The family legacy continues with the new ownership of Acrobat Removals

The family legacy continues with the new ownership of Acrobat Removals

Since 1994, Acrobat Removals and Storage have been making their mark as a family-owned business dedicated to servicing the Newcastle community.

Now, 28 years later, the baton is being passed down from one generation to the next as new ownership plans unfold.

Founders of Acrobat Removals and Storage, Norm and Kaye Doughty look back on their humble beginnings with pride as they hand the keys to son, Jord Petersen.

“We started the business out of our backyard, as rubbish removalists, and eventually got a little removal truck and morphed into Furniture Removals. The business operated with a small fleet, which then started to grow, and we were lucky our son Jord had such a keen interest and wanted to be part of the business,” Norm recalls.

“Kaye and I are proud to announce that Jord has taken over the business as we officially settle into retirement. We’ve come a long way and Jord has been instrumental to that.”

The early days of a budding business owner

Jord began his removalist career at an early age, accompanying and helping Norm with quotes and the occasional job. His duties primarily involved washing and cleaning the trucks – and he was well known for precise pad folding and keeping the trucks in tip-top condition.

Jord even learnt to drive at age 11 under the supervision of Norm, in a 1978 Isuzu JCR 580A. That way he could assist with moving the trucks around the depot when required.

Spending so much time listening Norm quote customers over the phone meant that by age 12, he was in the office on weekends and school holidays learning the job.

He got his first taste of running the business as a pre-teen, while Norm and Kaye took a week-long trip overseas.

As soon as he turned 18, Jord obtained his Forklift Ticket, MR (Medium Rigid) truck licence, then a few years later, upgraded it to a HC (Heavy Combination).

Onwards and upwards

Once school was done, Jord transitioned to a full-time role on the road as a removalist driver and helping in the office when required, before becoming Operations Manager in 2012.

Jord was the driving force behind the company getting into module storage in 2013. This new avenue involved a substantial infrastructure investment that soon turned into rapid business growth.

The business began to expand and collaborate with other companies based in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

Jord’s ability to sell the companies services to customers was unrivalled and earnt him the nickname ‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ by mentor, Paul Leabeater from Baulkham Hills Removals.

Since his parents informally retired from day-to-day operations many years ago, Jord took on a multifaceted management role consisting of overseeing office administration and the removal crews, both on the road and in the warehouse.

When asked what a typical workday looks like, Jord said they are never boring and are always different. He enjoys this aspect of being kept on his toes.

“Depending on who is working, the job changes. If all the drivers and crew are available, I’ll be in the office handling enquiries and quotes. If not, I’ll be out on the trucks running removals,” he said.

Jord’s transition to ownership began late in 2021 and has become official as of this year.

Future plans in motion for Acrobat Removals

With the change of ownership, Jord plans to bring a refreshed leadership style and direction to the business. His primary goals are to maintain the great team culture and positive reputation that has been their bread and butter for 28 years.

He believes that helping with physical labour rather than delegating it has warranted a new level of respect from his team – and goes a long way to keeping staff satisfied within their roles.

“I have a first-hand understanding of what my team experience out on the job, so I know how we can make things better for both staff and customers,” Jord said.

“Looking after our customers is the number one priority, we never let customers down. Even if it means working after hours or turning up on a Sunday if things don’t quite go according to plan, we’ll always turn up to get the job done.”

Jord also plans to bring with him some important business values that were instilled in him by his parents over the years.

“My parents taught me the importance of honesty and transparency. It’s important to me that our staff are always paid well and looked after according to the latest safety and training protocols.

“I also ensure that this transparency and honesty is provided to customers too. Whether it’s to do with a quote, the timing of a booking and our capacity – we will always provide the truth. I think this really sets us apart from other removalists.”

He also has a strong desire to establish Acrobat Removals and Storage as a boutique company that delivers nothing short of a five-star service.

Jord believes that keeping a small but tight-knit team is the best way to exceed the expectations of customers, without spreading the level of service too thin.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to invest in new resources and improve the level of service wherever needed.”

“I’m so happy that Norm and Kaye can now finally settle into retirement, and for them sit back and watch the business continue to grow. I want to honour their legacy while making sure to make my mark. It’s a very exciting time for the business – so watch this space.”


IMAGE | Jord Petersen and Kaye and Norm Doughty.

Acrobat Removals & Storage

Family business, Acrobat Removals & Storage was established by Norman and Kaye Doughty in May of 1994. They now operate out of an impressive warehouse and office complex at Sandgate NSW.

When storage and moving is required, Acrobat Removals offer tailor made storage and removal solutions at the right price, utilising innovative furniture modules and custom-modified shipping containers.

They work with customers to fully understand their needs (such as size of job, location of unload and duration of storage), and then advise the most suitable and cost effective solution. The whole team are proud of their well-equipped fleet of 12 professionally sign-written vehicles which have all been custom-built for efficiency and functionality.

Being accredited members of the Australian Furniture Removers Association, Acrobat Removals are committed to consistently updating systems and processes, training staff to provide exceptional customer service. When customers move with Acrobat Removals, they can rest assured that their items are packed, stored, and delivered safely and securely.

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