Heidi Wilson has always loved developing new skills and taking on new challenges. In short, that’s why her career has already taken her from working in retail and hospitality, to supporting...
Family business, Premier Plumbing Service (Victoria) Pty Ltd is a family owned and operated company, established in 1951 in Ballarat by the late Neville and Vawyn Donald.
One year after establishment of Premier Plumbing Service, the business joined the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia and has continued to be a proud member for 70 years.
Second generation brothers Jim, Grant, and the late Alastair Donald and third generation Michael and Tim Donald are the family successors ensuring Premier Plumbing Service will be here for another generation.
When the business began and for many years after, they would travel from town to town doing house connections for local sewerage authorities and at times had 70 employees who had to be paid every week. In those days there was no electronic funds transfer for wages, it was cash in the pay envelope, so the Thursday pay run would involve the boss travelling 700 miles in a day to pay everyone working in different towns. Over time the company shifted from house connections to new homes and since around 1985, Premier Plumbing Service has exclusively focused on commercial work.
Based in Ballarat, the business services central and south-western Victoria, as well as Geelong and the Surf Coast with many major and significant projects across these areas including Ballarat’s AFL 11,000-capacity Mars Stadium, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, Marngoneet prison annex, Armstrong Creek Town Centre, and the Stockland Wendouree redevelopment.
Premier Plumbing also has a commercial programmed plumbing maintenance team, and is an ISO accredited company that practices and believes safety should be at the forefront of any business. Premier Plumbing Service are great believers in replenishment of the plumbing trade with the ongoing employment of apprentices. Every year the business tries to recruit apprentices from the school-based work experience program from all schools in the Ballarat area.
Over the years they have put over 200 people through their apprenticeship, and many of their plumbers are long term employees, some with over 20 years of service with the company.
By way of contributing back to the industry, Grant currently sits on the executive board and is in his third term as Honorary Treasurer of Master Plumbers. Grant is also a director on the Victorian long service leave board of CoInvest. Grant says that being a member of the Master Plumbers Association, with the resources and benefits that go with membership especially with access to dedicated industry experts in technical support, occupational health & safety, industrial relations and fleet discounts is great. The friendship and plumbing contractor network that comes with being a Master Plumbers member is invaluable. No matter how big or small your company is, we all have a lot of the same problems and issues to sort through.
The family is really proud that the business has always stayed in the family - not many businesses stay that way, lots of people end up selling or changing the company name. Premier Plumbing Service believes in loyalty as can be seen with its suppliers, including the fact it has actually been with the National Australia Bank for the whole time.
Premier Plumbing really values its history and likes to show it off - as can be seen in its office where there is a plumbing museum full of interesting artifacts from the decades including old adding machines (calculators) some of the first mobile phones, vehicles including a 1956 Ford Mainline utility and a threewheel Cranvel Digger. Not to mention, Jim’s first pay slip from 1969 for the grand sum of $40.48 for 40 hours work with 12 hours of overtime included! The family remain enthusiastic to this day about seeing the next generation coming through as apprentice plumbers and know this continuity is something really special. This year marks the 70th year of continuous membership by Premier Plumbing Service with Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia and the company looks forward to the 100-year membership milestone.