27 February 2024

Growing Indigenous Construction Talent: Summer's Journey 4 Years On

Helping young Indigenous talent build their careers in construction

At BY Group, we're dedicated to bridging the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

Our focus? Empowering Indigenous communities through educational initiatives, work placements, and career opportunities. We're cultivating talent within the Indigenous Construction sector, fostering growth, and making strides towards a more inclusive future.

3 years ago, we interviewed Summer Dann, who joined BY Group as a Cadet in 2019 with no prior experience or qualifications in the construction industry.


As she completes 4 years with us, we’re taking a look back at Summer’s journey at BY Group that has led her to her current role as a Project Engineer.

Summer, could you please tell us about your journey to BY Group? How did you end up being a part of the BY Group team?

I started my journey with BY Group in December 2019 as a work experience student. I had not planned to stay in the construction industry then. But after being exposed to the industry I changed my degree to work in favour with the industry.

Can you provide an overview of your role and responsibilities within the business over the past few years?

I started as a Cadet. I then moved into the role of Contract Administrator where I worked in tendering with the estimating team. Now I am a Project Engineer and I work directly with Project Managers in project delivery.

Can you describe the type of work, and some of the different types of projects you worked on as part of your role at BY Group?

BY Group is a flexible construction company. Some areas they look after include solar, civil, refurbishment, office fit out and new builds. I have had exposure to work across all these areas with BY Group, ultimately allowing me to expand my knowledge and career development.


You joined as a Cadet four years ago. What does it mean to you to be working in an Indigenous owned building company, such as BY Group?

BY Group is a very welcoming company. Working with a team such as BY Group has allowed me to develop in my career as a young confident female within the industry. Working with an Aboriginal owned and managed company allows me to prosper not only as an individual but as a community. When one succeeds we all succeed. BY Group create pathways for our people that give chances to create pathways for future generations.

Who were your mentors, and how did they help you? Can you provide examples of where their advice made a difference to you?

My mentor is John Dyball. Mr Dyball has been my mentor since 2015. He has been a core support in my life and has helped me establish my life in Sydney. Mr Dyball works closely with the Indigenous community on the South coast of NSW and continuously engages with opportunities that provide equity to Mob. People like Mr Dyball push to create opportunities for the Indigenous community and is a highly valued person.

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As a descendant of the Yuin Nation along the South Eastern Seaboard through your mother and of the Wajarri and Amangu through your father, what does your culture mean to you and what role does it play in your life today?

My culture is my identity. I am a Proud Aboriginal Woman and strive to make my family proud. I am 1 of 8 children - I come from a big family. My culture is my key to showing up and making a difference. I come from a long line of strength and determination and it is only right that I continue that goal of talent and positive mindset.

Can you point out any specific skills or qualities you've developed or refined during your time with BY Group that have been instrumental in your career success?

Throughout my four years with BY Group I have gained extensive knowledge of three roles: Cadet, Contract Administrator and Project Engineer. I believe each role is a key step to improving career success. BY Group has a strong team environment and the culture within BY Group enhances the skills and qualities I need to thrive within the industry.

Can you highlight any achievements or milestones you've reached during your time with BY Group that you are particularly proud of?

I would say the main milestones I'm proud of include:

  • completing my Bachelor of Construction Management and Property at UNSW in November 2023
  • successfully delivering Minor Works Projects
  • stepping in to my role as a Project Engineer after joining as a Cadet in 2019

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With the support and experience that you’ve gained over the last four years, what do you look forward to in your career as a construction professional in the coming years?

I look forward to seeing the Indigenous talent in the construction industry grow. I am grateful to be part of a company such as BY Group, who seeks to focus on nurturing the growth and opportunity in our communities. I also look forward to seeing young women be confident to join this industry, where they can prosper.

Link to career development program

Think BY Group might be a good fit for you to start or grow your career in construction? Submit your expression of interest now.