Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Mar-Apl 2017 Contents 14 INCLEAN March/April 2017
More than three decades ago, you could
have found Royston Evans dangling out a
Brisbane high-rise office window to clean it –
his workmate holding him by the belt to stop
him plunging to the ground.
The young part-time cleaner from
Toowoomba would make his way to Brisbane
at four in the morning to do the job.
“We didn’t know you could use bosun’s
chairs and things like that, so we just hung
out the windows and started cleaning,”
“It used to scare the living hell out of
people because they’d be working in an
office and this lunatic would be walking
around outside the building.”
Royston recalled he once fractured his
kneecap and shoulder when he fell three
storeys during a job (“When you’re falling
you’d look for a garden or something to
land in”) and enjoyed morning tea on high-
rise ledges just wide enough to stand on.
If cleaners operated like that today
“you’d have an absolute coronary”, but the
industry veteran said it didn’t seem wrong
all those years ago.
Rising up the ranks
Those early experiences also set Royston
on a successful career trajectory that has
seen him create Nortex Group, a company
that today owns seven businesses in the
major regional city of Toowoomba in
Queensland, including mechanical repairs,
a maintenance business, a coffee shop and
the largest cleaning operation in the area –
One Team Clean.
To get there, he moved from the part-time
window cleaning role with Spick & Span to
a job with Berkeley Challenge, which lasted
for 16 years and saw him become an area
manager undertaking cleaning, quoting,
machinery orders and customer service
across a wide geography.
Over these years, Royston worked with a
number of inspirational people who made a
long-term impact on him.
“I was privileged to work alongside
people such as Peter King, our Berkeley’s
state manager who taught me how to be
a manager of people, which helped me
become a good business manager, and also
how to accept change in business,” he said.
“Also Garth Mortleman, who is the best
at tender packages – he taught me how to
get a quote super tight and still make money
from it. His approach was to get the job,
then we’ll work out how to do it and make
One Team Clean grows
When Berkeley’s was to be taken over by
Spotless in 1999, Royston decided to leave
and pursue his plan of opening a mechanical
repairs business and car yard.
After resigning and handing his car back
in Brisbane he was making his way home to
Toowoomba when he received a call from
a shopping centre owner who had been a
“He was disappointed I was finishing
up and I had no intentions of starting a
cleaning business, but he was adamant I
should,” Royston stated.
“I said I don’t have the means to do
Scaling the industry heights
Long-time, award-winning industry
professional Royston Evans is
the first to admit his life has been
wonderful so far – and, as he tells
INCLEAN’s Jo Cooper, cleaning has
played a major role.
Royston Evans accepts the Long Service Award for
outstanding individual contribution to the industry at
the 2016 BSCAA Queensland Excellence Awards
that, but by the end of the trip home
he offered to pay me three months in
advance, which gave me the opportunity
to go and buy the equipment.”
Royston then scrambled to set up three
businesses simultaneously, including One
After two months, the business was
cleaning four shopping centres in
Toowoomba and had 60 employees.
“Within a fortnight we went from not
owning a business to being the biggest
cleaning company this side of Ipswich and it
just went from there,” he said.
With little competition in the early days,
and Royston’s wide cleaning experience and
willingness to travel for jobs, One Team
Clean continued to grow.
Over the years it has cleaned army bases,
RAAF Base Amberley, Heritage Bank
branches, council buildings and depots,
medical centres, retirement villages, aged
care centres and more.
Staff numbers have climbed as high as 130
“When people ask me what you do I say, ‘I’m a
cleaner’. I still clean toilets every day and I don’t mind
doing it. I know where I came from and how hard it
is to make a dollar, and if I’m not willing to do it why
should I expect other people to do it.”
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