Date posted: June 14, 2017

Lester Nichol recognised for his significant contribution to Australia’s packaging industry

The 2017 Industry Packaging & Processing Professional of the Year Award was given to Matthews Australasia MD Lester Nichol at the Packaging & Processing Innovation and Design Awards (PIDA). These awards have been designed to recognise companies and individuals who are making a significant difference in their field.


Those considered for the Industry Professional of the Year Award category have all made significant and continued contributions to the packaging and processing industry for at least 25 years. The judges then looked for individuals who have demonstrated vision and leadership, shown innovation, and have not been afraid to take risks.

Mark Dingley, GM Operations at Matthews Australasia, says, “Today, barcoding is taken for granted, but in the late 1970s it was viewed by many as a costly nuisance that the supermarkets wanted for their advantage. Not too many people realise that Lester recognised the need for product identification and symbology, as well as the technologies and methodologies that apply the codes onto products in back then. In 1978, he was one of the founders of the APNA, the Australian Product Numbering Association – the forebear of GS1 Australia. The group subsequently brought barcoding to Australia.”

In the 1980s Lester established Matthews International (Australia) Pty Ltd. Through his early days leading the company, Lester keenly added to his practical knowledge and his focus was always on the value-add of what technologies – including barcoding – can bring to a business beyond mere compliance. Because of his knowledge in implementing barcode-printing solutions, Lester was invited to contribute in the design of the EAN/GS1 Supply Chain Knowledge Centre, which opened in 2004. As an example of using barcoding technology to improve overall supply chain efficiency, in conjunction with EAN Lester led Matthews in developing a unique EAN128 carton-coding solution that interfaced with the powerful EANnet data-synchronisation tool.

Mark says, “This highlights the leadership Matthews has always shown in applying leading-edge technology solutions.

“One of Lester’s driving philosophies with Matthews is to always strive to be innovative and to be the first to market with new solutions. Lester’s strong belief in the product ID industry, and its ability to drive efficiencies for manufacturing businesses, is a cornerstone of Matthews’ success.”

Matt Nichol, the Key Account Manager at Matthews and one of Lester’s sons, says, “Undoubtedly, Lester’s legacy in the industry is that of enabling Australian manufacturing businesses to be ever-more efficient, achieved and leveraged via coding, marking and automatic data capture technologies and the efficiencies gained through integrating technologies.”

The PIDA judges acknowledged that without peer, Lester is a leader who has demonstrated vision and leadership, has shown innovation, and is not averse to taking calculated risks that he believes will benefit Australian businesses. Lester has created a strong second-generation business, being very proud of the fact that two of this three children have joined him in the family business Matthews Australasia.

The 2017 Packaging & Processing Innovation and Design Awards (PIDA), which have been developed by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and the Australian Packaging & Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), were announced in front of 300 people during a gala dinner at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park on March 8th 2017.


About Matthews Australasia

Matthews Australasia, a family business, is the Australian leader in intelligent product identification, product inspection and software traceability solutions.

Matthews provides technology solutions to help code products with technology that suits each customer’s purpose and goals; check all product and packaging to eliminate coding and labelling errors; capture more data on the factory floor in real-time; and manage the process from one point of control.

With over four decades in the business, Matthews understands the challenges that face businesses in driving efficiency, accuracy and cost-effective processes in their supply chain.




Phone: 1300 CODING (1300 263 464)