2006, 52 Minutes. Exempt from classification.
This is the story of how a shellshocked World War One veteran, who’d left school at 12, took to the road as a hawker and ended up creating a national icon.
The clothing design, retail and manufacturing business that he established in the small Victorian town of Warrnambool would, at its peak, encompass 55 stores around Australia and employ over 2750 people.
It was called Fletcher Jones & Staff, because the staff actually owned the company. Fletcher Jones set up the business as a workers' co-operative, based on principles of fairness, decency and integrity. His emphasis was on value, quality, service and scientific innovation but his primary concern was for people—both his customers and his workers—and they, in turn, were intensely loyal.
This documentary celebrates the life of an inspiring man with bold and imaginative ideas, whose entrepreneurial skills and marketing acumen became legendary.
It also looks at those who helped him achieve his dream, exploring his relationship with Japanese reformer Toyohiko Kagawa—one of the most remarkable social activists and thinkers of the early 20th century—and highlighting the vital contribution of migrant workers to the ragtrade.
It’s a story carried along on the tide of 20th century Australian history: the aftermath of war, the challenge of global capitalism, the impact of immigration and the rise and fall of modern industry.
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Melodrama Pictures. Produced with the assistance of Film Victoria and in association with SBS Independent. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Film Victoria.
Writer/Director: Dennis K Smith
Running Time: 52 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: SOSE; History; Economics; English; Business (Business Management, Industry & Enterprise); Innovative Business Practice; Organisational Management; Work; Marketing and Management; TAFE 'Innovation and Change' in Public Relations/ Business courses.