Woollam Constructions celebrates 135 years in business
THE legendary Breakfast "Brekky" Creek Hotel was built nearly 130 years ago by Thomas Woollam, who founded Woollam Constructions, and this year the company - with strong ties and an ongoing love of and loyalty to Mackay - celebrated its 135-year anniversary at the seminal pub.
The Woollam Constructions team of about 200 staff from across Queensland and NSW honoured the original Thomas Woollam and the legacy and future of the company last month with dinner at the Brekky Creek pub, and the party included a guest appearance from former rugby league player Trevor Gillmeister.
Woollam Constructions' managing director, Craig Percival, said this week the original Thomas Woollam - originally from Scotland - had built and fostered a company where people "really respected" each other.
He said while the Woollam name was linked with other iconic landmarks such as the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame at Longreach, "it all comes back to Mackay and what we've done in Mackay".
An office was opened in Mackay in 1958 and Mr Percival, who has worked with Woollam Constructions for 30 years, said the company had built the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, the Botanic Gardens, the Bluewater Lagoon, Bluewater Quay, Mackay stadium, the Quest and Ibis hotels, as well as completing work in the aged care sector and at the harbour.
"One of the things we talk about is that it's great having all this history, but we still think we're a young company and we're a team that is energetic," Mr Percival said.
"I've been in Mackay for 23 years, I still live in Mackay, and Woollam is working right throughout NSW and Queensland, and lots of it is because of work we started in Mackay."
Mr Percival said the company had an affiliation with the aged care sector, which included work at Mackay's Good Shepherd Lodge, Francis of Assisi Home and the Blue Care Homefield Aged Care Facility.
He said social isolation was a modern problem and Woollam was keen to partner with aged care clients to build facilities and then continue to work with them.
"We've got building cadets and they go to the aged care facilities and spend half a day interacting with the residents.
"We do a lot of refurbishment work as well and working in the facility while the residents are there, and we do our best to brighten up people's days."
He said the future for business in the Mackay region was to work with both state and federal governments to attract new industry and businesses to Mackay.
"Mackay is a wonderful place to live and work and it shouldn't be a hard sell - we're certainly ready for it.
"I do think private and government sectors need to work together to attract that new business to town. We're all up for it, we just need to work a bit harder to make it happen."
Mr Percival said in the new year he'd like to see the company remain committed to training and providing opportunities for local people and business.
Construction has begun on the 120-bed Ozcare Aged Care Facility and he said Woollam was "committed to using all local contract partners and suppliers because we believe in the capabilities of the businesses in Mackay".