By Daniel Barclay
This year marks an exciting anniversary for AGE – the start of our 20th year in business. It’s with pride we reflect on the company’s journey over the last 20 years and the changes we have seen.
Back in 1997 John Howard was prime minister, Titanic was the highest grossing movie of all time, Ford Falcon station wagons were all over our roads, and chambray shirts were all the rage. In this environment Errol Briese and Lindsay Furness bravely left secure jobs and co-founded AGE in a small office in Bowen Hills. Lindsay soon moved on to pursue a passion for overseas opportunities, prompting Errol to open ownership of AGE to other employees, a model that continues to this day.
The business quickly flourished and the team rapidly grew necessitating a move to a larger premises. A 100 year old heritage listed ‘Queenslander’ in Bowen Hills fit the bill and served the company well for over 10 years. An office was also set up to serve North Queensland from Innisfail. The iconic green Queenslander on Jeays Street is still standing today and can still be seen from the current AGE offices.
In 2014, AGE setup the Newcastle office to service the pre-existing clients within the Hunter Valley and greater New South Wales area. The office has operated successfully for three years with three hydrogeologists providing services to the Hunter Valley and wider region. Whilst serving Australian clients has always been our core business, we have enjoyed many opportunities to travel overseas and assist with projects in Laos, Vietnam, Kuwait, Papua New Guinea, Argentina, Brazil, Philippines, and Senegal.
Looking back like any child we have had growing pains. The transition from a small team of five to a larger group of 20 was challenging. We implemented better human resource frameworks and workflow systems for the company to ensure we look after our most precious resources – our people. The downturn in the mining industry in 2012 also forced us to focus on providing competitive services and maintaining a commercial edge over other companies. Our continued profitability, low staff turnover and maintenance of a 20 person team is a source of pride for us that we have navigated this challenge well and continue to provide high quality services.
2017 will be an exciting year for our company and we intend to celebrate with our people and clients. Of course, whilst we celebrate, we will continue to focus on what has made us successful to date – our core capabilities and high quality deliverables. We are also looking forward to the next five years at AGE and the further evolution of the company with some big announcements imminent. Stay tuned!