Class of 1992
CEO, Apollo Motorhome Holidays
From handball king to king of recreational vehicles; Luke Trouchet has certainly come a long way since graduating from John Paul College in 1992.
‘All of that handball practice has come in handy now that I have three boys,’ he muses.
With visions of becoming the next Matlock (the 90s American television legal drama based on criminal defence attorney, Ben Matlock), Luke studied Law at QUT. It was the natural choice after excelling in legal studies at school. After work as a law clerk, Luke decided law was not for him and he joined the family business toward the end of 1996. By then, younger brother Karl (Class of 1993) had completed his accounting degree and in 2000, they bought out their parents, Luke eventually becoming chief executive officer and Karl the chief financial officer.
That business was Apollo Motorhome Holidays, a company founded in 1985 with a fleet comprising a single second-hand motorhome that Luke and Karl’s parents rented out.
Today, Apollo Motorhome Holidays is better known as Apollo Tourism & Leisure Ltd (ATL) and has diversified to manufacture, import and retail a range of recreational vehicles including motorhomes, campervans and caravans. Now a leading player internationally, its fleet comprises more than 5000 vehicles across Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand.
In March 2018 they acquired Camperco Group Ltd, one of the largest independent motorhome operators in the United Kingdom and Ireland to launch their next venture into the European market.
To fund the world-wide acquisition strategy, ATL listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2016 with a market capitalisation of approximately $250 million. The brothers still own more than 50% of the company ensuring that family values are still firmly entrenched within the culture.
Going forward, Luke’s plans for the company include further expansion into the lucrative US market, the launch a new Apollo app and enticing the enormous yet untapped Chinese market into motorhomes.
Luke attributes the company’s success to, ‘tenacity and a bit of luck!
‘People say I’ve always been an entrepreneur and I’m always thinking about the next thing I can do. I’ve been lucky to have had a great group of people to work with, as well as trusted advisors in my business groups.’
That great group of people extends to Luke’s personal life, and includes seven close schoolmates he still regularly connects with.
Luke’s memories of his JPC days remain strong and he recalls Des Thureson, Ian Weatherley, Peter Hempenstall and Jeff Henderson as teachers who had a positive impact on him and his learning.
‘I think JPC gave me the confidence to be the best that I can. Whether it was giving a report on assembly or doing Toastmasters (public speaking), I got used to standing up in front of a crowd and engaging them. I now do that with stakeholders such as our team, suppliers and investors.
I enjoyed school and forged many friendships that have proven to be life-long.’