Neville Kennard, a pioneer of the equipment hire industry in Australia and who played a pivotal role in the development of Kennards Hire
, has died at the age of 74.
Nev, as he was known was just 23 when he began running the fledgling business started by his father Walter in 1948. In 1962, he bought the firm and was joined by his younger brother Andy two years later as a partner. Together, they built Kennards Hire into one of the largest family-owned hire companies in Australia.
The brothers amicably split their business interests in 1991 with Neville Kennard, together with his son Sam developing Kennards Self Storage into one of the biggest operations of its kind in Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Kennard died on June 3 after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Gaby, the celebrated solo around-the-world aviatrix, three sons, Sam, Walt and Jim, his first wife Roddy and six grandchildren.
Andy Kennard remembers Neville as a wonderful brother and business partner.
A great entrepreneur and trail-blazer, Neville Kennard was responsible for many new and innovative ideas and methods of operation in both industries.
He introduced self storage to Australia in 1974, building several units at the rear of Kennards Hire Moorebank. Neville also founded the organisation that grew into the Hire and Rental Industry Association of Australia, bringing competitors together to share their knowledge and experience, and work collectively to improve the industry.
He was also instrumental in establishing, what is today the Self Storage Association of Australasia.
Mr Kennard will be remembered not only for his achievements in hire and self storage, but also as a philosopher, political activist, adventurer and one of Australia’s earliest ‘greenies’ who despised waste and supported early environmental causes.