Family Business National Conference

Family Business Australia

2018 National Conference – Alice Springs



After many months of planning, phone calls and meetings, it was wonderful to meet the team behind the 2018 Family Business Australia National Conference, held right here in Alice Springs this year! I attended all 4 days, capturing all the day and evening events in including the key note speakers and audience reactions, sessions, interactive presentations, networking images during break times, entertainment and social images during the evening events.


Alice Springs as a conference location has so many spectacular venues and amazing scenery to offer. It was fantastic to see FBA packing in as many of these great venues and experiences as possible. Below is a snapshot from each day.




Welcome function at Simpsons Gap, in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park.


Special performances by Drum Atweme and Gareth Dawkins kicked off the start of the conference, with delegates saying the venue was one of the best they had seen! Simpsons Gap really does wow with it’s spectacular red rock walls and peaceful ambience.






Day two saw a fantastic layout of events starting with B2B Speed Networking in the morning at the Alice Springs Convention Centre. After a morning of networking over breakfast, the Family Business Masterclass began, followed by a choice for delegates of two events – a masterclass at outback venue Ooraminna Station Homestead, or a Longest Lunch at the Alice Springs Turf Club.


I attended both events, starting with the Longest Lunch and concluding with sunset over the beautiful scenery at Ooraminna Homestead, where delegates stayed for a dinner under the stars.







Day three started off with a special cultural experience with local aboriginal dancers and a smoking ceremony, before delegates headed indoors for the official conference opening, followed by keynote sessions with talks from Craig Kimberley of The Just Group, David Fox of The Linfox Group, Stephen Keir and Nikki McLeod of Akubra. Delegates also attended several lightning sessions during the day before breaking for the awards night, held at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station. FBA’s award program celebrates and recognises the achievements of family owned Australian businesses, and the special individuals who contribute positively to our community, economy and culture.







Day four – the final day of a huge event! The final day began with the Women in Family Business Breakfast, with facilitator Melanie Cooper speaking with an inspiring panel of successful business women, including Nikki McLeod of Akubra, Marilynne Paspaley of Paspaley Pearls and Janelle Gerry of Macadamias Australia. Keynote speakers today included Marilynne Paspaley, Jack Cowin of Competitive Foods Australia and Carolyn Creswell of Carman’s.


The final night’s event was held at the spectacular Old Quarry, the perfect relaxed outback venue to finish the conference week. Entertainment began with  local artist and musician Tommy Crow, followed by a fun performance of deconstructed dessert prepared and served on the ‘dessert truck’!



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