It is with heavy hearts that we announce the recent passing of Suzie Wright, CEO and Managing Director of Digga Australia. As you may or may not be aware, Suzie had been fighting a battle with a rare form of Ovarian Cancer for the last 15 months and sadly lost this battle late afternoon on Friday 8th June 2018.
Digga has lost a vigorously passionate and intelligent woman, the Australian manufacturing community has lost its greatest advocate and the world has lost a compassionate and amazing human being. No words can adequately express our sadness at Suzie’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with her over the past 21 years.
Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Suzie worked in her Father’s contracting and construction business for over 15 years gaining hands-on experience in construction piling and general construction.
Working for Digga Australia since the mid-1990’s, Suzie was initially involved in the company’s marketing activities. As the business grew globally, Suzie’s role became more pivotal; her passion for the business never faulted and she was announced Chief Executive Officer in 2004 at the age of 35. Based in Australia, she was heading a global company in what was, predominantly, classified as a man’s industry. Inspiring women globally, she paved the way for other females at Digga and throughout the industry to take on roles that were traditionally male stereotyped.
Leading the company for over a decade, Suzie was responsible for several successes including the consolidation of its Australian operations; rescuing and successfully integrating Kanga Loaders into the Digga business; establishing a large manufacturing plant in the US and rebuilding the head office facility in Yatala, QLD following a factory fire in early 2016.
In what she would say was undeniably her greatest achievement, Suzie made Digga her family and built a workplace centred around its employee community. It wasn’t just the 200+ employees who worked for Digga; it was the 200 families she helped support which meant the most to her. Her friends and family would describe her as the most generous and caring soul imaginable.
Passionate about Australian manufacturing and supporting local jobs, Suzie helped build strength and respect within her workforce that has helped to place Digga into the best shape of its 37-year history. Suzie was also very passionate about our customers and suppliers with whom she also had great relationships. She made it a priority that we value and respect our customer and supplier relationships and they became part of the extended Digga family.
Succession and strategic planning began not long after her first being diagnosed and she ensured we have a very clear vision going forward. Her executive team have been leading the business successfully over the past 15 months while she fought cancer with her trademark bravery and resilience. True to her vision the past 15 months has seen exceptional growth across products, markets and customers.
The business will remain 100% Australian and family owned. Stewart Wright, the company’s founder, will remain as chairmen of the board. Alan Wade, with over 25 years’ experience within Digga will step into the CEO position of the Digga Group. Peter Moody will remain as COO for the group.
Suzie leaves her team at Digga with heavy hearts but with a solid foundation for the future. We appreciate your support over the years and look forward to our continuing prosperous relationship.
Kind Regards from all our team here at Digga,
Stewart Wright. Chairman of the Board
Alan Wade, Chief Executive Officer
Peter Moody, Chief Operating Officer