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Peter Clark Becomes New PVCA President

Former founder and owner of heatset web business AIW, Peter Clark, is the new president of Print & Visual Communication Association.

Kuhn Corp owner Walter Kuhn, who held the presidency for the previous two terms, is now vice president, with Spot Press managing director John Georgantzakos honorary treasurer, and Stuart Fysh, managing director of Perth-based The Label Factory, the honorary secretary.

Peter Lane, owner of Lane Print in Adelaide, returns to the PVCA board, representing SA. The full board now also includes Tom Eckersley representing Queensland; Nick Tuit, chair of the Kwik Kopy owners association, for NSW; Kevin Pidgeon from Lithocraft for Victoria; and Martin Guilliamse, general manager at Mark Media, for Tasmania.

Clark identified the ongoing Covid pandemic, and supply, as the key issues facing print businesses that he says PVCA is currently helping members to address. He said, “PVCA exists to support its members and promote the industry. Covid absenteeism is a major issue for print businesses at present, and we ran a webinar on HR issues surrounding that yesterday, and will be doing more. Supply of paper, inks and consumables, and price increases, is also causing concern to members, and we are supporting them in that.”

Clark is also a member of the PacPrint board, and the Media Super board. He said, “We are all looking forward to a successful PacPrint.”

Clark enjoyed a stellar career in print. He started as an apprentice lithographic platemaker and lithographic printer at Cox Kay in Hobart, and became a manager, at the age of 27, of Fleetprint, also in Hobart, then established his own small offset printing business, which he sold in 1979 and moved to Melbourne.

He progressed over the next 35 years through various large national and international companies, in manufacturing, printing, packaging and papermaking, such as Smorgon Consolidated Industries, Visyboard, News Ltd and PMP.

Responsibilities were in roles such as manager, general manager, director, managing director and chief executive. At Visyboard, he set up a new printing operation there called Visyflex Preprint, which went on to become one of the most innovative and successful packaging operations of its type internationally.

In the early 90s, he joined News Ltd’s Commercial Division which, a short time later, became PMP. During this time, he was posted to PMP New Zealand as CEO NZ Group, manufacturing, distribution and magazine publishing.

He then moved back to Australia to the new PMP site at Moorebank NSW as Group CEO, Keppel Printing and Progress Press, and then went back to Melbourne as Group CEO National, to head up ‘’the jewel in the crown” – PMP’s Progress Printing and Progress Letterbox distribution. At that time Progress Printing employed nationally 2500 full-time employees, and Progress Letterbox Distribution had around 25,000 casual employees as letterbox deliverers.

In late 2000, along with industry colleagues, he co-founded AIW Printing, a new heatset printing business, which began operations in early 2001, and at the time was rated as one of the most advanced heatset printers in the world. AIW set the pace with profitability, automation and innovation in the heatset web printing industry in Australia, and achieved an annual turnover of $125m. The Springvale-based plant ran exclusively with the natural rainwater, collected from the expansive roof area.

In 2008, under his direction, AIW installed one of the world’s largest heat set wide web presses, a Goss Sunday 4000, 80-page web press, with a 2,060mm web width.

Environmentally, AIW also pioneered the use of full and part recycled papers and ultra-lightweight paper for catalogues. AIW worked closely in partnership with Norske Skog Tasmania to help develop a paper suitable for the Australian catalogue market.

Over 15 years AIW became the fourth largest heatset web catalogue printer in Australia, until it became part of IVE Group five years ago, along with former competitor, Franklin Web, as part of a major industry consolidation. Clark then stepped away from the business.

He said, “Print is a great industry. I am delighted to be able to continue to play a part in it, and to be able contribute to its development and well being.”

The PVCA presidency is a two year term, which can be extended by another two years.

Taken from Print 21. 

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