Date posted: October 6, 2017

Since my last communication, Family Business Australia (FBA) held its 19th National Conference on Hamilton. This event has become a critically important part of FBA’s calendar, and is a testimony to how it is rightly valued with over 400 members in attendance.  It was also wonderful to see many children also in attendance, it really gave it that family feel.

I would like to acknowledge all of our sponsors, but make special mention of the contribution made by our Platinum partner, KPMG, the delivery of compelling content to the program was well received by those in attendance.

This was my first full conference and it was interesting to note the balance needed between family vs business content and education vs entertainment (or infotainment as it was rightly described to me) content, to ensure we are providing value and a return on investment to all of our members. Overall, I thought we had a good mix, however we can always do better and via the survey, our members have already provided us with some great feedback.

We were fortunate to have a number of family businesses on stage sharing their experiences and insights for other families in business to learn from.  I would like to thank them for sharing their experiences with us, and I know this was very well received by our delegates in attendance.

On behalf of the Chairman (Mr Mark Kagan), I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions to FBA made by Mr Steve Samson and Mr Mac Hay to the family business movement generally and to the objectives of FBA specifically. Both of these individuals were awarded the Chairman and Life Membership Awards at the gala dinner, their moving speeches nearly brought tears to everyone in the room.

I would also like to congratulate the winners of our three major awards which is to celebrate and recognise the achievements of family owned Australian businesses who contribute positively to our lives, our culture and the future of the Australian economy.

The winner of the Entrepreneurship Award was Anthony Paech from Beerenberg (SA) and this award recognises the strong entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the excellence in family business best practice.

The winner of the Next Generation Achiever Award was Arthur Raptis from Raptis Investments (Qld) and this award highlights the role played by emerging family business leaders.

The winner of the Distinguished Family Business of the Year Award was Ennio International (SA) and this award is the highest family business achievement in recognition of outstanding companies that have successfully blended family and business interests.

Next year’s conference location is Alice Springs in early September (dates will be released very soon) and this location lends itself to do something very special. A committee is currently being formed and we hope to have a program ready for release by the end of the year.

At the National Conference, I took the opportunity to launch (internally) FBA’s new Adviser Marketplace Platform ( and accreditation program in partnership with Adelaide University.

The overall response was favourable, however a number of advisers requested the opportunity for further consultation and discussion regarding how the proposed accreditation would relate to them. Listening to this feedback, a committee was formed from the lead advisers in each of the State Connect groups and in conjunction with the team from Adelaide University and the developers of the Marketplace platform, a meeting was held to review and discuss the whole model. The feedback has been tremendous and we are now planning on a national roadshow to take all advisers through the program and what we are trying to achieve.

In addition to the above, we also took the opportunity to launch our emblem campaign where we showed 3 key video’s from Carman’s Kitchen, Henning Harders and A.H. Beard. We are still in the process of finalising all the filming needed to go live with our advertising (planned for November), however this week we will start our internal promotion to encourage all of our family business members to use the Family Owned Australian Business emblem in one way, shape or form. An email informing you about the opportunity to use the emblem will be coming to you very soon.  It’s free to use, so I encourage all our family business members to fill out the licencing agreement so we can put your business on our new website and in front of many consumers seeking to buy from Family Owned Australian Businesses.

National Family Business Day

September 19th was National Family Business Day and we celebrated the day by announcing our Hall of Fame inductees on the front page of the business section of The Australian newspaper. The inductees for 2017 were:

  • White Industries (Qld)
  • King Living (NSW)
  • Actron Air (NSW)
  • Luv-A Duck (Vic)
  • kyvalley Dairy (Vic)
  • Bremerton (SA)
  • Catalano’s Seafood (WA)

The above inductees were chosen as a result of demonstrating a model of excellence and achievement based on a number of criteria and they now go into the running for our 2018 Distinguished Family Business of the Year Award.

Conversation Series

This month, FBA launched a new program called the ‘Conversation Series’.  The series offers families in business an opportunity to spend five mornings across the year, engaging in guided conversations on topics which are relevant and important to business longevity.

With our expert “conversationalist” led by Dominic Pelligana from KPMG, you will participate in rewarding yet challenging conversations over a number of topics including effective philanthropy and family business; dealing with disruption; Boards in the family business; how successful multigenerational family work and effective communication with the power of challenging conversations.

These sessions are designed to be a cross between peer to peer learning, educational and interactive, where you share your own experiences and learn from the experiences of your fellow family business leaders.

At $75 to attend for members, these are not to be missed and the team at FBA look forward to seeing you at one if not all of the upcoming conversation topics in the series.

Emerging Leaders program

FBA will soon launch a unique, world-leading, and transformational program for emerging Family Business Leaders who are committed to developing their careers within the family business, and help their business thrive.

This is a unique opportunity to challenge participants and grow their skills in leadership and strategic business planning. Family Businesses will benefit through the additional skills, experiences and tools that they will obtain by the emerging leader program to further drive the organisation, its management, the owners and ultimately the family to the next level of success. 

This 4 month program brings together talented Emerging Leaders who are committed to their own professional development as a cornerstone of furthering their career within their family business.

Stay tuned, as further information will be available very soon.

New Position at FBA

After considerable time reflecting on the needs of the business and consulting with the National Board, a new position has been created (Replacing the National Membership role) called the National Acquisition & Forum Group Manager. This role will be responsible for increasing Family Business Australia’s (FBA) membership base through the optimisation of CRM, website and affiliate channels; the stated goals will be to maximise market penetration, while developing sales funnel strategies based on marketing campaigns, existing channels and partnerships. The purpose is to also ensure that the acquisition strategy is driven through consistent targeting and messaging, to deliver a differentiated value proposition to prospects & members. A key requirement will be the ability to create and lead end-to-end Go to Market strategies.

As such, I am now pleased to inform you that that Emily Spalding has kindly accept my offer to take on this responsibility.

Emily has worked alongside FBA for many years, as part of a corporate membership and, more recently, as an individual member, she has been a forum group participant for approx. 7 years, and served on the Victorian State Committee.

FBA Strategy Development

As part of our overall strategy to increase membership, the Board has approved a proposal to engage with a 3rd party digital marketing agency to provide a complete digital marketing service as we look to accelerate our membership growth and build clever, strategy-driven digital marketing engines that connect with prospects and deliver quality leads

Our stated goal with this engagement is to:

  • Increase the number and quality of leads generated,
  • Reduce the cost of acquisition of new members, and
  • Reduce the onus on State Managers for lead generation.

Internally, our Marketing team and Acquisition Manager will champion the program as we strive to meet our growth targets.

In addition to the above, we will also be doing a full review of the FBA’s brand position to ensure our brand truly reflects the value that we offer to our members. Ultimately, we want our members to ‘Win’ as a result of their association with FBA.

Exciting times ahead!

Yours Sincerely,

Greg Griffith
Family Business Austrlia