Date posted: June 17, 2016

South Australia held its state conference on Friday May 27, despite the blustery weather we had over 60 participants highlights included:

Darryl Gobbett, Baillieu Holst, who set the scene through his frank assessment of the economy and the financial outlook, highlighting that growth would be very slow and that for survival and success businesses should rely on their own initiatives rather than those of the government. As Darryl also highlighted, opportunities will be forthcoming in response to changing demographics…particularly opportunities in health care, home support and for time poor families.

Judy Choate, KPMG, gave a clear overview of financing options for the future including legal implications of ‘gifting’ ownership, setting up trusts and taking up either bank or stakeholder loans.

 Dan Marks, Fisher Jeffries, identified the need for a strategic approach, sound governance and ongoing risk assessment as contributors to maximising the value of the family business.

 Debbie Sterrey, Statewide Super, canvassed the proposed changes for superannuation funds and the value in choosing your fund wisely as both an employer and an individual.

 A Panel including Andrea Michaels (NDA Law), Paul Crawford (CMV Group), and Chris Wootton (Philanthropy Australia), facilitated by Bevan Roberts (Dale Wood), explored opportunities for family businesses to explore options for philanthropic activities either within charitable trusts, ancillary funds or private foundations. The overriding joy, for both owners and employees, of being able to share some of the family businesses profits for targeted causes was discussed.

 The final presentation was by Jana Matthews (Unisa) who shared her experience on the role of entrepreneurial education for leaders in pursuit of their organisation’s growth.


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This month I met with Andrea (Andy) Meade Program Coordinator,Australian eChallenge / ThincLab, to discuss eChallenge Next Gen. The Australian eChallenge NextGen is designed to assist family businesses to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of leaders.  It is a fully supported educational program that encourages participants to turn entrepreneurial and innovative ideas into reality through workshops and tailored mentoring sessions from industry professionals.  Tangible outcomes of the program may include the development of new ventures, products, services or processes that create innovative ways to engage with existing, emerging and new markets for your business.

What You Have To Do:

  1. Have an idea for your business that you would like to get off the ground
  2. Come to the Information Session on Wednesday 27 July at 5.30pm at the University

The Australian eChallenge NextGen is FREE and offers the winning team a $10,000 cash prize! 

To RSVP for the Information Session please email your name, title, business and contact number to Program Coordinator Ms Andy Meade at



A word from sponsor Dan Marks – Fisher Jeffries

A continued focus to maximise your company’s value should be a constant driver in your business. Small changes can be made over a period of time which can have a huge impact. At the Family Business SA state conference I talked to some of the key levers that you could pull to create sustainable value.  We discussed legal, operational, financial and strategic across a broad range of areas including corporate governance, financial management, people and culture and risk management.  Changing what may have been in place for a number of years is not always easy. It takes courage to sometimes take a leap of faith that your heart says no to, but to which your head knows is the right decision.

One of the key areas of discussion at the conference was the makeup of the board and at what stage independent non-executives are invited to participate as directors. As an adjunct to this we discussed a hybrid approach – forming an advisory board with independent advisory board members who have specific skill sets, which may be specific to a key role you want the advisory board to play e.g. plan an exit strategy, or aligned to the industry in which you operate. Whether you decide to bring a level of independence to the board or form an advisory board the key consideration for each is to ensure that the members of those boards work well with each other and constantly adding value.


Another opportunity is The Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) is a fully private sector funded organisation offering grants to South Australian MD/CEO level business leaders and potential MD/CEO leaders to improve their personal leadership skills. It aims to generate increased employment, wealth creation and more and stronger head offices in South Australia. Since offering its first two grants in 2010, the fund has awarded 89 grants worth over $1m to 86 individuals. Twenty five leaders have chosen to study at Melbourne Business School, twenty have chosen Harvard and others have chosen Stanford, Cranfield, INSEAD, Wharton, University of Adelaide, UniSA, AICD, Shinka Management amongst other world leading institutions.

Applications close each year on 31 May, and successful applicants must complete a rigorous yet relatively simple three stage application process and learn if they have been successful by mid-August, at which point they can begin to enrol in their chosen course.

On accepting an award the applicants become ILF Scholars. The ILF Scholars Network is highly active having, in the last twelve months, held three half day training days on 1. Media with Ron Kandelaars, 2. Powerful Messages with Kelly Nestor,  and 3. Seven Secrets for Scaling Growth with Professor Janna Matthews; three cocktail functions which featured keynote speakers Paul Crawford (CMV Group), Andrew Downs (Sage Automation) and Kevin Scarce (Nuclear Royal Commission), and a BMW drive day.

 A new initiative, an executive round table will commence in August 2016. The Network is highly valued by members because of the calibre of their fellow members who must have demonstrated leadership abilities or potential on a similar basis as a Rhodes Scholar, must have been successful in business in SA and will have attended one of the world’s leading business schools.

FBA members who are also scholars of the ILF include Victoria Angove (Angoves Family Winemakers), Andrea Mead (Heatlie Engineering), Jeremy Hawkes (Bowhill Engineering), Jon Seeley (Seeley Engineering), Tom Clifford (Detmold Group), Shane Kelly (Kelly Engineering), Eddie Lane (Coldlogic Industrial Refrigeration), Richard Sims (Robern Menz), Steve Todd (Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards), Corrina Wright (Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards) and Alf Ianniello (Detmold Group).

Would like to join this group of high powered highly successful business leaders and watch your business achieve growth and success faster than you might have imagined possible? If you would like to know more  about the ILF or know someone who you think could benefit from leadership studies please contact Geoff Vogt on 83940016 or The ILF has fairly strict eligibility criteria for applicants and it is best to clarify these personally with Geoff before applying. The website, has plenty more about the ILF as well.     

Our next event coming up is an exclusive event to be held at Australian Fashion Labels, Tuesday 19th July at their new head quarters in North Terrace book early it will be a popular event. Click here for more information.


Yvonne McClaren
SA State Conference