“Hutchies”, as it is fondly known, has been a major identity within Queensland’s construction and business landscape for many years. Born in 1934, Jack Hutchinson III was the third generation of his family to lead the business. In 1952, Jack started work at J. Hutchinson & Sons whilst studying Quantity Surveying at night, at what is now QUT. Contrary to his father’s advice, Jack resigned from a secure position at the State Works Department and in 1966 became a full-time employee of J. Hutchinson & Sons.
Jack identified and sought to remove inefficiencies, arranged credit for supplies, communicated with key contractors and architects to build confidence and undertook employee restructuring, dramatically improving company productivity. After surviving a period of difficult trading, by 1968 the company had eliminated its large overdraft, built a good credit rating and developed a history of profitable contracts.
In 1968 Jack decided to establish his own company. J. Hutchinson & Sons closed and Jack and his wife, June, mortgaged their home and incorporated J. Hutchinson Pty Ltd. The company developed a niche market for repair and renovation projects. By 1972, Jack had guided the company’s fortunes to prosperity, whilst gaining the respect and esteem of the business and construction industry. Despite the recession of the 1970s, the company thrived, establishing a reputation for its complex refurbishments. A focus on the client became the company’s guiding philosophy.
Key construction projects undertaken by Hutchinsons Builders include:
- Northbridge Tower
- AM60 Office Development,
- Toowoomba Central Plaza
- Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Major refurbishments include
- the Brisbane Arcade,
- the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba
- the Tattersalls Club in Brisbane.
The restoration of St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane is considered one of the company’s most impressive works, receiving an Australian Institute of Building Excellence Award.
Jack’s leadership in professional organisations such as the Australian Institute of Building is widely acknowledged. Hutchinson Builders now has an annual turnover approaching the $1 billion mark and has offices from North Queensland to Tasmania, including Sydney and Melbourne, employing over 900 staff. Although retiring as Chairman in 2001, Jack still remains a Director of the Company with a prominent interest in the business, which, through his leadership, has made a major contribution to the construction industry and the Queensland economy.