Hyne Timber, one of Australia’s largest private companies now in its 5th generation, began its journey in 1882 when Richard Matthews (RM) Hyne, having arrived in Moreton Bay in 1864 at the age of 24, opened the National Sawmill on the banks of the Mary River.
He was a remarkable entrepreneur, possessing great energy and practical ability becoming Mayor of Maryborough and a member of the Queensland Parliament where in 1890, with great foresight but without success, he introduced a Women’s Suffrage Bill, the first in the nation, to confer on women the right to vote.
Following his death in 1902, his son Henry J Hyne (HJ) assumed leadership of the business for nearly 30 years, managing to negotiate the ravages of the depression which severely eroded the business. Despite the lack of business, HJ remained loyal to his workforce, laying down a core value for Hyne Timber which endures to this day. By the time HJ’s son, Lambert, assumed control of the business it was rebounding strongly from the depression, aided by a number of key innovations which have also continued to characterise the Hyne business.
Lambert’s contribution lasting over 60 years (1921-1985) saw the business recreated, initially shifting its focus from softwoods to hardwood. The company then focused on manufactured engineering products such as glued laminated timber, roof trusses and pre-fabricated building products. By the end of his leadership tenure, the company had pioneered other innovations such as finger jointing of timber and timber preservation by chemical treatment and, significantly, renewed its focus on the future of softwoods made possible by thinnings extracted from large plantation forests.
Building on his father’s legacy, Warren Hyne, Managing Director from 1979-1994, continued to innovate and expand the capacity of the business while establishing himself as a national leader of Australia’s timber industry.
Under the joint leadership of Peter Hyne, Chris Robertson and Jon Kleinschmidt and Chairman Martin Kriewaldt, Hyne Timber weathered the challenges of the GFC and a high Australian dollar and emerged as Australia’s largest manufacturer of solid wood products and largest exporter of Australian-grown plantation softwood. It is a world leader in the process of drying the timber from young trees enabling the production of high quality stable products. Hyne’s values including respect, honesty and a family approach to business have carried it through a successful journey lasting more than 130 years all under private ownership while remaining headquartered in Maryborough.
Jon Kleinschmidt was appointed CEO in 2012 and has held this position since that time.