83 years ... and family's still counting!

Published 6:00am 25 July 2022

83 years ... and family's still counting!
Words by Nick Crockford

Twenty years ago, Redcliffe-born Matthew Diefenbach, pictured above, became the fourth member of his family to work at Golden Circle.

Now living in Deception Bay, the 37-year-old followed his grandmother and joined his father and uncle at the Northgate canning factory.

As Golden Circle celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Diefenbach’s have clocked up a remarkable total of 83-years’ service – and are still counting!

  • Matthew Diefenbach was 17 when he started a traineeship. He started in the warehouse and is now a senior operator in the cold room receiving, storing and staging concentrates used to make the Golden Circle beverages.
  • Robert Diefenbach, Matthew’s father, has 30 years’ service with Golden Circle, starting in the sugar plant, becoming a senior operator/area leader in beverages and is now in the sugar plant again.
83 years ... and family's still counting!
Matthew Diefenbach operating one of the forklifts at Golden Circle.

Family affair

  • Matthew’s uncle Darren Diefenbach has worked at the Northgate site for 20 years and is also a senior operator.
  • Lexi Diefenbach, Matthew’s grandmother, worked on the ‘pine lines’ for 13 years and, while now longer there, talks about Golden Circle “all the time”.

Mr Diefenbach says he has “always enjoyed” his time at Golden Circle and has “never thought of leaving”.

“Yes, I was drawn to Golden Circle by my family's connections,” the former Clontarf Beach State High School student said.  “Dad’s never had a bad word to say about the company.

“I have made some great friends over the years, and have a wonderful team around me. I will be forever grateful for that.

“I feel like I have the best job (cold room) in the factory, especially in the middle of summer.”

83 years ... and family's still counting!
Matthew Diefenbach at work at Golden Circle's Northgate canning plant.

In the beginning

Golden Circle started a grower cooperative in the 1940s. The pineapple cannery opened in Northgate in 1947.

Initially, it produced around 40,000 tonnes of canned pineapple a year, as well as some canned fruit salad, tropical fruit chutneys and fruit juice cordials.

Today it produces more than 150,000 tonnes per year of canned pineapple, fruit juices and cordials.

Other long-serving employees include Doug Jones, who has worked at Northgate for 42 years and is now the growing integration manager.

Lydia Gray, the senior research and development technologist, has been with Golden Circle 19 years.

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