our commitment to support thriving communities. 

Although new to procurement, Thomas brings with him a wealth of experience in building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, supporting them specifically in areas of training and employment.

While a rifleman in the Army between 2017 to 2022, Thomas fostered Indigenous youth careers in the forces through the Indigenous Development Program (AIDP). He also worked with the Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation focusing on engagement in the Nauiyu community, located on the banks of the Daly River.

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Beginning his JLL journey as Team Leader of the NT Indigenous Valuations Admin Team, Thomas now identifies opportunities to engage with small and medium sized Indigenous-owned suppliers in remote communities across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland, identifying potential connections through JLL’s long-standing relationships with Supply Nation and NTIBN. 

Small IBs can experience specific challenges that might not have been previously encountered by larger Indigenous organisations in our network. In his almost 2 years with JLL, Thomas has identified and implemented tactics to overcome these challenges within JLL’s procurement process and maximise opportunities for Indigenous businesses.

Thomas has prioritised face-to-face engagement, sometimes travelling hundreds of kilometres into remote communities to build trust with business owners who can be sceptical of large corporations from outside their community. He’s also streamlined onboarding requirements for suppliers, resulting in simple contracts and reduced payment times.

Motivated by knowing that the work he does every day makes a real difference in the communities that JLL operates, Thomas’ priority is to make business owners feel comfortable while optimising supplier diversity at JLL. “It truly gives me a lot of pride to work with such a big company, moving barriers aside to facilitate such personal impact within small businesses and communities,” said Thomas.

To date, Thomas has contacted over 370 IBs in regional and remote areas and looks forward to liaising with many more future JLL suppliers.

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