Organised by industry body Family Business Australia (FBA), the national day is designed to acknowledge the contribution that family-owned and operated businesses make to the Australian economy.
According to the FBA, the average family business has a turnover of around $12 million and employs 37 people. When combined, that equates to roughly half of Australia’s jobs, and a combined value of an estimated $4.3 trillion.
The association also maintains a Hall of Fame to give special recognition to family business leaders who make an outstanding contribution to the wider business community and the country at large.
In 2018, Life Membership Awards have been given to Andy Kennard of Kennards Hire (pictured, sitting in the truck with his family around him) and Alister Haigh of Haighs Chocolates, while the Family Business of the Year Award was given to Kyvalley Dairy, which has been owned and operated by the Mulcahy family in Victoria for more than 160 years.
Mr Kennard’s son Angus, who now heads up Kennards Hire, has previously spoken on the My Business Podcast about some of the strategies his family have used over the years to help the business grow from a small regional hardware store to an iconic national business.
“There are plenty of great family businesses that have fallen apart not because of the business family apart, but because the family has fallen apart,” Mr Kennard said.
In announcing the honours, FBA’s Greg Griffith said that family businesses form a crucial part of the nation’s economy and community.
“Most family businesses are Australian-owned and provide critical investment, workplaces and employment for our cities and towns. A healthy family business sector equals a healthy economy,” he said.
“When you spend money on a family-owned Australian business, it remains in our communities.”