Fleeing the Greek island of Castellorizo during World War I, the Paspaley family arrived in Australia in 1919 in search of a new life. They decided to try their chances at their ship's first port of call, Cossack on the Indian Ocean coast of Western Australia. In this remote part of the world, the Paspaleys were among a handful of Europeans living in the area with the traditional Aboriginal inhabitants and Asian pearl fishers.
The unspoiled oceans off the Australian coast were, and still are, home to the world's largest beds of the most prized of the world's pearl oysters – the giant Pinctada maxima. Traders and settlers soon developed a thriving industry diving for the mother-of-pearl shell.
As diving was one of the few viable industries in the area, it was natural that Nicholas Paspaley would learn this challenging trade. By 1932, at the age of 18, he was at the helm of his own pearling lugger, diving for shell that fulfilled most of the global demand for button making.
Today Paspaley has diversified into many other areas, to the extent that pearling accounts for less than forty per cent of the Group’s turnover, with aviation, retail, pastoral holdings and commercial properties accounting for the rest. Despite this diversification, pearling remains the prime focus and heart of Paspaley.
The Paspaley Group’s success is a result of decades of dedication, investment and innovation – and superior quality is the hallmark of Paspaley in every area of the business. Our reputation is built on an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence, and this philosophy is reflected in every aspect of our operations.