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  • 16 Oct 2023
  • 5 min read
  • By the REIQ

Devoted to real estate: Vale David Cameron

Vale David Cameron

 David Cameron

A man who will certainly be missed by the real estate profession and the REIQ membership, David Cameron, recently passed away aged 80 years old.

David was a fourth-generation real estate professional, a highly regarded valuer, a long-standing REIQ Board Member and past President, an REIQ Life Member, and a truly devoted and fierce advocate for our profession.

The history of Cameron Bros

The real estate agency and property management firm founded by John Cameron (David’s great grandfather) in 1864, Cameron Bros, undoubtedly made its mark on the Brisbane property scene over 150 years, as the realtors and trustees of choice for thousands of Brisbane property owners.

The firm managed many historically significant Brisbane properties including the heritage-listed Brisbane Arcade and the Regent Theatre, and organised the transfer of land in St Lucia to the University of Queensland (UQ), which is now their main campus.

David’s son Stuart Cameron jokes that the Cameron Brothers ledger book, which itemised all the properties that sold (and not always for money either, sometimes gold coins and a couple of goats!), was akin to the late 1880s version of RP data. As an integral record of Brisbane’s property market since the city’s infancy, the ledger book is now part of the collection at the Fryer Library at UQ.

The lure of real estate

Starting out, David Cameron actually began his career in accounting for five years, working at Ingles, Lavory and Willie (which has now become KPMG). However, the allure of real estate was ultimately too strong, and in 1967 he left to join the family business when he was in his mid-twenties, to work alongside his father John Cameron and uncle Richard Cameron. David went on to establish himself as a well-known and highly regarded registered valuer and he also had a strong interest commercial real estate as well as property management.

In 1991, David took over the family business and remained at the helm for almost two decades until his retirement circa 2008/9. Under his leadership, and up until the early 2000s, Cameron Bros was the oldest still family owned and run real estate firm in Queensland.

Devotion to raising professional standards

David served on the REIQ Board for 17 years, including two years as State President in the late 80s. As President, he represented Queensland on the REIA Board and was a Trustee Director of the REI Super Fund. David was also the Assistant Member to the Valuers Registration Board of Queensland from 1993 – 2008.

He took on many other roles with the REIQ, as a member of REIQ’s Arbitration Committee, being heavily involved in the REIQ Property Management Committee, and later acting as a judge for the REIQ Awards for Excellence and as an REIQ Board Scrutineer.

In his various positions and roles, he was able to make a huge contribution to the real estate industry in Queensland. He wanted to increase the standing of the profession and fought very strongly for higher education standards.

David’s ability to take the heat out of a tense situation was a welcome attribute in committee and boardroom settings. Stuart remembers that David had strong ethics and believed in doing everything the ‘right way’ – he also felt that there was room for everyone without stepping on people’s toes. Professionally, David was always held in high regard and personally, he was appreciated for his warm heart and sense of humour.

Exceptional service and contributions

Outside of real estate, Stuart describes David as being very giving and generous with his time with a long laundry list of clubs he actively participated in and almost seemed to “collect” honorary memberships in recognition of his exceptional service and contributions. Stuart quips that his father “got Life Membership from just about any organisation he touched!”. Some of the various community services clubs included Redland Apex Club, Apex 40’s, Cleveland Rotary, Toondah and Wellington Point Probus Clubs and more recently, Men’s Shed in Cleveland.

As a personal passion, David was known to be a ‘boatie’ and was an active member of Little Ship Club (47 years), Royal Queensland Yacht Club (53 years), and Southport Yacht Club (during the 1980s and 1990s). REIQ Life Member Ray Milton recalls, “David was a big boating man, and for many years the REIQ PM Committee were invited to hold our end of year Christmas meeting on his boat - getting on board in Jumpinpin, having the meeting, staying overnight, and heading back to Brisbane in the morning. It was a very pleasant way to have our end of year meeting!”

Held in high regard

In 1994, David’s son joined the business working alongside him for 15 years, making the fifth generation of real estate professionals in the family. Stuart continues the Cameron Bros history with his firm, Crisp Valuation Services, incorporating Cameron Bros.

David continued to keep in touch with his REIQ colleagues, as a regular attendee at the bi-annual Life Member lunches, most recently attending a lunch in June 2023.

David Cameron’s funeral was held on Thursday 12 October 2023 at The Anglican Parish of Cleveland, and REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella, REIQ Chairman Peter Brewer and a number of REIQ Life Members were there to pay their respects and offer their condolences to the family.

Antonia reflected that it was evident that David was very highly regarded in all aspects of his life, he was very community orientated, as well as being a family man, and lived a life of service to so many different groups.

“How full the church was, with only standing room left, is a testament to his life of service and how many lives he touched,” she said.

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