Each new generation brings a fresh
perspective, but also a healthy respect for past generations that
is not usually evident in a business without a solid foundation
of family tradition.
Packer history dates back to 1878, when a young newly married English
immigrant, Joseph Packer, started work in a Brisbane tannery. He learnt
the trade for 13 years, before opening up his own tannery with a partner
in 1891. That action launched the name that is now synonymous with high-performance
kangaroo and bovine leather for gloves, shoes and sporting equipment
in niche markets around the globe.
In the early days it was a small tannery, supplying to Brisbane
markets. Joseph Packer had five sons, but the family business could
support only three of them, so the others became steel merchants.
George, William and Jim Packer ran the tannery until their retirement,
when George's son Roy took over.
The highest level of growth at Packer Leather has occurred since Roy's
son Lindsay took over at the helm as Managing Director in 1969.
His brother, Graham, joined in 1974 as the International Marketing
Director and together the siblings have taken Packer from five employees
to an organisation that exports 80% of its product.
The 1972 move to Narangba, on Brisbane's far northern outskirts,
was a watershed in the corporate history. The brothers battled in
the courts for the site approval for eight months and then worked
a six day week to build the factory and run the business.
Today, fourth and fifth generation Packers share in the running
of one of Australia's largest tanneries and maintain the tradition
of caring for the extended family - Packer Leather's international
network of customers and its staff of approximately 170 people.
Packer Leather has a very solid future, gained through its supply
of raw material, mainly kangaroo skins, its significant investments
in plant and equipment, its well developed long-term relationships
with customers, and its emphasis on value adding.