Our story began in the 1930s as a vehicle transport company when Neville and Shirley Hawkins took over Hawkins Transport from Neville's father. With a passion for Moreton Island, they eventually decided to expand into passenger and vehicle ferries, culminating in our current vessel Micat, which has been sailing for almost 20 years and can accommodate 55 vehicles and over 300 passengers.
Today, the Hawkins Family Group is owned by Roz Shaw, the youngest daughter of Neville and Shirley, and run by Roz's daughter Liz Hemmens, who serves as CEO.
As the owners of a large vehicle and passenger ferry, we understand the importance of a streamlined booking process that takes into account various intricacies such as vehicle size and weight, and passenger numbers.
After trying three different booking solutions that claimed they could meet our requirements, we realized that developing our own software was the only solution that would do the job properly.
Thus, Ferryhawk was born - a clever vehicle and passenger booking system that simplifies the entire booking process and makes life easier for both our staff and passengers.
I’ve worked in the ferry industry since I was six, when my parents started operating a small ferry to Kooringal, Moreton Island in 1971. We were a typical family business starting out with mixed roles for everyone - all the kids pitched in!
Since then I have always been interested not only in the ferry industry, but in business as a whole. I’ve always been fascinated with breaking down parts of a business - to look at each task a business must undertake and find ways to make it more efficient, and therefore more profitable.
Along the way, I managed and then purchased our family business in heavy transport and truckstops, eventually selling these operations to global businesses due to the superior systems and processes we had implemented.
In the early 2000’s we designed the Micat Catamaran Vehicular Ferry to enable the crossing to be quick enough to cater for day trippers to Moreton Island. Prior to this, the landing crafts being used were too slow and too rough to make day trips viable. The design was a great success and the Micat is still the most formidable vehicular ferry in Queensland.
When my daughter Liz joined the business, she brought with her the most important skill set in the world today – a love of information technology. This was a game changer and the reason Ferryhawk was formed.
With a lifetime of ferry experience, Liz was able to pinpoint the operational issues which could be improved through technology. WIth a focus on the online bookings and ferry logistics, Liz worked in conjunction with a team of developers to design a custom reservation system which solves all the common issues Australian ferry operators face.
That brings us to today - where we are proud to offer FerryHawk software to other ferry owners. It’s been built from the ground up with over 50 years of experience in the industry.
I’ve worked in the ferry industry on Moreton Island since I can remember. Having spent so much time there, I am very passionate about the area and take great pride in running the Micat ferry.
I studied law and accounting at university, taking up a position as Legal Counsel at National Storage (an ASX200 company), which helped me gain practical, hands-on experience with corporate law and business - to understand the pressure points, strategy, and objectives of the business whilst balancing risk and legal implications.
I then returned to the family business to work alongside Roz, bringing my lifelong passion for technology and business to the Micat. I took over as CEO in 2018 and have focused particularly on optimising our online booking process, where I found myself continually frustrated by the restrictive/expensive/US-centric ferry booking software available.
Our staff were spending hours on the phone each day answering the same questions and performing basic booking admin. Our booking system was slow, clunky and performing poorly from the front and back end. I didn’t blame the customers for preferring to phone us! Over the past five years I’ve worked on multiple overhauls of our booking system to the point where I am confident we have the ideal solution for International ferry operators.
We also overhauled the website to maximise online bookings and research, saving employee time, clearing the phone lines, and allowing customers to fully manage their own bookings 24/7/365.
Whilst talking with fellow ferry operators over the years, common threads of complaint with regards to inflexible booking software were raised. As we’ve worked on optimising the FerryHawk booking system over the past decade, we realised an opportunity to help others in the same situation by creating a booking system which helps users rather than hinders them.
Drawing on our many collective years of experience in running a vehicular ferry, we’ve created FerryHawk software to help your company maximise revenue from bookings whilst being completely flexible to your needs.
Sales & Marketing Manager
I have over 30 years of experience in software sales across various industries, specializing in contact centre and unified communications as a service solutions. My journey began working on the Micat ferry business on Moreton Island, where I learned the ins and outs of operational processes for a busy ferry business. Later on, I transitioned to software as a service, working with businesses to streamline their processes and improve customer interactions.
My diverse background in both SAAS and ferry industry marketing roles at Moreton Island Adventures and Riverside Marine has given me a unique perspective on the industry. Paired with FerryHawk's powerful software, I'm confident in my ability to help ferry owners take full control of their business.
I'm passionate about delivering exceptional customer satisfaction, and I truly believe that FerryHawk's software product is the perfect solution for any ferry business that moves people and vehicles. As it was designed by a company that uses it daily, it's tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the industry. I'm thrilled to share my expertise and help your business thrive!