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GJ Garnder East Gippsland

GatehouseCollaboration the Key to Business Growth in East Gippsland

Local builder, Michael Ellett sees a bright future for the East Gippsland business community, with Bairnsdale leading the growth.

A home-grown Bairnsdale boy, Michael has over 25 years in the building industry, recently taking over as owner /operator of GJ Gardner homes. After attending Bairnsdale Technical School, work has taken Michael and his wife Helen to Melbourne and Western Australia before moving back to Bairnsdale where they have witnessed several positive changes to the way businesses collaborate.

"We've had the opportunity to work in various places over the years, but what we love most about Bairnsdale is the connectivity of the community, and a willingness to work together." said Michael.

GJ Gardner Homes contributes annually to regional marketing through East Gippsland Marketing Inc and is a founding member of the Bairnsdale branch of Business Network International (BNI), a business networking and referral service.

"Through our membership of BNI, and the East Gippsland Marketing network, we've been able to connect with a broader cross section of the business community, which not only helps us to build awareness of our business, it encourages greater collaboration across the business network." added Michael.

"These networks emphasise the importance of supporting local trades, products and services, which is a good indicator of a healthy and thriving local economy."

Community and environment is an important theme for Michael and the business. For every new home they build, G.J Gardner plants 15 trees to offset their carbon footprint.

“GJ Gardner also runs a Community Growth Program. The program contributes a percentage of each contract price to a local non-profit organisation chosen by clients,” he said.

“Our office also sponsors various local sporting clubs and community groups.”

Like many local businesses, GJ Gardner has seen steady growth in Bairnsdale and now has six direct employees and over 70 contractors and sub-contractors who all live in East Gippsland.

"It is a popular misconception that GJ Gardner are just another volume builder owned by a large corporate in Melbourne or Sydney. We are in fact a locally owned and operated building company with building projects ranging from Lindenow to Orbost."

Citing a recent article by economist Bernard Salt that indicated Bairnsdale was one of the top five fastest growing towns in Australia, Michael signalled positive times ahead in East Gippsland.

"Bairnsdale is recognised as a growing region, and from a business community perspective, we are well equipped to work together and continue that trend so that everyone can benefit"

“On a local level, we will always aim to have happy customers who love their home and have happy employees that love where they work,” Michael concluded.