Date posted: July 30, 2015

In the last few weeks, we have had a surge of interest in our Forum Groups, which many consider to be the jewel of the crown in FBA offerings. As such we are looking to extend our offering in this sector and expand to regional areas and to special interest groups. Potentially Wollongong district, Central Coast, Western Sydney and perhaps a group for non-family executives – do you have staff in this category?

If we can support those who hold senior positions in our organisations, it can only be a good thing for our businesses. 10 meetings a year, 10 businesses in a group, non-competitive, non-conflicting, privately and expertly facilitated sessions, Chatham House rules (complete confidentiality) – sounds pretty yummy to me! But then I like all that challenging, self-awareness stuff – makes me think! And if the meetings can be held a little closer to home then it makes it little more appealing. Call me for a chat if you are interested.

The Mid-Year “Check-In” event held at the end of June was a great way for members to reconnect and learn things from the corporate world as well as the family business world. I was seriously impressed with guest speakers from within our own ranks – our accredited advisers Philip Pryor and Craig Bulmer. Our guest speaker on Leadership was Jeremy Carter and we had a panel of FBA members telling us their stories as to how they overcame significant issues in their families businesses.

The event was held at the premises of the NSW Business Chamber, of whom FBA NSW has recently become a member. At the end of the morning I noticed our member, Jo-Anne Fahey from Glenbernie Orchard, talking ‘14 to the dozen’ with a woman whom I did not recognise. I asked the catering supervisor who she was, and he said that – when he had heard Jo-Anne speak – he had snuck downstairs to the Trade and Investment department to ask someone to come and talk to Jo-Anne about the potential of exporting her newly created products to China. The business is a fruit and honey orchard that has recently turned its attention to value adding on its base products with such items as vinegars, juices, ciders and honey mead (oh yum!).

I realised that this was (potentially) a big opportunity for Jo-Anne and the family business, but I think Jo-Anne was a little overwhelmed! China? You have got to be kidding – we struggle to meet Christmas orders! (sic). I eavesdropped a little and heard some of the ways in which this product line could be exported at minimal risk to Glenbernie.

[special_functionality_row][special_functionality_column lg=”6″ md=”6″ sm=”6″ xs=”12″ ]Apples
[/special_functionality_column][special_functionality_column lg=”6″ md=”6″ sm=”6″ xs=”12″ ]Jo-Anne and Glenn Fahey


I know nothing about this and would personally be just as overwhelmed as Jo-Anne, but I know that the woman Jo-Anne was talking to did know, so I encouraged Jo-Anne to sit for a few minutes and listen. As a result, Glenbernie has the possibility of a huge opportunity open up! Whether they eventually sell the exclusive Glenbernie product on the top shelves of 5-star Chinese delicatessens or not we shall see, but we will follow their journey with interest!

We have also celebrated the annual Women in Family Business lunch, hosted by Deloitte. With 90 people (including many men) attending to hear a storyteller tell her stories of writing family business histories, a warm and happy day was enjoyed by all. New friends were made and old acquaintances caught up with – all very FBA really!

Until next month.

Wendy Foster
0418 901 521