In 1952 Alan Hickinbotham, a young Geelong Grammar School science teacher and Adelaide University graduate, left a promising career in search of a business opportunity. The business Alan and his father Alan David started in 1954 became the Hickinbotham Group; now one of the best known building and development organisations in Australia and one of the country's largest vignerons. The group has vineyards throughout South Australia producing and exporting awardwinning premium quality wines.
In 60 years, the Hickinbotham Group has built more than 40,000 homes and developed more than 60 residential estates. Alan, a committed environmentalist, incorporated many radical new ideas into these estates. Among them were underground power lines and telephone cables, restrictive covenants on the felling of native trees, and the storage of stormwater run-off in the aquifer for subsequent re-use.
Alan Hickinbotham was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998 for services to the building industry, football, and the community.