CCBR Business Review

5 CO V E R S T O R Y their customers to ensure they are looked after no matter when they race. Sixty-six years in business is quite a mile- stone for this unique Central Coast business. Now with their son, Callan on board full time the Brook’s succession plan is assured. While there has never been any pressure placed on Graeme and Fiona’s three chil- dren to take on the family business (their son, Austin is pursuing a career in the film industry and their daughter, Bronte-Lee is currently studying overseas), Graeme and Fiona are thrilled to have Callan on board. Like his father, Callan has an IT degree and he is utilising his expertise on new inno- vation for the company, including a new system he is working on in conjunction Fiona and Graeme Brooks (centre) with daughter Bronte-Lee (left) and son Austin (right) Zealand. They have also installed cameras in Singapore, Guam, Vietnam, Beijing, Kuwait and Libya, to name just a few. Most of this has happened as a result of word of mouth referral and the fact that Australian racing and everything related to the industry is considered the global benchmark. Their move into digital photo finish cameras has also allowed them to diversify into other sports – anything with a finish line – and into electronic timing and video screens through a separate arm of the company, Southern Cross Scoreboards. Today, the company sup- plies custom made electronic scoreboards to a wide range of sporting codes. The Brooks’ diversification stood them in good stead to weather the storms of the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2007/08 and the Special Commission of Inquiry into the greyhound racing industry in 2015 when the industry was almost brought to its knees. Both incidents could have crippled them had they not had the foresight to diversify into other areas. So while racing is the Brook Group’s core business, diversification has set them up for a more certain future. Another point of difference is their extensive value- added services. Their in-house technical expertise allows them to deliver a full suite of integrated products. “We can integrate the video screen with the timing system, the photo finish camera and pick up all the tote prices. Anyone can put up a video screen but we provide a complete package,” said Graeme. They also offer 24/7 support for with their US supplier to track and moni- tor the welfare of racing greyhounds. The system has a strong ethical focus and will also improve many other aspects of the racing industry. It is currently being trialed in Victoria with the data being analysed by a research team from UTS, Sydney. Callan said, “We’re moving into a more data driven world, especially in sport, so we are looking into different systems that we can offer our clients that allow them to enhance the data they get from their athletes, greyhounds or horses to make educated decisions in train- ing, welfare, stewarding and commercial aspects. Everyone wants the best technol- ogy and we are always trying to enhance that in everything we do.” CENTRAL COAST BUSINESS REVIEW AUGUST 2020