Entrepreneurs

Today is National Family Business Day: Meet the seven family businesses being inducted into the industry Hall of Fame

Eloise Keating /

Family Business White Industries

The family behind Queensland's White Industries: Samantha White, Neil White, Yvonne White, Bob White, Bruce White, Nicholas White and Craig White. Source: Supplied

Akubra Hats, Haigh’s Chocolates, Freedom Pools & Spas; Australia has a proud history of nurturing family businesses.

Those businesses are in the spotlight today as National Family Business Day is celebrated across the nation.

Organised by Family Business Australia, the day is designed to recognise the family businesses that employ approximately half of Australia’s workforce.

The occasion will also be used to induct seven family businesses across the country into the Family Business Australia Hall of Fame, joining the likes of well-known Australian brands Scenic World, Coopers Brewery and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.

New South Wales businesses ActronAir and King Living will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, as will Queensland’s White Industries and South Australia’s Bremerton Wines.

From Victoria, Kyvalley Dairy Group and Luv-a-Duck will receive the official honour, while Western Australia’s Catalano’s Seaford will also be recognised.

One of the inductees will now go into the running for to be named Family Business Australia’s Distinguished Family Business of the Year next year.

This year, that honour goes to South Australian meat and smallgoods packaging specialist Ennio International.

Greg Griffith, chief executive of Family Business Australia, describes National Family Business Day as a day to celebrate “unsung heroes” and those businesses that are generating and keep wealth in their local communities by creating local jobs.

Family Business Australia estimates that approximately 70% of Australian businesses are family-owned and the sector overall is worth an estimated $4.3 trillion.

According to the industry body, the average Australian family businesses turns over $12 million a year and employs 37 people.

The national day has been celebrated since 2012 and Griffith tells SmartCompany many Family Business Australia member businesses will be celebrating with staff parties and other events today.

Each state will also be holding award ceremonies for the Hall of Fame inductees, who are nominated by the state-based committees of Family Business Australia each year.

While there are a number of criteria businesses must meet to be nominated, Griffith says the goal is to recognise those family businesses that are making significant contributions to the Australian economy and their local communities.

“Some people think a family business is like the corner shop milk bar, and while they family businesses, Family Business Australia represents businesses of all shapes and sizes, from the very large to the small,” Griffith says.

Catalano's Seafood Family Business

The Catalano family, owners of Catalano’s Seafood. Source: Supplied

The 2017 Family Business of Australia Hall of Fame Inductees:

New South Wales

Actron Air: an air conditioning specialist founded established in 1984.

King Living: a furniture manufacturer and retailer, established in 1977.

Victoria

Kyvalley Dairy Group: a dairy producer that has been operating for 160 years

Luv-a-Duc: an agribusiness that specialises in duck products, operating for 45 years.

Queensland

White Industries: a manufacturing business specialising in components for vehicles and farming equipment, established in 1960. 

South Australia

Bremerton Wines: a winemaker and exporter, established in 1988. 

Western Australia

Catalano’s Seafood: a seafood supply business founded in 1969.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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