GBA Consulting Engineers was first established in 1945 by Mr Clem and Nick Wilson under the name of CH Wilson and Partners. In 1968, the Wilson family left Barcaldine and sold their shares in the firm to George Bourne. George later changed the business name to George Bourne & Associates, and has since evolved to GBA Consulting Engineers.
The practice burgeoned as governments, especially local governments, gradually accepted greater responsibilities for the provision of better infrastructure and amenities to enhance the lifestyle of their residents. The professional engineering services that the firm provided helped the development of roads, water supplies, sewerage, airports, buildings and more, that contributed to improving life in the outback.
When George Bourne died suddenly in 1981, Kevin Kerr, who had been with the firm since 1969 became the senior partner. He formed a partnership with George’s son, Simon Bourne who returned to Barcaldine following his father’s death. Since then, Graeme Wills (retired), Keith Luckhurst (retired), Michael Donald, Stuart Bourne, Jason Ricks, PJ Cullivan, Rick Rolfe and Darren Richardson have joined GBA Consulting Engineers as partners.
With Kevin Kerr’s retirement in 2006, we believed it timely to record the history of our western Queensland consulting engineering practice. The result was the publishing of “Engineering the Outback”, a wonderful read for anyone interested in life in outback Queensland shires from both a social and engineering perspective. If you'd like your own copy of "Engineering the Outback", please contact us to purchase directly or you can shop online at Berry Books.
Since our inception, particularly in the last ten years, we have grown to provide a service to regional, rural and remote local authorities extending from the Rockhampton City Council in the east, through to the Northern Territory border in the west, and from the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north to Barcoo Shire Council in the south.
Today, our firm has amassed a vast array of experience in providing and managing civil infrastructure services throughout central and western Queensland. Our engineers use a fleet of light aircraft and motor vehicles to travel to and from our job sites spread across almost a third of Queensland's land mass. Given the vast area that we cover in our practice, the team is very attuned to being resourceful and creative to ensure planning and delivery of projects under difficult circumstances of extremes in remoteness and temperature variations.
In November 2021, GBA Consulting Engineers celebrated 76 years since the company was established in Barcaldine with a staff wide trip to Airlie Beach. Our trip was an excellent opportunity to thank our teams, meet the growing staff and reflect on the work we have achieved as an organisation since 1945, including the opening of our Emerald office in 2015 and our Rockhampton office in 2021.