Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Where it all began

Story and photos John Kruger

Kerry McGinnisBack in 1933, Sir Sidney Kidman looked at a young 25 year-old R.M.Williams and said, "I will give you an opportunity". This, and a cheque for five pounds in exchange for some of RM's handmade station packs, was the beginning of what has blossomed over the past 70 years to be an international bush-outfitter and fashion success story. The harshness of the Australian outback and local ground knowledge helped forge the beginnings of a business that centred around necessity, resilient materials and expert construction methods.

RM's father Joseph had an iron woodshed at the back of the family's home in Prospect, South Australia. Situated near the outskirts of the city of Adelaide and close to his tannery supplier in Thebarton, it was here that RM set himself up to produce boots and packs for his growing number of customers. Once people realised that the skilful design and construction of his wares were far superior to everything else on the market, there was no stopping the venture. 70 years later and customers throughout Europe, South Africa, USA and even Japan regularly shop at their local R.M.Williams stores.

Full story Issue 33, Feb/Mar 2004

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R.M. Williams Summer 2004/5 Catalogue

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