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 The Campbell Family

We strive to reach the highest levels of excellence in everything we do...

Over the past 145 years the Campbell family has played an important role in the commercial development of Brisbane and, more recently, of Central and North Queensland. The story started in 1861 when Peter Morrison Campbell arrived in Australia from Scotland on the S.S. Mangerton.

Peter had nine children and it wasn't long before a number of them were developing their entrepreneurial skills, an attribute which lives on today as the Campbell Clan moves into its fifth generation. They included Norman and Colin who founded Riverside Coal Transport Company in 1926. Today the company is known as Riverside Marine, whose headquarters nestles beside the Brisbane River in Skyring Terrace, Newstead.

While the Campbells clearly had a bent for marine transport, others in the family diversified into soap and timber manufacturing. Civic life in Brisbane was also a beneficiary from the Campbells presence.

Aside from his Riverside Coal Transport Company responsibilities, Norman became Deputy City Engineer and one of his legacies includes the building of Manly Baths, as popular today as it was then. The early days of the Campbell family in Brisbane are recorded in "The Riverside Campbells".  This fascinating book reveals that the Campbells were not just dour Scots.

On one well-remembered occasion Colin received a stern letter from his co-directors castigating him for taking S.S. Sunrise "outside the waters for which she is certified (i.e. Port of Brisbane) for the purpose of conducting fishing excursions".

Yes, even the Campbells can be naughty boys from time to time! Over the years Riverside continued to grow and spread its tentacles to Central and North Queensland as well as other parts of Australia. The Riverside Campbells also records the war years of Norman's son Kenneth who joined the 61st Australian Infantry Battalion - credited with stopping the Japanese progress towards our shores.

A second generation Campbell, Kenneth served initially as a private before advancing through the ranks to become Captain, Company Commander in the 61st. During his service to his country in Papua New Guinea Kenneth suffered from bouts of malaria and was eventually hospitalised.

Kenneth became Managing Director in 1956, a position he held until 1977. Kenneth's brother Cecil took over
the reins for the next nine years before handing over to Kenneth's son Roderick who oversaw further expansion until 1997.

With the company preparing itself for the next millennium, Kenneth's son Hume became the new Managing
Director and today holds the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Third generation Hume has been with the company for 35 years and has accumulated a vast amount of experience in the marine transport and tourism industries.

Today Riverside Marine has a truly national and international profile.

The company has a "crew" of approximately 400.

As well as operating ferry and barge services, the company's business operations include tugs and towage, oil bunkering, industrial sands and consultancy and management services. In Brisbane, Riverside refuels ships and moves over 1 million tonnes of sand for the glass, foundry and construction industry.

Riverside Marine has the management of shipping contract for the Australian Institute of Marine Science's Townsville-based research vessels.

In Western Australia, Riverside Marine has a joint venture with Danish marine operator, Svitzer Wijsmuller, supplying towage services to ships in the Ports of Bunbury and Dampier.

Then in 2006 the Campbell family through its Riverside Marine Group embarked on a multi-million-dollar expansion into the northern Queensland marine tourism industry.

  • Acquired the multi-award-winning 9-vessel Whitsunday operation Fantasea Cruises which is now trading as Fantasea Cruising
  • Acquired the 60-metre cruise vessel, MV Ammarì and re-named it Fantasea Ammarì
  • Pledged $100,000 from the Fantasea Foundation towards vital research into the challenges facing the survival of our coral reefs.

So you will see that the Campbell family has lost none of its zeal and zest for making a mark in the marine transport and tourism world. But for the Campbells it's not just about transportation, whether it's cargo or customers.

The Campbells are proud Queenslanders who have always aspired - and continue to aspire - to the highest levels of excellence in the way they do business, they way they look after their staff, the way they look after their customers and the way they look after the environment in which they operate.