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Today is National Family Business Day 2019 - celebrating the heartbeat of Australian business

19 September 2019: Today is National Family Business Day, which celebrates the ‘heartbeat’ of Aussie business, and is organised by Australia’s peak body for family businesses, Family Business Australia (FBA).

Greg Griffith, CEO of FBA, says National Family Business Day recognises the contribution family business makes to the Australian economy and culture. “Family Business Day acknowledges family businesses as the heartbeat of Australian commerce, employing 50 per cent of the Australian workforce.

“Most family businesses are Australian-owned, providing considerable investment and employment opportunities.

“When you spend money on a family owned Australian business it remains in our communities”, Mr Griffith said.

As part of National Family Business Day, FBA announced winners of its annual Family Business National Awards, and new inductees to the FBA Family Business Hall of Fame, at its Family Business Conference in Melbourne today.

The most prestigious category, the Distinguished Family Business of the Year Award, was presented to Seeley International, Australia’s largest air-conditioning manufacturer.

Seeley International was started by Frank Seeley in the early 1970s, after he grew tired of selling portable evaporative coolers and decided to manufacture cooling units himself.

Seeley International employs more than 500 people, has manufacturing operations at Lonsdale, South Australia and Albury, New South Wales, sales offices in each mainland state, as well as in the USA and throughout western Europe, and exports to more than 120 countries (source: Seeley International website www.seeleyinternational.com).

The FBA’s Next Generation Achiever Award was given to Amie Lyone, an executive with Complete Office Supplies (COS), which is Australia’s largest privately owned office products distributor.

FBA Chairman’s Award recipients included John McLean at Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Angela Mary Ciliberto at C-Direct, Bill Noye at KPMG, and Graham Henderson at Mitchell Group Australia.

FBA’s Life Membership was awarded to Dr. Jill Thomas, in recognition of over 20 years’ outstanding service to Family Business Australia. Dr Thomas undertook the first PhD in the area of family business in Australia, focusing on family business leadership. She has given presentations internationally, and published research papers and chapters in text books about family business leadership, governance, communication, internationalisation and human resources.

The Accredited Advisor Award was given to John Broons of Perth based Family Business consultancy John Broons Advisory https://www.johnbroons.com/

2019 FBA Hall of Fame inductees include:

Bowhill’s Engineering, specialist fabricated steel manufacturers: www.boweng.com.au

Colorific Australia, toy manufacturer: https://colorific.com.au/

Ella Baché, skincare and cosmetics: https://www.ellabache.com.au/

Linneys Jewellery, Perth’s largest jewellery store: https://www.linneys.com.au/

Matthews Australasia, providing intelligent product identification and information driven manufacturing: https://www.matthews.com.au/

Matthews Real Estate, a Brisbane-based agency: https://www.matthewsrealestate.com.au/

Normark Landscapes, a Melbourne-based landscaping firm: https://normark.com.au/

Trendpac, manufacturing personal, household and industrial products since 1963: https://www.trendpac.com.au/

Key Australian family business sector facts:

·       Family businesses account for approximately 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia – estimated at half a million businesses

·       Approximately 50 per cent of the Australian workforce is employed in family businesses

·       Australian family business sector is worth approximately $4.3 trillion

·       The average family business has a turnover of $12 million, and employs 37 people

·       The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer found family businesses are more trusted than business in general: 75% trust Family Business in Australia vs 52% trust in general businesses

About Family Business Australia:

Family Business Australia is the peak body for family businesses in Australia. Its purpose is to contribute to the long-term success of family business by providing resources and channels to promote success, sustainability and longevity.

We provide access to specialist family, business and technical services and generate opportunities for families in business to learn and grow by networking and sharing with their peers.

Visit www.familybusiness.org.au