WA companies collesct Olympic gold

WA know-how has produced the goods again.

From the construction of the showpiece for the biggest sporting event in the world to providing embroidery on souvenir towels, WA firms have helped Olympic organisers stage the world’s biggest sporting event in Sydney.

The achievements of construction giant Multiplex to build Stadium Australia have been well documented. It was a remarkable feat.

Others have made less notable contributions to the Games in terms of scale but their involvement has been significant nonetheless.

A good example is East Perth company Embroidery Plus.

The firm’s responsibility was to provide embroidery on souvenir towels supplied by Canning Vale Weaving Mills.

It hardly compares to building a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art sports stadium capable of accommodating more than 100,000 spectators.

However, Embroidery Plus managing director Rick Jones said his firm had derived enormous benefit from the deal.

The contract provided work for 12 months and, according to Mr Jones, provided much more than increased turnover.

The most valuable component of the contract was the lessons it provided about how to deal with bulk orders.

Mr Jones said it taught the company not to be scared of substantial orders.

The key now, he said, was to generate and obtain work to fill the gap following the completion of the Olympic contract.

He made the sobering observation that the future would be much easier if the Olympic Games occurred every two years.

Of course, the problem is they happen every four years – and have only been held in Australia twice.

East Perth flag maker Pennant House was also working overtime to produce more than 1,000 decorative banners for the Games.

Like the Canning Vale Weaving Mills’ contract, Pennant House’s deal provided downstream work for businesses such as dry cleaners who ironed the large banners.

Involvement in the Games could provide much larger scope for expansion for companies such as Arbortech.

The firm has dabbled in the development of “hoverboards” for about two years and had enough cheek to approach SOCOG about their possible use during the Games.

Suitably impressed, SOCOG accepted Arbortech’s offer of 20 boards supplied free for use during the opening ceremony.


With one wonderful marketing masterstroke, the Perth firm had the eyes of the world on its invention.

No wonder it is establishing a company to increase production of the hoverboards.

Arbortech says inquiries about the units have increased since the opening ceremony with a number of new orders for the boards, worth $14,000 a pop.

There have been approaches from people interested in using the boards for theme parks and even in the military.

The company which has won awards for its saw-cutting ability could have added a new, lucrative product to its stable.

The sky may be the limit.

More gold for WA innovation!

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