The regions most influential people.
The regions most influential people.

POWER 30 - Who moved down the list?

THESE 7 influencers have made Gympie's Power 30 list two year's in row- but none of them have stayed in the same spot.

Take a look below:

1. Tony Goodman went from 27-29

Power 30 Tony Goodman.
Power 30 Tony Goodman. Renee Albrecht

SITTING at #29, Gympie businessman Tony Goodman is passionate about promoting Mary St to locals and visitors alike.

Mr Goodman is a member of the Gympie Town Centre Stakeholder Reference Group, a group of business people and community members committed to promoting what he calls "The Heart of the City”.

He is also on the board of the Gympie Chamber of Commerce.

The man with the plan to see regular events in Mary St adopted with some kind of permanency is delighted the Gympie Regional Council has embraced the concept he had a major hand in starting four years ago.

Looking back on that, Mr Goodman said he knew Mary St needed an injection of life.

"People were commenting on the decline and how shops were becoming empty and staying empty,” he said.

"I wanted to showcase the heart of Gympie and make it a destination and a point of difference to the shopping centres.”

The quarterly events he helped inspire and which were organised by a group he was involved in, the Mary Street Traders, are now regularly attended by thousands of people.

Mr Goodman feels the GRC's willingness to get behind the initiative and help shoulder the burden of funding will only help the celebrations to grow.

"Now that council has embraced it, it's great to see,” he said.

"I use the lifeboat example and the number one rule in a life boat is we all row together. A strong, dynamic and vibrant town centre sends psychological ripples out into the community,” he said.

2. Darren Burns went from 19-25

Power 30 Darren Burns.
Power 30 Darren Burns. Renee Albrecht

DARREN Burns is not only the face of Gympie rugby league, he is its driving force.

After a career in the national rugby league that saw him play for the Brisbane Broncos, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Western Suburbs Magpies and the Sydney Roosters, Darren has provided a stable platform of motivation and inspiration to Gympie's aspiring rugby league players in a time where the game, at a regional level is struggling.

He has mandated the consistent presence of rugby league at a school level, which has seen a resurgence of young players in the local junior ranks.

As rugby league grows to feature the anticipated women's competition, Burns has been leading the charge to expand the game in Gympie to include a women's team. A women's game was added to the Devils 20th anniversary celebrations and old boys day at Albert Park in mid-September.

But Darren's influence and mentoring has gone beyond the playing field.

He has worked in conjunction with the Brisbane Broncos to provide education to Gympie region students in everything from domestic violence to healthy eating.

He continues to provide front line leadership as president of the Gympie Devils Rugby League Football Club, stepping up to the plate after the resignation of Gympie rugby league stalwart Jim Bougoure.

It has been Burns' intricate knowledge of league administration that has helped keep the game alive and thriving in a region with a proud rugby league heritage.

It is through his dedication and influence in local sport that Darren Burns has earned a place in Gympie's list of most influential people.

3. Cos Schuh went from 17-22

Cos Schuh.
Cos Schuh. Jacob Carson

SCHUH Group has been part of Gympie's financial landscape for a long time.

And it was almost a decade ago that it added financial planning and wealth advice to its portfolio of services, also including business valuations and strategy.

The firm's principal, Cos Schuh, has a deep involvement with the community, and not only the business community.

Mr Schuh, #17 in our Power 30 list of Gympie region movers and shakers last year (the people who make things happen in our part of the world) is on the list again and comes in at #22.

In addition to the operation of a "One Stop” accounting, financial planning and finance broking model, the Schuh Group is involved in managing an extensive commercial property portfolio for properties spanning New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Mr Schuh also sits on the Sunshine Coast Health and Hospital Board which has responsibility for hospitals at Gympie, Nambour, Maleny, Caloundra and Kawana.

Having lived with his family in Gympie for more than 40 years, he says his firm has deep ties with the Gympie community and an affection for the people and way of life here.

Reflecting his commitment to local businesses in the community, Mr Schuh and the Schuh Group have been a major force for charity fundraising in the region.

This year the Group was the major sponsor for the Wishlist Jazz and Wine Festival, which saw a desperately-needed $31,000 raised to provide medical equipment for the Gympie Hospital and facilities for Gympie people.

"As a family we have been privileged to do business in Gympie for over 40 years. We are very fortunate to have enjoyed the support of our local community and value very highly the trust placed in us by local people.”

4. Jason McPherson went from 15-20

Power 30 Jason McPherson.
Power 30 Jason McPherson. Renee Albrecht

SOME people know Jason "Macca” McPherson as the charismatic, energetic and enthusiastic boss of Gympie engineering company CPM Engineering.

In sporting circles, he is the man who almost single-handedly resurrected the Gympie Hammers Rugby Union Club from extinction in 2016.

The head coach of the Hammers reserve side, he was also the driving force behind growing the club to feature an under-16/17s boys squad.

In 2010, there were 20 players in school rugby, this year there were 303 participants who played more than seven games.

It is not just rugby union "Macca” is involved with; he has sponsored trophies and jerseys for junior rugby league's most passionate players for each age group from under-13s to 16s.

"I was never a great player as a child, but it was my passion which kept me going,” he said.

Professionally, CPM Engineering is an industry leader and one of the most respected local firms.

Like "Macca”, the business's values are firmly aligned with growing opportunities within the Gympie region.

CPM's delivery of the ground-breaking water processing machine Ali-Jak, is testament to this.

The Ali-Jak was invented by "Macca”, and is a water treatment machine which converts liquid waste into reusable water.

It will be utilised commercially next year, and CPM will fabricate the Ali-Jak in Gympie, creating employment and helping drive the economy.

The Rattler has been a topic of discussion, and "Macca” said it has been a good project for CPM.

"It combines old fashioned tradesmen skills mixed with new technology. There has been an average of about five staff working on the project,” he said.

A CPM apprentice was rewarded with full time employment through the Rattler project. It also gave a mature tradesman the opportunity of full-time employment.

5. Ron Owen went from 14-28

Ron Owen from Owen Guns in Gympie.
Ron Owen from Owen Guns in Gympie. Renee Albrecht

ONE man. One shop. One huge influence.

An endless campaigner for people's right to own firearms, Ron Owen continues to play a large role in region economically and politically.

His reach is not small, either.

He sends more than 10,000 emails out every week, and his magazine Lock, Stock and Barrel is a hugely popular read.

His passion even extends to the past; a love visible in the gun museum he opened last year which includes some firearms which date back to the 1870s.

In the past year his already tireless campaign to finally bring about a solution to the more-than- 25-year-old problem of a Gympie shooting ratcheted up another notch.

Along with making it a major piece for the Gympie region is last year's state election (it was an electoral promise put forth by One Nation and the LNP), he has pitched a cutting edge solution in an effort to get Gympie Regional Council's feet moving - an underground range like those operating around Europe.

And while movement is still to be made, he has not been hesitant in pressing all political levels over why a decision is taking so long.

Not that he is new to the realm of political controversy, though; his enthusiasm and dedication to protecting the rights of law-abiding firearm owners has led to several historic blow-ups with authorities.

None of which he has ever let stop him from trying to make a difference.

6. Madill Family went from 8-9

John Scott Madill, Garth Madill, Adam Madill and John Madill.
John Scott Madill, Garth Madill, Adam Madill and John Madill. FILE

AN ICONIC Gympie family with as much passion for their community as their motoring business, the Madills land inside the top 10 of the 2018 Power 30 list for a second straight year.

Brothers Tom and Alex Madill founded the company in 1935, before Tom's sons Garth and John began building on their father's legacy in 1966 when Garth joined the Madill Motor Group as a trainee, before John came on board in 1975.

Three generations of the family have worked with passion and tireless dedication to create one of Gympie's biggest business empires, with John's son Adam and Garth's son John Scott now playing significant roles in the continued success of the Madill brand.

What began as two dealerships in '75 grew to become seven today, with Holden, HSV, Toyota, Isuzu Trucks, Mazda, Honda and Suzuki all brands sold under the Madill name.

Their Isuzu Trucks brand at Forest Glen supplies vehicles to the entire Sunshine Coast.

Last year the family became owners and operators of RACQ Roadside Assistance services through Caloundra to Noosa and insurance officers from Maroochydore to Noosa.

Maintaining around 60 employees in the Gold City and a further 60 at Madill dealerships in Noosa and Forest Glen, the Motor Group family uphold teamwork above all other factors in their formula for sustained success.

They also own the Gold Nugget Service Station at the entrance to town, and credit their loyal employees and managers across all of their business ventures for playing a role in their longevity.

An ever-present name in various Gympie- based causes, annual events and organisations, the Madills have kept their strong belief in giving back to the community they have worked so hard in.

The Madill Motor Group continue to serves as prominent sponsor of Gympie Turf Club, with tickets available for a winner's choice give-away car available at every race day on the calendar.

The lucky winner has the choice of a Suzuki Swift, a Mazda 2, a Toyota Yaris or a Holden Barina.

Earlier this year, Madill Mazda sponsored the People's Choice category at the 2018 Gympie Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, which was won by Victory College.

John Madill Toyota continues to sponsor Roadcraft, an initiative the family have been involved with since Tom served in an executive role during the Driver Education program's formative days.

Garth is heavily invested in the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia committee, and the PCFA is a major beneficiary of the Madill Motor Group.

John and Garth are both recipients of the Paul Harris fellowship in the Rotary Club of Gympie and Cooloola, and John is the president of the Salvation Army Noosa Region Red Shield Appeal fundraiser.

Adam serves as chair of the Gympie Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, and represents the Madill Motor Group as a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Gympie Vets Golf group, Little Haven Palliative Care, the Tin Can Bay Coast Guard and the Rattler Railway Company feature as just some of the regional community groups the Madills remain affiliated with.

7. Nolan Family went from 6-8

THE NOLAN FAMILY: Michael, Tony and Terry Nolan have cemented their family business as one of the most iconic in the history of the Gympie region.
THE NOLAN FAMILY: Michael, Tony and Terry Nolan have cemented their family business as one of the most iconic in the history of the Gympie region. Josh Preston

A NAME synonymous with the history of Gympie and its business sector, the Nolan family retains its spot inside the top 10 of the 2018 Power 30 due to its continued expansions - and its status as one of the region's biggest employers.

Now more than 70 years on from patriarch Pat Nolan's first foray into the Gympie meat trade as an apprentice in an Apollonian Vale butcher shop in 1945, Nolan Meats continues to go from strength to strength as one of the best producers, distributors and exporters of quality meat products around the globe while maintaining its headquarters in the heart of the region.

Pat and Marie Nolan's three sons, Terry, Tony and Michael, have honoured the spirit of what started as a small family butcher shop in 1958, spearheading and shaping its transition into a global empire.

With more than 400 staff on the books, the Nolans are well known as one of the largest local employers in the region, while their products are sampled in 30 countries including Japan, Korea, United States, Malaysia and Indonesia.

They are steadfast in their support of local farmers, giving them access to overseas markets by buying local cattle, and their 'Private Selection' signature brand of beef has been branded through Woolworths and featured on the Breakfast Creek Hotel menu.

The company's year so far has been highlighted by securing a major $9.95million expansion to be rolled out at the East Deep Creek facility during the next five years.

The expansion, which included $4.97million in Federal Government funding, is expected to create 200 jobs and 45 more during construction.

Tony said the expansion would occur all over the plant and will allow the company to double its production from 550 to 1100 cattle a day in future.

Terry added the expansion projects would also enhance the plant's infrastructure and design.

Another recent big-scale addition at their East Deep Creek facility saw their Dematic automated storage and retrieval system, which forms part of their muti-million dollar cold distribution facility, become the biggest in the southern hemisphere.

Ever present in the community they love, all three Nolan brothers have received Paul Harris fellowships in the Rotary Club of Gympie and Cooloola.

Tony has served as chairman of the Gympie Music Muster and the family remains involved in the local Apex Club.

The Nolans continue to sponsor the Muster Cup, which is the biggest race day on the Gympie Turf Club's calendar, along with long-term sponsorships of the Gympie Show Society and "fairly well established work programs to introduce young people into the workforce”.

Terry said there were about 45 Gympie students working at Nolans after school hours to establish themselves with potential career options.

The family lost its matriarch with the passing of Marie earlier this month, and held a celebration of her life at St Patrick's church to commemorate her passion and dedication to the family business and the Gympie community.

The promise of additional expansions on the local and international scale ensures the iconic Nolan family will honour Marie's legacy and remain a Gympie powerhouse for years to come.

Gympie Times


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