The Varley Story – Part 31

Jeff Phillips spent his formative years in Taree on the NSW north coast, before moving to Newcastle to study electrical engineering whilst working for BHP.

It was during this early period of Jeff’s career that he met Louise Varley – daughter of the company’s MD, Clem, and his wife Jenny. Soon enough, Clem asked Jeff to join Varley; Jeff was initially reluctant due to his good position at BHP. But Clem was persuasive and Jeff saw the opportunities, before officially joining the company in 1993.

Jeff started out by heading up the new Aerospace division of the company, whilst also spending significant time learning the other areas of the business. Varley was navigating a particularly difficult period trying to find its way into new markets, posing a challenge to Jeff and all the other managers. As a result, after 12 months with the company, Jeff told Clem that it wasn’t working; Varley just wasn’t for him…

Stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.


Pictured: Proximity of Taree (Jeff’s home town) to Newcastle.