Bowhill Engineering is a family owned and operated company based on the River Murray in South Australia. Bowhill was founded in the mid-1970s by Brendon Hawkes as a mechanic and evolved into structural steel fabrication when Brendon’s sons, Jeremy and Simon, became involved in the business.
Bowhill now employs 30 staff and is working on several big projects, including ferries for the River Murray and bridges for the Darlington Southern Expressway extensions.
Bowhill received a Small Business Steel Grant from the Office of the Industry Advocate to help it increase the efficiency of its rapidly developing business.
Chief Financial Officer Jodie Hawkes says that thanks to the grant, Bowhill has since become the second company in Australia to gain its Category 3 Certification, which means it is formally recognised to do major structural steel work.
“We totally support the work that Ian Nightingale is doing through the Office of the Industry Advocate in compliance and quality issues,” Jodie says.
Bowhill takes pride in growing their business, taking on apprentices and working with schools to prepare current students to start thinking about their future career paths. “We reach out to local schools and we’ve got some great networks. We sit in the middle of four or five schools and we connect with them to support the engineering part of the STEM pathway. “It’s critically important to get involved with students at the school level to influence where future job opportunities will be. “There is a big emphasis on trying to show local students that there are opportunities out there and that their own region does have them.
“It’s about showcasing the region and the different jobs available and that what you start out with isn’t always where you are going to end up.”