Rich History

Porta has a rich 90+ year history manufacturing and distributing a broad range of timber products.

Porta: A Legacy of Timber Excellence Across Five Generations

Established in 1868, Porta embarked on its journey in Melbourne, pioneering the industrial bellows making industry in Victoria. Founded by Joseph Porta, the company expanded under the leadership of successive generations to embrace timber mouldings and products by the early 20th century, marking the dawn of a 5th generation family legacy.

Growth and Innovation: The 1930s saw Jack and Leslie Porta, the next generation, propel the family business into new markets, establishing Porta as a leader in hardwood dowels and mouldings. Their innovation laid the groundwork for Porta’s enduring success, solidifying its status as a multi-generational family enterprise.

Strategic Expansion: The post-World War II housing boom led to the acquisition of several sawmills, securing Porta’s position as a foundational supplier to the Australian building industry. The incorporation of J.W. Porta & Sons Pty Ltd in 1952, following Jack’s daughter’s marriage to Norman Pizzey, marked a new chapter of growth and diversification.

Visionary Leadership for the Modern Era: John Pizzey, assuming leadership at the young age of 30 due to the unexpected passing of his father, Norman, navigated Porta through significant transitions in the late 20th century. His strategic shift towards high-quality hardwood mouldings for the DIY market and forming partnerships with major retailers were pivotal moves that redefined Porta’s trajectory. This ensured its relevance in a rapidly evolving market, marking a new era of innovation and adaptation under his guidance.

Rebranding for a New Era: In 2016, Porta’s strategic rebranding to “Porta” instead of “Porta Mouldings” reflected an evolving identity and broadening product range, underscoring a commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability.

Honouring John Pizzey: John Pizzey, who became the visionary leader of Porta, is remembered for his profound impact on the company and the timber industry at large. Taking the reins at a pivotal time, John’s dedication to innovation, environmental sustainability, and community engagement led Porta into new heights of success. Beyond his professional achievements, John was known for his compassionate leadership, emphasising the importance of family values and the individual contributions of all employees. His legacy is not just in the products and partnerships he developed but in the culture of respect, integrity, and forward-thinking he fostered at Porta. John’s passing in October 2023 left an indelible mark on those who knew him, but his principles and visions continue to guide Porta’s journey.

In keeping with John’s legacy, his daughter Claire Greenwood, serving as a member of Porta’s board, is dedicated to continuing the Porta family’s legacy. Her involvement ensures the company remains true to its foundational values while steering towards future growth and innovation, embodying the spirit of leadership passed down through generations.

Embracing the Future with New Leadership: As Mark Bejatovic assumes the role of CEO, he carries forward the legacy of John Pizzey with the support of John’s family and the Porta board. Mark’s leadership, infused with the same commitment to innovation and sustainability that John championed, signals a bright future for Porta. His appointment reflects a collective confidence in his vision for Porta’s continued evolution and success in the timber industry.

Continuing Our Legacy: Inspired by John Pizzey’s indomitable spirit and visionary values, Porta remains steadfast in its commitment to excellence. We pledge to uphold the pioneering spirit and high standards that have defined our journey, driven by a commitment to sustainability, innovation, and community. As we forge ahead, we honour our past, embrace the present, and look forward to a future where Porta continues to stand as a beacon of excellence in the timber industry, embodying the power of tradition and innovation.

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