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Family Business Insights - State Conference QLD 2024

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Family Business Association proudly presents the Family Business Insights State Conference in Queensland on Wednesday, 2 October 2024.

Immerse yourself in this half-day premier event as you connect, share and grow with your Queensland family business community peers.

Throughout this unrivalled conference program you will be inspired by high calibre speakers and a keynote presentation. You’ll gain valuable insights as they take you on an exploration of topics including challenging the status quo as an entrepreneur, avoiding insolvency in family businesses, the importance of self-care as leaders and effective governance for generational success.

Family Business Excellence Awards

This year we will also be announcing and celebrating your local Family Business Excellence Awards winners over lunch before the program begins. 

Meet the speakers

Session 1: Continuing Differently: An Entrepreneur's Journey

Nick Bloor
CEO & Founder 
IVM Group

In an era where sustainability is no longer just a saying but a necessity, one entrepreneur's passion, determination and dedication to proactive management of the environment have propelled his first startup to become a multi-award-winning industry leader.

Nick Bloor dropped out of law school when he was 19 to pursue his dream of making a difference. Inspired by his love of nature, Nick developed a passion for sustainable vegetation management and soon started his own company, Technigro. His vision to change the way vegetation is managed in Australia and beyond resonated deeply with his family, prompting both his brother and father to join the business.

Nick continuously sought better ways to do things. This led to the successful growth of the business, culminating in the Bloor family selling Technigro in 2013 and transitioning its innovations into a new technology and innovation company called the IVM Group. The family business now dedicates all of its energy to disruptive innovation in the field of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM).

While passion and excitement are essential ingredients for any business idea, it’s quite another thing to actually turn a profit with it and keep it going.

Nick will share his insights on leadership, fostering a culture of innovation within the family business and navigating the challenges that come with embracing new opportunities, challenging the status quo and the necessary skills required to achieve success and persevere through tough times.

Session 2: Avoiding Insolvency in Family Businesses
Shane Williamson
Insolvency Lawyer
Sparke Helmore
Michael Dullaway
Insolvency Accountant
 Pearce & Heers

All businesses face insolvency risk, yet it is a risk more often ignored than managed. Appropriate advice is essential for clients to manage insolvency risk, as is good legal hygiene.  Making sure one’s commercial contracts afford some protection from insolvency risk is also key.  If protective measures are taken early, a client’s key business assets and family wealth can be protected if an insolvency event is looming, or even worse, if it occurs.

During this session we will hear from financial and legal insolvency experts, highlighting the red flags of financial distress to look for in your own business and those of your key customers and stakeholders. They will identify key proactive and protective measures that you can take to shield your family businesses from the impacts of insolvency.

Session 3: From Crisis to Calm: Effective Leadership and Self-Care

Barry O’Sullivan
Managing Director
Newlands Group
William Gooderson
Resilience Coach
Unconventional Leader
Michael Fingland
Founder & CEO
Vantage Performance

In every business, a crisis can be just a moment away. An unexpected or extraordinary event could turn your world upside down and threaten your family business. Family leaders need to be in control, facing the challenges of a crisis head-on, not letting those challenges control them. However, even the most effective leaders may feel emotionally and physically worn down from a crisis.

In this session, we will hear from Barry O’Sullivan, Managing Director of his family business, the Newlands Group. Barry will share the crises the business faced and how he got himself "fight ready"  to steer the business from financial crisis back to strong profitability.

Joining Barry is William Gooderson, a retired British Army Major, who served as an engineer and paratrooper within the special forces and intelligence communities, before transitioning into corporate Australia in 2012. In late 2016, William faced a mental breakdown due to ongoing challenges with PTSD and personal complications. Now a leadership and resilience coach, William will share the principles of resilience he developed from his experiences with soldiers battling PTSD and his own journey to overcome these challenges.

The session will be facilitated by Michael Fingland, founder and CEO of Vantage Performance, who specialise in business turnaround. Together, they will provide key learnings on building resilience, maintaining mental and physical readiness, and integrating self-care practices to navigate through crises effectively. Attendees will gain insights into balancing leadership demands with personal well-being to ensure long-term success and stability for their family business.

Session 4The future is looking Sharpe

Anne Sharpe
Sharpe Engineering
Ellen Bain
Sharpe Engineering
Elizabeth Sharpe
Communications and Document Manager
Sharpe Engineering
Andrew Barter
Tough Problem

Founded by Peter and Anne Sharpe in 1995, Sharpe Engineering started from humble beginnings. The business has enjoyed sustained growth and continual investment over nearly three decades and expanded from being a small workshop in regional Queensland to supporting over 120 employees across four locations around Brisbane and Roma.

As the business has grown, so has the involvement of all family members. They have been proactive in their approach to learning and the application of best practices. Over the past ten years they have implemented governance measures, improved business systems and achieved professionalisation.

Facilitated by Andrew Barter, Director of Tough Problem, we will hear from first-generation member Anne Sharpe and her daughters Ellen and Liz.  They will explain how the leadership and CEO baton was recently passed from the 1st generation to the 2nd and all things leading up to, during and post this transition.   

With the 2nd generation now in charge, we will hear how they are evolving the business - both operationally and the governance structure - to get it ready for further growth and in a good position for the eventual hand-pass to the 3rd generation.  They will also explain their thoughts and ideas on how they are managing the intersection between the Company Board, the recently re-established Family Council and educating and preparing the Next Generation. Their insights will emphasise the lessons learned along the way.

This company exemplifies the meaning of 'family business' and their strategic, long-term approach will ensure that the future is looking Sharpe.

Program Outline

Please note: Program is subject to change.

Networking Drinks
Networking drinks will round off the celebrations, so we hope you will stay for this wonderful opportunity to connect with other members.

Conference and Family Business Excellence Award Lunch Registration 


Registration includes the seated two-course lunch, afternoon tea and post-event networking drinks and canapes.

Early bird pricing ends on Wednesday 4 September.

* Prices include GST.

Located within the heart of Brisbane’s South Bank, Emporium Hotel South Bank combines award-winning style and service and the Frangipani Ballroom is an exquisitely designed, bespoke events space.

With Sincere Thanks to our Event Table Sponsors

Please contact our office on 1800 249 357 or at if you have any questions or require assistance with your registration.

For information regarding cancellation and substitutions, please click here.