The Brisbane business community is mourning the loss of Thomas Claude Lusch, founder of Geebung’s Platypus Print Packaging, who passed away on January 3 at age 68.
Tributes have poured in for Mr Lusch, known as “Tom” to family and friends, who built Platypus Packaging into an award-winning company over the past 40 years. He started the business in 1982 after realising there was a gap in the Queensland market for print embellishing services.
Prior to starting Platypus Packaging, Tom had recently relocated to Queensland from interstate to work for InPrint, an established printing company.
Initially run as a hobby out of the family home in Geebung, Tom soon turned his passion into a full-time venture. Platypus Packaging grew from humble beginnings with a small handheld machine to become a leader in the industry.
“Named after the unique, egg laying marsupial, this resonated with Tom who wanted his business to be different from the rest and proudly Australian,” Platypus stated in their website.
In 1984, Tom acquired a Heidelberg Platen printing press and set it up under the family’s Willcott Street home. Having recently moved to Queensland to work for a printing company, Tom decided to turn his print shop hobby into a full-time business. He soon resigned from his job to focus on Platypus Packaging.
Tom invested in a small handheld embellishing machine, which remained in use for years as the company grew. That original machine is now displayed in the Platypus Packaging reception area, representing the humble beginnings of Tom’s ultimately very successful printing venture.
Tom’s son Aaron said his father was diagnosed with cancer in late 2021, then tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after Christmas last year. Even whilst battling health issues, Tom remained dedicated to the company he started decades ago.
In addition to his business accomplishments, Tom is remembered for his community spirit and generosity. He was a keen AFL fan who helped local clubs like the Wilston Grange Gorillas over the years.
Friends and family will gather for Tom’s funeral service on January 12 to celebrate his life and contributions. He leaves behind a legacy as a hardworking founder who turned his printing passion into a uniquely Australian success story.