Manufacturing trailblazer awarded Order of Australia Medal
IT’S a pure, unadulterated love of his job that gets Gary Briggs out of bed each morning.
The owner of Dingo Australia and Feral Fencing admits it takes just a touch of “stupidity” to work in manufacturing, but it isn’t stupidity that has led Mr Briggs to where he is today.
It’s no secret that Mr Briggs has revolutionised the manufacturing industry on national and global levels.
For his work in manufacturing and being one of the most innovative minds in the industry, Mr Briggs awarded the Order of Australia Medal this year for his outstanding work in the manufacturing industry.
Mr Briggs started out as a farmer when he bought his first six-wheeler vehicle and began making them himself.
In 1991, he began hiring out Dingo mini diggers and when the company went broke during the recession, he bought the business and became the new owner of Dingo Australia.
“In my lifetime prior to that, I’d built and owned bulldozers and front end loaders as a farmer and contractor,” he said.
“I was able to rebuild the concept. Today, it’s the best in the world.
“It is known by everyone, including our opposition, as the leading product of its type in the world.
“We’ve taken that top end of the market.
“If you’re going to build the smallest earth building machine in the world, you’d better make it the toughest earth moving machine in the world.
“And we did.”
Since that day, over almost 30 years of experience, Mr Briggs has revolutionised the modern manufacturing industry and is revered by other businesses in the industry because of his quality, unique products.
“I know how to work machinery, I know what you need to make it tough whereas most people tend to be professional engineers,” he said.
“I think that’s a very important part.
“We’ve taken rural Australians and rural Australian attitudes and taken them to the world.”
Mr Briggs took Dingo overseas in 1995, and now distributes products from Australia to the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific thanks to a new partnership with their exclusive distributor, Wacker Neuson.
Mr Briggs’ legacy is paved in so many major landmarks around Dalby, including the show pavilion and the old Dalby bowling alley.
Manufacturing is thankless work, the business owner said, but one that reaps so many rewards.
Being recognised with one of the highest honours in the country has meant that years of hard work has been worth it in the end.
“I’ve felt for a long time that as a manufacturer you don’t get much recognition,” he said.
“You work away and it’s nice to be recognised for what you’ve done.”
Mr Briggs has also revolutionised fencing by using electric fencing to keep feral animals off properties – an innovation he hopes will continue along its current path of success.
Mr Briggs said his businesses have been his “hobby” and his “life”, and something he wouldn’t have done without a lot of hard work and passion for the industry.
“I think I’ll be here with my boots on until the day I die.”