Richard Branson Buys Island for Staff16/05/2003
A Heartfelt Thanks To The Virgin Team
To celebrate the success of Virgin companies around the world, in particular the tremendous results of Virgin’s Australian staff this year, Richard Branson has bought an island at Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for Virgin staff worldwide to share.
“Makepeace” Island is a beautiful 25-acre island off Noosa in the shape of a giant heart.
It currently consists of a Queenslander house, a swimming pool and is five minutes from Noosa itself.
For the nearly twenty five hundred staff who work for Virgin Blue, it is an easy two hour drive from the airline’s Brisbane Head Office. For those who work for Virgin overseas, Virgin Atlantic hopes to be flying to Australia via Hong Kong on the new London-Sydney route within twelve months, offering special rates.
The island will be developed into an eco-tourism retreat for Virgin staff both in Australia and worldwide and will be a place for them to escape with partners, family and friends.
The Virgin Group also owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which is run as a business for external visitors. Makepeace Island will be available for Virgin staff, making it the first Virgin staff island in the world.
The island is named after Hannah Makepeace who was a long-term loyal employee of the Island’s former owner at the turn of the last century.
The existing main Queenslander house will be where all entertainment and meals will be shared. Camping facilities, training facilities and tree-house accommodation will be built to cater for all Virgin staff who can share the pleasures of the Sunshine Coast, one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Other new developments to the island will include nature walks, tennis courts and island activities such as fishing, sailing, water-skiing and other water sports.
The total investment cost is $AU 5-million including development.
Richard Branson said, “What makes Virgin so special is our people. This will be a wonderful retreat for them and it will also be a great way for our team to spend time together and to get to know each other outside of a work environment. It will be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to spending more time in Australia and sharing this delightful island with our wonderful team.”
It’s hoped the island will be ready for its first Virgin visitors within twelve months.