At the age of just 27, Tim Casey, proprietor and Executive Chairman of St Hilliers, established his business. He got his start in the construction industry through a cadetship after high school, which began as a site-based role and developed into a project management position. "I then went from the construction industry to the development industry, which was Hooker Corporation in those days. I had three and a half years there working on the commercial and industrial development side of that publicly listed business. At the same time, we also established our own internal construction business to deliver those projects."
"Hooker Corporation, like a lot of those companies in the late 80s, hit the wall during the recession. Out of the fallout, and as Hooker Corporation had a number of projects under development in New South Wales, I was able to negotiate with the clients a new deal whereby I re-employed everyone and I had those projects up and running again, finishing them directly for the end owners. And that's how I started St Hilliers."
St Hilliers enjoyed years of growth and prosperity, becoming one of the highest-profile mid-tier builders and developers in the country. However, everything changed in May 2012 when St Hilliers Construction was placed in voluntary administration. "Essentially, we had a large PPP project for the Victorian Government. We were in a joint-venture construction role there with a New Zealand-based company. It was a large project, in excess of $220 million, at Ararat Prison. There were a number of factors that adversely impacted this project, including floods, a lot of design changes, and disagreements over scope. It was like a mini version of what Leightons had with the desalination plant PPP in Victoria, which was going on at the same time."