Many of you will know from reading our website that the Witchcliffe Ecovillage is a joint venture between Sustainable Settlements Pty Ltd and Perron Developments Pty Ltd. It is the culmination of a 22-year association between Mike Hulme and the Perron Group on various property projects and investments. In November last year, all of us here at the Ecovillage were very saddened by news of the passing of Mr. Stan Perron, Founder and Chairman of the Perron Group, at the age of 96. Much has been written in celebration of Stan’s life and achievements, but we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our experience of working in partnership with Stan and celebrate his ongoing legacy to WA charities.

Stan Perron was a man of great honesty, business acumen, and generosity, and while he started out with nothing and became one of Australia’s wealthiest people, the true measure of his success was his integrity and what he did to help thousands of disadvantaged Australians. He was always softly spoken, thoughtful, incredibly considered, never in a rush, and certainly never late! He believed in and backed Mike on a project when he was a young man starting out, committed to the ideals of creating sustainability and community in human settlement design. At the time, this was not the norm in the property world, but Stan respected and supported Mike’s vision (as long as it always made sound business sense as well.) Over the years, Stan became a much valued and respected mentor and friend to Mike, who received one of the greatest honours of his life soon after Stan’s passing when he was asked by Stan’s daughter Elizabeth, on behalf of Mrs Perron, to be one of Stan’s pallbearers.

“I’m going to miss him dearly; he was just such an incredible person,” Mike said recently. “He has been the most wonderful business partner and mentor. He backed me in every proposal I ever put to him and always gave me 100% confidence to proceed as I saw fit, which also helped build my confidence. Every project and investment we have done together has been very successful, and the culmination of this success gave me the opportunity to develop our most ambitious project to date: the Witchcliffe Ecovillage.”

It’s a project that is so far outside the current property development model that it would never have eventuated without the success and strength of their partnership: the combination of Mike’s ambition to build an international model of the most sustainable community possible, and Stan’s solid support and financial backing.

In recent years, the Perron Group management worked with Stan to distil his business values and vision into five words that would reflect the essence of “the Perron Way”: integrity, respect, excellence, teamwork, and compassion. As partners of the Perron Group, we are proud to say that the Sustainable Settlements team has always subscribed to these values in every decision that it makes with its commitment to sustainable social and environmental outcomes also firmly based in our interpretation of integrity.

Whilst being one of Western Australia’s most successful and respected entrepreneurs, Stan was a very humble and private person, and those not working in the non-profit sector would have little idea of the extent of his incredible generosity. Stan established the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation in 1978. Over the years the Foundation contributed vast sums to the WA community, with a particular focus on supporting charities that benefit disadvantaged children’s health and wellbeing. A dedicated proportion of all Perron Group profits are distributed by the Foundation, and that proportion has increased on Stan’s passing, at his direction, to up to 50% of annual profits. It is wonderful to know that a significant part of the profits generated by the Witchcliffe Ecovillage will be donated directly to help people in West Australia that are less fortunate than ourselves.

Mike is hoping to gain State approval to name the road to the Village Square after his great mentor, Stan Perron, and is hoping to call the road Perron’s Way.