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The La Perouse Journey

As told by Daniel...

In 2017, when Genaye and I decided to develop our own building company, one of the biggest decisions to make was choosing a name that reflected the strong values and convictions of our joint families. We wanted to do business in the same way we have been taught to live our lives.

There are few people who make a more lasting impression on our lives than our family members. Most of us can identify a figure who we look up to and respect as a source of trusted advice and wisdom. I was fortunate that I met my first and best mentor, Eric Harley, at birth; he is my Grandpa. Grandpa is 92 years-old and he continues to be a source of great inspiration in my personal and business life. He taught me lessons that will stick with me for the rest of my days and I am forever grateful for the advice he has provided.

Grandpa is a self-made man who built his own surveying practice from the ground up with strong values and integrity as his guide. In 1958, as a young husband and father, he and a partner took a giant leap of faith in purchasing initially 10 acres of virgin bush outside the town of Albany in the south-west of Western Australia. With a small nest egg of savings, he thought big; he wasn’t afraid to be bold and he set to work using his skills as a surveyor to develop the land into residential lots. Today, this area, initially developed as Frenchman Bay Estate, is known as Goode Beach and is home to residential lots and housing developments that line La Perouse Road, the main thoroughfare constructed and named by Grandpa in 1959 and extending to a further nine streets fronting some 190 lots by 2010.
When Genaye and I were considering a business name, we decided on La Perouse to honour this man who taught me not only how to be a man but how to be a business man. Some of the best lessons I have learned in life were gained from watching and working with Grandpa. Grandpa is a man of his word; his word is his bond. He taught me that you are only as good as your word and it will follow you for the rest of your life. 

For Grandpa, business is always personal. In his business model, it didn’t matter who was doing the buying or the selling; it was the human connections that counted. He was always willing to generously give his time, a favour, or information to business colleagues to assist them develop their own businesses. He taught me that real and trusting relationships require time, energy and effort. He taught me to invest in nurturing business relationships and to be the type of person you would want to do business with. 

Grandpa is never driven by money. He believes that without heart, chasing money for its own sake is a meritless pursuit. Instead, he taught me that if you deliver service and value and help people achieve their goals, the financial rewards will follow. His influence delivered me an important lesson – if you just chase money, you will always just chase money; there are so many things that money can’t buy.
Family is and always was Grandpa’s greatest passion. He loves unconditionally. My grandparents were married for 63 years. Through watching them in their personal and business lives, I learned that the secret to a lasting marriage is respect, admiration, and patience (and a sense of humour).

As an adult, I understand that the only family member you get to choose for yourself is your spouse – everyone else – parents, siblings and other extended family are non-negotiable. My grandparents’ marriage was one of trust - they were in it for the long-run; there was no giving up easily. They showed me that choosing the right life partner is one of the single greatest influences in how life develops.

La Perouse is a family business. It is a business based on strong family values handed down from Grandpa. It is a business where positive customer relations, delivering what we say we will and doing work that we are proud of comes first. These are the values that Genaye and I strive to emulate in business every day. These are the lessons Grandpa taught me; thank you Grandpa. 

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