Building lighthouses for the future

In an industry plagued by frequent industrial conflict, Dick built his company around the value of recognising the community of interest between shareholders, workers, management, clients and community. This philosophy of finding or creating a common interest also found expression in his contributions to issues of community concern and public policy over the years.

Dick came to Australia from the Netherlands in 1951 with £10,000 and a handful of Dutch workers on a contract to build 200 houses for the Snowy Mountains Authority at Cooma.

In 1957 he founded Civil and Civic, and that year won the contract to build the first stage of the Sydney Opera House while completing Sydney’s first concrete-framed skyscraper – Caltex House. The Sydney Opera House brought huge prestige, along with the equally huge challenges of building a unique and difficult structure on a point of reclaimed land.

In 1958 the Lend Lease Corporation was publicly launched; an innovative corporate vehicle to fund Civil and Civic projects. The paid up capital of the company in that year was £100,000.

For the next 30 years Dick Dusseldorp built Lend Lease Corporation into one of Australia’s most successful construction, real estate, and financial services companies.

He was a builder – in more than one sense of the word.

Harry Seidler, renowned architect and long-term collaborator

Fostering innovation in architectural design, new construction techniques, and advanced materials technology, Dick left his mark on Australia’s urban landscape through the construction of some of the country’s landmark buildings including Australia Square with its distinctive round shape and unprecedented public forecourt space, the MLC Centre, Brisbane’s Riverside Centre, and Canberra’s Academy of Sciences.