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Bosch in Australia

50 years with Bosch companies

Shane Rowe

Shane Rowe in front of Bosch in Clayton, Victoria
Shane Rowe in front of Bosch in Clayton, Victoria

In 1973, Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister of Australia, the highest-grossing film was The Exorcist, and the Sydney Opera House opened. And Shane Rowe started his career!

Shane’s career journey has been unique as he has been employed by Bosch or a company acquired by Bosch for 50 years. Shane has worked for four companies, but he never left a company, the company left him!

Initially he was more interested in a role in engineering, but family circumstances forced him to look for work. His parents had separated leaving his mother struggling to support Shane and his four siblings so he and his older sister decided to leave school early to find work so they could help their mother financially. He took the first opportunity that arose straight out of high school as a delivery driver.

Shane in the 1970s at the start of his career
Shane in the 1970s at the start of his career

Shane started with a small company of just six employees named Abrasive Products in Adelaide, South Australia. Each morning, he would make a delivery run and ensure he was back by midday. In the afternoons, he would put away the inward goods and then pick and pack outgoing goods for the delivery run the next day.

He then advanced to be in control of the warehouse and stock purchasing, and as there were no computers in those days, he manually recorded outgoing stock, back orders, and incoming stock in large stock books. Then he moved up to take on the roles of financial bookkeeper, company payroll officer, and accounts payable/receivable for the three branches of the company as they had grown into Victoria and New South Wales as well as the original site in South Australia.

In 1997, Shane and his family moved to Melbourne, Victoria where he headed up the new coated abrasives conversion plant in Dandenong, Victoria. This period was a highlight of his career as he was able to make it a much more efficient and productive plant by improving production processes and introducing coated disc and sheet conversion machines. Next under sia/Bosch management, Shane held the role of Warehouse Manager when they were based in Rowville, Victoria, he became Product Manager for sia Abrasives before they were fully integrated and became part of Bosch in 2020.

Shane then moved to RBAU at Clayton where he started as Brand Manager for the sia brand, under Bosch Power Tools. A role he remains in today.

Shane at the Bosch Clayton HQ
Shane at the Bosch Clayton HQ

The biggest change that Shane has witnessed at Bosch is the transformation of the Clayton site. From the old buildings to the new, modern Clayton campus we have today, as well as watching different business units converge into one location.

Apart from the obvious challenges faced during the numerous acquisitions, the greatest encounter Shane has faced in his career was leaving family and friends in Adelaide and moving with his wife Gaye and their daughter Caitlin to Melbourne. “It’s not as easy leaving family behind as one might think”, says Shane.

Shane and his wife Gaye have worked together for the past 26 years since they moved from Adelaide to Melbourne. Firstly, at Abrasive Products, then sia Australia, and now Bosch, and have both continued working through each acquisition. Working at the same company works well for them as they can travel to and from work together, have lunch together, and understand each other’s work-related issues when the occasion arises. You’ll often see Shane and Gaye (who works in the Finance team) having lunch together in the on-site cafeteria at Clayton.

Undertaking many different roles with the same employer has kept Shane interested throughout his career. Looking back over the past 50 years, there’s not a lot he would change. However, he still does wonder what it would have been like if he’d pursued engineering. When he retires later this year, Shane says he’ll miss the community atmosphere at Bosch.

Shane Rowe quotation

I will miss my long-term sia colleagues who are still at Bosch, and of course my new Bosch colleagues who have made the past few years a pleasant time.

Shane Rowe

In retirement, he’s most looking forward to the freedom and time to do what he wants, when he wants. As for ‘words of wisdom’ from Shane, “Relax and believe in your ability to learn. And, most of all, always be the best version of yourself”.

Shane's employment timeline
  1. Started his career with Abrasive Products in Adelaide, South Australia.
  2. Moved to Melbourne, Victoria to establish Abrasive Products new coated abrasives conversion plant.
  3. Abrasive Products was acquired by Australia Industrial Abrasives (AIA).
  4. Australia Industrial Abrasives (AIA) was acquired by sia Abrasives Australia, sia Abrasives Australia operated as a separate legal entity of the Bosch Group in Oceania until 2020 when fully integrated.

Press Contact Australia

Kalani Brea

Manager, Corporate Communications


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