The Austral Brick Company was founded in 1908 by a group of investors and builders led by Edwin Spackman.
The company established itself as a major player in the brick industry by the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
Riding the boom of the 1920s and steering a path through the Depression years, the name Austral Bricks came to be associated with the remarkable figure of William King Dawes whose hold over Austral Bricks and Brickworks Limited extended for over half a century. Without Dawes, Austral Bricks may not have survived the devastating economic collapse of the Depression.
Certainly the history of Brickworks Limited, established in 1934 by Dawes and other private brick manufacturers would have followed a different course altogether.
Moreover, without the foresight of Jim Millner, the chairman of Washington H Soul Pattinson, who was the joint architect in 1969 with Dawes of the cross holding with Brickworks, both companies may have succumbed to hostile takeovers.
Dawes’ three successors Albert Burgess, Alan Bentley and Lindsay Partridge, the current managing director, took Brickworks and its flag bearer Austral Bricks, to new heights.
Under Lindsay Partridge the company has been transformed from a state based operation to a national organisation with manufacturing operations in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
These manufacturing operations are continually upgraded and modernised, implementing the world’s best technology and environmental protection features.
This ensures the maintenance of production efficiency and quality to enable the introduction of new and highly innovative products creating new fashions and trends in the residential and commercial building markets.
The experience of over one hundred years of brickmaking brings with it a unique ability to build a dedicated team of people committed to excellence in brick production, research and development ready for the many challenges of the next 100 years.
Note: For a fuller account of the history of Austral Bricks we recommend The Brickmasters 1788-2008 by Ron Ringer. This comprehensive history of the company was commissioned as part of the centenary celebrations of Austral Bricks in 2008.