2023 marks a very special birthday for Hamlan. This year, we turn 40!
It marks 40 years of building stunning homes for families and operating as a family business.
It marks 40 years of drawing inspiration from the breathtaking Surf Coast landscape we’re proud to call home.
And it marks 40 years of forging an ironclad reputation for quality, dedication, and an unrivalled passion for building homes that raise families, make memories, and celebrate style.
Hamlan has achieved so much across 40 years, and we’re going to take you on a journey through time as we look at some of our proudest moments and biggest milestones that have brought us to where we are today.
It’s 1983, and the Otways are trapped in an inferno
It’s a dark day in history that is forever etched in the minds of Australians – Ash Wednesday.
On February 16th, 1983, 180 bushfires were blazing across Victoria, devastating townships, homes, and lives. 41,000 hectares were reduced to ashes across the Otway region with Anglesea shrinking to the full force of a raging inferno that saw 140 homes destroyed across the coast, and many lives lost.
From the ashes of the Anglesea fires, Hamlan was born and we immediately rolled up our sleeves to rebuild dozens of cedar-clad homes and shops from Torquay to Apollo Bay. We quickly became known for the same first-class quality and service we provide today, and many of our cedar-clad homes still stand firmly on their foundations across the Surf Coast region.
From 1984 to 1989, we grew as the land grew back
As the land grew back what it had lost during the Ash Wednesday fires, we grew along with it. By the mid-to-late 80s, we developed a range of homes to suit every purpose and aesthetic with our Holiday range, Henley range, Coastal range, and Alpine range starting from an incredible $23,000 – it was the 80s!
As the 1980s were drawing to a close to welcome a new decade, Hamlan expanded its footing to bring our celebrated homes to the Greater Geelong, Craigieburn, Caroline Springs, Werribee, Bellarine, Colac, Ballarat, and Warrnambool areas.
Hamlan further set its deep roots in the Anglesea and Geelong community beginning many a treasured community partnership with organisations supporting youth, local businesses, employment programs, and youth sports programs – many of which are still going strong today (we’ll go into more detail throughout our journey!).
A new decade, a new frightening record, and a new solution – Geelong Homes is born
1990 is remembered by many as the year of interest rate hikes, with rates peaking at a startling 17%. Australia entered a recession stretching 12 months, and stretching the budget of millions of households.
As the country spent the next few years tending to its wounds in an economic recovery phase, the need for affordable housing alternatives that saved people money without compromising quality became abundantly clear.
In 1995, Hamlan established its second brand, Geelong Homes. Geelong Homes offered beautifully built and quality ranges scaled back from the higher-end Hamlan coastal homes to fill the need within the community.
With so much of Geelong grounded in history with traditionally built cottage homes and townhouse aesthetics, 1998 saw the launch of the highly popular Town Cottage Collection that paid homage to history with gabled roofs and irresistible charm.
As Hamlan continued to move with the times, we also moved to our newly built office – 359 Moorabool Street, Geelong – where we continue to serve the community from today. The move allowed us to spread our wings and provide enough space for management, administration, production, and a complete Style Studio for clients to make their exciting colours, fixtures, and fittings choices for their new homes.
2014 saw Hamlan reach new heights with the Bancoora Series
Always scanning the horizon for inspiration and direction, 2014 marked a whole new era of Hamlan-style opulence with the launch of the Bancoora Series. The first step into a Bancoora Series home commands your attention to its carefully considered features such as the raised ceilings, pop-up clearstories, expansive glass facades, extended vistas, and stunning central courtyard garden. Designed to capture the essence of a beach house with quieter confidence, the Bancoora series is a deliberate blank canvas on which clients paint their visions. Every little detail was considered in the design of this series, and it remains one of our biggest showpieces today.
It’s 2017, and Hamlan are flourishing in every Aspect
2017 was filled with celebration as Hamlan launched the acclaimed Aspect range. Weaving traditional elements of the landscape into contemporary elements of modern lifestyles, the Aspect range provides a perfect equilibrium.
With floorplans clients can tailor to their needs and personal styles, the Aspect range quickly became a fan favourite recognised for its versatility.
Here are some of its accolades:
- 2017 Display Home of the Year over $500k, for ‘Sabine 344’ – HIA Western Vic
- 2018 Best Volume Builder Display Home over $500k – Master Builders Southwest Vic
Between 2018-2019 we transformed the Frank Street streetscape
The local suburb of Newtown provided the perfect neighborhood for us to showcase our design flair across six residential homes. This knockdown and subdivision project resulted in a combination of contemporary and traditional homes that seamlessly blended into its affluent streetscape.
In 2021 this project received the accolade of Best Multi Unit Development from – Master Builders Southwest Victoria.
2022 and the awards go to…
2020 brought global, national, local, and personal challenges the likes of which haven’t been seen in many decades. Despite the incredible uncertainty and anxiety collectively shared by every community, Hamlan stayed the course.
In a period where the building industry had taken blows from every angle during the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to maintain our incredible standards and commitment we’re renowned for.
Our efforts were recognised in abundance when we took out four wins at the 2022 MBAV and HIA Regional Building Awards.
We took to the stage to receive the wins for:
• Residential Regional Builder of the Year, ‘Rippleside Drive, Torquay’, MBAV
• Best Custom Home, $750-$1M, ‘Rippleside Drive, Torquay’ HIA
• Best Custom Home, $800k-$1M, ‘Rippleside Drive, Torquay’, MBAV
• Best Display Home, $250k-$350k, ‘Flinders 235’, MBAV – Geelong Homes
• Best Display Home, $350k-500k, ‘Thornhill 212’, MBAV – Geelong Homes
Building better communities
Hamlan’s very conception was sprung from a desire to build better communities, rebuild lives and livelihoods, and contribute to the community that inspires us every day.
As a local family-operated builder, we stay true to our community roots and have formed strong partnerships with local community groups, sporting clubs, and charity organisations including:
- Barwon Health Foundation – this year we’re building a charity home with proceeds going to support Barwon Health
- River’s Gift – Geelong Homes continues their pledge to River’s Gift and are currently building a charity home with all proceeds going to support further research into sudden infant death
- Read the Play – programs addressing health and wellbeing of young people in under-16 football and under-15 netball in the Geelong and Bellarine districts
- Surf Coast Trek – all funds donated to Kids+ and the Give Where You Live Foundation
- Geelong Community Foundation – providing valuable support to Geelong community organisations
- The GROW Compact – addressing community disadvantage in local areas of high unemployment
- RISE – local program to prepare job seekers for a career in the building industry
- Northern Futures – addressing social and economic challenges faced by Geelong’s Northern suburb community
Happy 40th Birthday to Hamlan!
In 2023 and across our 40 years, Hamlan feels privileged to have built and continue to build houses for our clients that become homes for their families.
Let’s raise a glass to another 40 years!