Site History

History of Sugar Research Institute (SRI)

Sugar Research Limited was formed independently by 24 Queensland sugar mills in 1949 with the aim of establishing a sugar research institute in Mackay. Dr Bill Kerr was appointed the first Director of Sugar Research and oversaw the construction of the first stage of the SRI’s facilities in 1953. This was to the design of noted architect, Dr Karl Langer, and included the first stage of the main building, the Director’s residence and the rear workshop. The second stage of the main building was completed in 1966 and the conference hall was added in 1973. The SRI conducted world class scientific research from the facility throughout the second half of the 20th century which led to significant improvements and efficiencies in the sugar industry. The SRI relocated to Brisbane in 2006 and the facility was in use as commercial offices until 2016 when the site was purchased by Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton as a secondary school campus.