• the 1930s

    David K. Laidlaw begins a small clothing company in his parents’ house in Brunswick, Victoria. To come up with a name, he approaches Jim Cushen, an independent advertising agent, and together they settle on Yakka, derived from the Aboriginal word for work. The company narrows its focus to workwear and Hard Yakka is born.

  • the 1940s

    The Hard Yakka name becomes synonymous with quality, toughness, and durability. The business grows into an Australian institution and it’s not long before Hard Yakka opens a new manufacturing plant in Sunbury, which is converted from an old army hall.


  • the 1950s

    Hard Yakka has now become the dominant workwear brand in the Australian market. With growing demand, the company makes the decision to expand. Eventually, they settle on a new manufacturing plant in Ballarat Street, Brunswick.

  • the 1960s

    Like its name suggests, Hard Yakka is tireless in its efforts to improve and evolve the product. This quickly translates into further growth and increased demand. Before long, the company builds a new manufacturing plant on six acres of land in Broadmeadows, which becomes the new headquarters.

  • the 1970s

    Already an integral part of the Australian cultural fabric, Hard Yakka cements its position as an Aussie icon with the launch of the famous ‘Railway’ commercial. Featuring the famous Hard Yakka chant, written by Mike Brady, it becomes an instant hit with the Australian public.

  • the 1980s

    With a name like Hard Yakka, there’s no time for rest. The company expands its operations over the Tasman and launches the iconic brand in the New Zealand market. It also introduces the famous ‘Haulpac’ commercial, which becomes an instant icon.

  • the 1990s

    Staying true to the spirit of its founding fathers, Hard Yakka continues to look for new and better ways to do things. The company introduces an impressive range of Hard Yakka safety and non-safety footwear, which kicks goals. The decade also launches the unforgettable ‘Shearing’ commercial.

  • the 2010s

    Hard Yakka continues to grow and innovate in the workwear category. The company introduces several new lines, such as 3056: Born in Brunswick, a fashionable range of functional workwear. It’s a long way from its humble beginnings but Hard Yakka has become one of the most recognised brands in the country, and one of the largest suppliers of workwear in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s still much to be achieved and so the hard work continues.