Hawker Britton's Heritage

Hawker Britton first opened its doors in April 1997 when founders Bruce Hawker and David Britton resigned from their long-standing positions as Chief of Staff and Communications Director respectively to then Premier of NSW, Bob Carr. They opened on a self-funded basis with no established client base in a small office above an art gallery in The Rocks district of Sydney.

Bruce and David quickly became the “go-to” corporate advisers on NSW Government business matters and Hawker Britton grew quickly. They also established themselves as the pre-eminent Labor political campaign strategists working around the country.

By mid 1998, two senior staff had joined the Sydney office and, following the June election of the Beattie Labor Government in Queensland (a campaign in which Bruce Hawker played a central role), Hawker Britton opened an office in Brisbane. In this year, David Britton was also the communications director for the Federal Labor campaign.

Following Premier Carr’s re-election in 1999 a still-growing Hawker Britton moved to larger offices in a heritage post office building in Millers Point. Later that year, following the election of the Bracks Labor Government in Victoria, Hawker Britton opened an office in Melbourne.

In 2001, Hawker Britton opened offices in Perth following the election of the Gallop Labor Government – a campaign in which Hawker Britton played a major part.

Following the election of the Rann Labor Government in 2002 – the second of Rann’s campaigns in which Bruce Hawker played a central role – Hawker Britton’s Adelaide office commenced operations. In the same year, Hawker Britton’s Sydney head office moved to its present location in York Street.

In 2003, Hawker Britton opened an office in Wellington, extending its presence to New Zealand.

Bruce Hawker was a major contributor to the 2007 Federal election campaign which saw Labor returned to power in Canberra. Opening an office in Canberra the Monday following the election, Hawker Britton completed its Australian presence with offices in every mainland capital.
 

In 2010, Bruce Hawker retired from the firm.
 
Justin Di Lollo, who originally joined the business in 1999 after working for Federal Labor Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, became Managing Director. He also became Executive Director of the newly established Government Relations Division for STW Group (later WPP AUNZ).
 
Justin Di Lollo built on his reputation for corporate advisory and further transformed the business as a professional management consultancy.
 
The practices established by Justin rapidly became industry best practice, were widely copied by others and cemented his reputation as national leader in the profession.
 
In 2014, Justin Di Lollo handed over the role as Managing Director of Hawker Britton to Simon Banks.
 
Until December 2016, Justin continued to serve in his role as Executive Director of the Government Relations Division, as well as performing other senior management roles within the STW Group and then WPP AUNZ.
 



Bruce Hawker c.1997



David Britton c.1997



Bruce Hawker (with second hand furniture and telephone) at The Rocks office c.1999



Millers Point office c.2000



David Britton (left), Bruce Hawker (centre) and colleagues c.2000



Premier Bob Carr with Bruce Hawker, David Britton and Graeme Wedderburn (who later joined Hawker Britton and subsequently returned to Carr’s office as chief of staff)

 

Justin di Lollo being interviewed for
Star Magazine c 2016

 

            Staff posing at a planning day c. 2010. (l-r) Sean Macken, Peter Khalil, Bevan Lisle, Gail Morgan, Nicholas Cobb, Stephen Halliday, Graham Cuthbertson, Ashley Wells, Simon Banks, Eamonn Fitzpatrick, John Whitelaw, John Lacy, Marion Corbett, Dixie-Anne Arnold, David Nelson, Jadon Mintern, Justine Wahlin, Michael Gleeson, Justin Di Lollo, Danny Pearson, Jordan Vote-Clark