1996 – dial up internet by the hour
Back in the ’90s, InterWorX Technologies was launched as the first locally based Internet Service Provider in Bundaberg. InterWorX was offering a groundbreaking new service “dial up internet”, and it was sold by the hour so you could literally buy a block of 10 hours of internet access, and every time you used the internet you had to connect and then disconnect so you didn’t use up your hours.
It wasn’t long before the marketing potential of the web became apparent and businesses wanted in. To meet that demand, InterWorX had a small team in a back room creating cutting edge (for the time) websites – check out the stunning InterWorX website during that time!
The internet was very different back then, Google didn’t exist until 1998 and we used a fax machine to receive signed quotes from clients!
2002 – Bevan joins the team
2007 – Catalyst is born
Bevan Moller joined the InterWorX team in 2002 fresh from the local university, and worked part time for a while as a designer and web developer before moving into a full time role and, in time, became the Online Services Manager of the InterWorX Web Development team.
Over the years, the team changed, the office changed, the uniform changed, and at some point the name changed to Catalyst (we think around 2007). The name change brought with it a new logo and the vibrant lime green which was not popular with the Managing Director at the time, but he trusted us and it’s worked out pretty well.
There may have been a few fun and games in the office from time to time such as the Christmas spectacular at Bevan’s desk which appeared most years, and yes that’s water cress growing out of Stephen’s keyboard – he was clearly on holidays too long…
2011 – Bevan acquires Catalyst Directions
After many ups and downs, the Managing Director decided to focus on his other companies and sold Catalyst Directions to Bevan in August 2011.
The team was quite small at that time, but Carey Young continued with Bevan along with a few other casual team members.
Bevan freshened up the office on Perry St and the business started to grow and prosper.
In the following year Simon Holloway joined the team to work with Carey and Bevan as a developer.
2013 – Floods
2013 started the year with a rainy surprise – almost a metre of water in our office. The entire suburb was evacuated and closed off for a week. The floods cost us some time, energy and furniture but thanks to our clever systems and cloud based data storage, no clients were affected and we were able to pick up the pieces and go on. We didn’t close for a single day because of the floods, our phones, email, hosting etc all continued running smoothly and we quickly setup in temporary offices while ours were cleaned up and repaired.
Sadly we weren’t able to replace the green striped couch which had floated across the office and taken on a lot of flood water.
2016 – Welcome Tim!
In 2016 a friendly young chap named Tim Sweetapple moved to Bundaberg with his soon to be wife, and dropped by the Catalyst office with his résumé.
We didn’t have a position available as such, but soon created a part time role for this up and coming graphic designer which quickly became full time as he proved his worth delighting customers and creating stunning websites and graphic art.
Today Tim has become the Digital Project Manager while still keeping his hand on the tools with design and doing some amazing work for many local businesses.
Around that time, we also gave the office a refresh with more plants, our eye catching green conference chairs and some new signage.
2017 – Welcome Rick!
In 2017 the team kept growing! Rick Hose had worked with Catalyst from time to time in his role with Wide Reach Social Media, and when he moved on from there he promptly contacted Bevan at Catalyst and was welcomed in to the team.
Rick brings a wealth of strategic marketing ideas and sales experience and continues to move Catalyst forward in leaps and bounds.
2018 – New Offices
Things were getting crowded in our “fishbowl” on Perry St. With three permanent desks and conference table, we sometimes had 6, 7 or even 8 team members all trying to work from the one space.
When the real estate agent in the neighbouring offices was moving out we jumped on it and moved in September 2018 with more space than we knew what to do with.
The new offices have a big conference room (which also doubles as a seminar room from time to time), several offices, front reception area and separate kitchen and bathroom – we really have space to spread out.
We capped it off with an evolution of our logo with a new crisp black and white styling with the lime green used as a highlight.
2018 – Catalyst acquires Wide Reach Digital
Back in 2012 Bevan was running Facebook workshops but when Wide Reach Social Media was established that year, he promptly left them to it and focussed on website design.
Dan Willersdorf and Katrina Carey created a successful business with Wide Bay Social Media which later became Wide Reach Social Media, and in time Wide Reach Digital.
Catalyst and Wide Reach worked together with clients often, so when Dan and Katrina wanted to move on to other things, it was an obvious opportunity for Catalyst to acquire Wide Reach and once again offer social media services.
It was a challenging process, but everyone worked together to bring it together.
2019 – the team keeps growing!
The acquisition of Wide Reach Digital brought some new faces to the team, Myla who manages the social media clients, and Monique our fabulous copywriter.
Luke joined the team as a web designer around the same time, and greatly increased our capacity to produce high performance websites.
Later in the year we welcomed Lucinda to the team in an administrative role and she has become an absolute asset that – we’re not sure how we managed without her!
With the acquistion of Wide Reach Digital, Dan and Katrina helped out for a while but obviously had to move along, and in their place we are delighted to have Andy join the team. Andy brings years of sales, marketing and social media experience and now manages the social media team.
And the most recently addition is James, who works alongside Luke further expanding our website development capacity. James is also a talented graphic designer working with Tim on key projects.
2020 – Hervey Bay Office (and COVID Lockdown)
2020 has been a wild year for everyone, and of course, just prior to COVID-19 lockdowns in Queensland, we had signed a lease for an office in Hervey Bay. What perfect timing… Suffice to say, we didn’t open during lockdown, thanks to a generous landlord that allowed us to put things on hold for a few months.
During lockdown we closed the Bundaberg office for 12 weeks, and all worked from home. It was familiar for some, and very new for others, but our systems are all online and well setup to handle the change. Many Zoom meetings and phone calls later, and everyone was back in the office and mostly back to normal.
We then got things setup in Hervey Bay and now have a stylish office for our clients on the Fraser Coast to meet in person, and it’s setup with a great conference camera so we can do “face to face” video meetings to the Bundaberg office. No need to worry about technology, you can just show up at the office and we’ll connect in the team member/s you need.
The new office is on the corner of Torquay Rd and Hunter St in Pialba, come and say hi!
In 2020, we’re a regional one-stop-shop that gets to know you, your company and your market so we can figure out what will get you where you need to go.
While we’re happy to share our story, the most interesting thing about us is YOU.
Your business and the ideas that you bring to the table are the key ingredients in everything we do. Your sleek, mobile-optimised website is something we’ll look at with pride. Your growing market engagement and reach make the hard work worth it.
After more than 20 years, we know very clearly that YOUR success is OUR success.
We’ve got plenty more up our sleeve for 2020, so stay tuned…