From Workspace to Growth Center: The Transformation of KLINGER Australia's Perth Office
KLINGER Australia marks 65th year with renovated Perth office - an inspiring hub designed to foster team bonding and creativity as core company values.
KLINGER Australia’s new premises in Perth offer a modern take on collaboration and creativity. The renovation was completed just in time for the company to celebrate its 65th Anniversary in 2023.
Since KLINGER opened its first Australian office and manufacturing base in Perth, Western Australia in 1958, KLINGER Australia's ability to adapt and evolve has been crucial to its success. In response to the changing demands of the global workplace, KLINGER Australia recently renovated its Perth headquarters in 2022 to promote better teamwork and collaboration amongst its employees. The redesigned office space features several breakout areas, a vertical garden, and a BBQ area aimed at encouraging team bonding and enhancing collaboration. The company recognized the importance of creating an office environment that fosters creativity, innovation, and a sense of community among its employees, especially in the post-COVID era, where the way we work has undergone significant changes.
A vertical garden is one of the most eye-catching features of the new office space.
Indigenous Artist designs symbolic canvas
To commemorate the opening of the new office, the entire KLINGER Australia team participated in a fun morning activity where they jointly created a large symbolic canvas designed by Indigenous Artist and Cultural Advisor Justin Martin. Graham Llewellyn-Berry, Chief Financial Officer of KLINGER Australia, commented on the experience:
„There were a lot of laughs, a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm. Initially shy people became more open at the end of the workshop. And that is how we want the team atmosphere to evolve with this new office in 2022 and beyond - we want to see more confidence, more willingness to express yourself in the team.“
Graham Llewellyn-Berry, Chief Financial Officer of KLINGER Australia
The artwork was completed during the official office grand opening in October 2022, where KLINGER Group CEOs Christoph Klinger-Lohr and Daniel Schibli added the finishing touches: a meeting place representing a safe space for all. The canvas is permanently displayed in the KLINGER office to remind all that this is the space where everyone is acknowledged, respected, and welcomed. With the new office, the KLINGER Australia management team is determined to lead the KLINGER Australia future with a stronger emphasis on building trust and hope.
Together, employees of KLINGER Australia created a collaborative artwork to commemorate the opening of the new office.
Fostering a culture of excellence
"We've placed great emphasis on creating a warm, relaxed environment," Kevin Woolley, Managing Director of KLINGER Australia, spoke on how the office serves a more compelling purpose in training and growing a next-gen workforce.
„As we return to the office from a period of working from home, our office needs to speak to that true feeling of being a team. We don't want the office to be just a center for work; we want it to be also a center for ideas, friendship, and growth for decades to come.“
Kevin Woolley, Managing Director of KLINGER Australia
As KLINGER Australia celebrates this milestone, the company also recognizes that it is only the beginning, and there is much more work to be done. We must continue to foster a culture of excellence and innovation, and invest in the development of our people, products and services. Our ability to adapt and stay agile in the face of a constantly evolving landscape is crucial to maintaining our competitive edge. These efforts will enable us to provide our customers with exceptional products and services, whilst also building a sustainable and evolving business for the long term”, Kevin said.
KLINGER CEOs Christoph Klinger-Lohr and Daniel Schibli cut the ribbon at the new KLINGER Australia office in Perth.
It is inspiring to hear the reflections of someone like Ajith Gunasekera, Finance Director of KLINGER Australia who dedicated more than half of his career to the company and is now retiring. He reflects on his time with the company with pride and gratitude:
„It's incredible to see how far we've come since the beginning, and I am incredibly proud of our achievements. Most importantly, I would like to thank the generations of the KLINGER family that contributed to the success. My best wishes go out to all. I am excited to see what the future holds for the company.“
Ajith Gunasekera, former Finance Director of KLINGER Australia Ajith Gunasekera served as Finance Director of KLINGER Australia for more than half of his career.
In 1958, KLINGER opened its first Australian office and manufacturing base in Perth, Western Australia to improve the availability of KLINGER products in Oceania and Asia. Over the years, KLINGER Australia has developed strong partnerships and achieved significant success in Asia Pacific, and is proud to celebrate sixty-five years of working with Australia.
The 1950s marked a significant era of economic growth for Australia as it transitioned from post-World War II to a time of prosperity. With its thriving mining industry, Western Australia experienced an economic surge and a boost in confidence. In response, the state government positioned itself as a hub for business activities in the Asia Pacific region and made a concerted effort to attract international businesses and investment. This enthusiasm from the government caught the attention of Hubert Klinger-Lohr and Managing Director W.E. Hoes, who were looking to increase the supply of the already successful KLINGER products to the region. The decision received warm welcome from the government, people and partners. They incorporated Richard Klinger Limited in Perth, and within a year, a factory was established and production began.
Initially, the company had around thirty employees, consisting of a few individuals already part of the KLINGER team from the United Kingdom and most local employees based in Perth who required training. Despite the challenges that came with this, the local employees' adaptability proved to be remarkable.
As the company continued to thrive, additional people were brought on board to accommodate its growth. With the repeal of the white Australia policy which had been limiting non-white immigration to Australia to people of European descent, an influx of skilled workers from Asian countries arrived in Australia in the late 1970s. Some of them joined KLINGER as valuable team members, bringing their knowledge and expertise to the company.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Australia also underwent rapid industrialization and urbanization. KLINGER Australia responded to the demand for improved client and partner service in the eastern states by establishing a second manufacturing base in Melbourne.
The Perth manufacturing base was strategically located to support projects not only in Australia but also in Asia, with export volume exceeding 80% of production in the 1990s. The company's local manufacturing capabilities have played a pivotal role in its success in quickly responding to market demands. One notable example was the Northwest Shelf project, a major investment in Australia's energy sector and one of the largest natural resource projects in the country's history. KLINGER was selected as the supplier of gaskets for the project because of its ability to provide faster delivery times, flexible customization options and better technical support from its local manufacturing base.
During the early to mid-1990s, KLINGER Australia broadened its manufacturing range to incorporate liquid level and magnetic gauges, in addition to gaskets. These locally made goods received positive feedback in Australia and Asia, bolstering KLINGER's reputation as a quality label for gaskets, valves and technical industrial products in the region.
2000 and onward
Since the early 2000s, Southeast Asia has become one of the world's fastest-growing economic regions. Countries like Vietnam and Thailand have become major manufacturing hubs, creating bigger opportunities for companies like KLINGER. The acquisition of Goldcrest (now KLINGER Thailand) in 2008 allowed KLINGER to fully integrate its operations and expand its reach in the region. Similarly, the acquisition of ATMECO in 2015 enabled KLINGER to expand its service offering to emission management and leak detection, tagging into the vast opportunity the sector needs in meeting regulatory requirements and operational efficiency.
As of 2022, KLINGER Australia has manufacturing bases in Perth and Thailand, with representatives in every state in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Singapore. This extensive network enables KLINGER to provide faster and more localized services to meet the needs of the diverse Southeast Asian and Oceania market, which is known for their varying regulations and cultural nuances. Despite the complexities of operating in this region, KLINGER Australia is committed to providing exceptional service and support to customers and has made significant strides in establishing a strong presence in the region.
KLINGER Australias’ main location in Perth was redesigned to create a safe space for all.
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