It was destined that co-founders Simon Oxenham and Cameron Melville would create a company like Convic.
Even as a kid, skating around suburban Brisbane from the age of six, Simon lamented the lack of public skateboarding facilities, building his first ramp under the family home when he was 15. He only knew a couple of other skateboarders — until a chance meeting at a backyard half pipe in 1985 with 17-year old Cameron.
A great friendship — and many skate and surfing adventures — followed. Simon, then skating at an elite level, moved his young family to Western Australia leaving behind Cam, a civil engineer, and his own family in Brisbane.
Cam took his engineering degree, skateboarding experience and ‘everything is possible’ attitude and started Conquest, a company that built skate parks. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Simon attended meetings for the construction of a skate park in his adopted town of Margaret River. His own company, Skatetech, eventually won the contract to design and build the facility.
Except this was no back yard ramp. Simon had the design nous, but needed technical know-how — so Cam came to Margaret River in 1999 where the friends worked on their first project together… today it is still regarded as one of Western Australia’s best skate parks.
On 24 May, 2000, at a conference in Melbourne, the pair plotted a company name, logo and a business plan for global domination. Convic was born. In just 18 months, the company expanded rapidly, delivering extraordinary projects including Adelaide’s Seaford Skate Park, Melbourne’s Riverside Skate Park and delivering hydraulic half pipes for the Coca Cola Heat Wave, at the time Coke’s biggest ever ad campaign in the southern hemisphere. Convic Design was raking in awards and international markets beckoned as enquiries came through for skate parks in Asia.
Then, on December 9, 2002, tragedy struck. Cameron, just 36, was killed in a motorbike accident, leaving behind a wife and five young children.
A true pioneer, Cam has had immense influence over skate park design and construction on a global scale. His philosophy and legacy lives on today in every skate park Convic creates.