Platypus from humble beginnings to almost 100 years of printing in Australia with the Lusch family.
Ernest Lusch, serving in the Victoria Navy, Crimean War.
Claude and Hilda Lusch, on their wedding day.
William Prail purchases a small printing press and sets it up on the kitchen table at home in Melbourne. He names the company Brentwood Press. Brentwood, after a small town in England where he emigrated from. His youngest daughter Kathlyn Mae is born. Kathlyn marries Ronald Lusch.
Ronald Claude Lusch marries Kathlyn Mae, the couple eventually take over Brentwood Press. They specialise in pop-up packaging for supermarkets, chain stores and exhibitions. All their printing – stationery, bags, merchandisers and packaging, were printed on a single colour hand-fed Royal Octavo Letterpress and the bags were all hand finished with string.
Tom Lusch, aged 2
Kathlyn and Ronald and their two children, with the Brentwood Press Holden delivery van that was also the family car.
Ronald and Kathlyn’s son Tom, 17, commences a trade certificate in Letterpress Printing with an apprenticeship at Spectator Publishing Co, 20 Coromandel Place, Melbourne.
Tom completes his apprenticeship and receives his trade certificate in Letterpress Printing. He works as printing machinist.
Tom relocates to Queensland to take on an estimating position at Inprint.
In Brisbane, Tom registers Platypus Graphics Pty Ltd as a company. Named after the unique, egg laying marsupial, this resonated with Tom who wanted his business to be different from the rest and proudly Australian. Initially set up as a fun home hobby business, it was mostly foil stamping on a small hand platen at the time.
While working full-time all day, Platypus printing occurs at night and on weekends.
Platypus acquires a Heidelberg Platen, that is set up underneath the Lusch family home at 5 Willcott Street, Geebung and a short time later Tom resigns from his full-time job.
Tom moves Platypus from the family home to a business premises at 36 Costin Street, Fortitude Valley.
Platypus buys its first offset press, a Heidelberg MO A2, 1 colour.
Platypus relocates from Fortitude Valley to Webster Road, Stafford.
Growing from 5 staff to over 40, Platypus is well known in the industry for high quality, embellishing and fast turnaround. Platypus is Queensland’s most awarded printing company and printer of choice to many of Brisbane’s leading advertising and design agencies.
Platypus acquires McNiven’s packaging and all the machinery.
Aaron Lusch, Tom’s eldest son of six, joins the business working in various roles from truck driver, platemaker, accounts, estimating, sales and sales management. While working full-time, Aaron graduates a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.
Platypus acquires a Roland 700, 6 colour with coater printing press. It allows the business to grow its packaging division, at this time packaging accounts for approx. 10% of the business.
Tim Lusch, joins Platypus with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, bringing his experience in retail marketing and recycling to the business. Tim is Tom’s 5th child, out of 6 Lusch children.
Aaron returns to Platypus as General Manager, after a few years in the renewable energy industry. He returns with a focus on developing the packaging business.
Platypus relocates from 7 factories in Stafford to a single 10,000m2 site at 62 Brickyard Road, Geebung.
The company is now Queensland’s largest folding carton manufacturer and becames the first company in the Asia Pacific region to upgrade to Kodak’s new cloud-based printing workflow platform, Prinergy On Demand in 2020.
Aaron and Tim acquired shares in Platypus and become company directors alongside their father Tom. Platypus become the first Australian operator to buy a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 X.
L-R Tom, Aaron and Tim
Platypus turns 40 years old. The management team defined the future direction of the business by developing a five-year strategic plan. The plan focusses on investing in people, processes, and automation with the goal of ensuring sustainable, fibre-based packaging manufacturing continues to be made competitively in Australia. “By making environmentally friendly packaging locally, we provide a more predictable supply chain for local manufacturing. This in turn supports food, pharma, and other essential businesses to manufacture in Australia,” Aaron Lusch
The business commits to invest over $8 million in plant and equipment upgrades over the next 18-months.
Our logo history
Jo Anne Hook
Wetsuit Digital Platypus