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Family Business Insights - State Conference WA 2024

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Family Business Association proudly presents the Family Business Insights State Conference in Western Australia on Thursday, 24 October 2024.

Immerse yourself in this half-day premier event that brings together the Western Australian family business community as you connect, share and grow with your 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 stewardship of the family business across generations, avoiding insolvency in family businesses, creating an effective workplace culture and building resilience through crises.

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: The Secrets to Brewing Success Over 6 Generations

Melanie Cooper AM
Chair & Director of Corporate Affairs
Coopers Brewery

When asked what Melanie Cooper loves most about her family business, she says 'I love beer. I feel the beer industry is in my blood. We grew up opposite our brewery in Leabrook, South Australia and would spend weekends there with my father when he was checking on the brews. I love the family feel of the organisation, even though we are now much larger and more corporate than a generation ago.'

Fast forward from those days of spending weekends with her father, Melanie Cooper is now the first female Chair of the sixth-generation iconic brand and family business, Coopers Brewery.

Melanie will share her insights into becoming the first female Chair of Coopers Brewery, offering valuable perspectives on the biggest hurdles to leadership. She will also delve into the unique dynamics of running a family business, including the significant challenge of the takeover attempt, the various occasions when the company nearly didn’t survive, the family's steadfast decision to remain independent and the business' strong commitment to custodianship. Melanie will also touch on the stewardship of the business across generations.

Session 2: Avoiding Insolvency in Family Businesses
All businesses face insolvency risk, yet it is a risk more often ignored than managed. Appropriate accounting 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 panel 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 business from the impacts of insolvency.

Session 3: Managing Psychosocial Risk and Fostering Psychological Safety in Family Business

Georgia Reed
Founder, CEO & Culture Expert
Henry Reed
Brandon Arrowsmith 
Health and Safety Specialist

The terms psychosocial risk and psychological safety may be unfamiliar to many business owners, but it is vital to understand the difference between the two and how they impact performance in an organisation. In family businesses, where family dynamics intertwine with business operations, fostering psychological safety is especially crucial.

Psychological safety encourages employees to be open and honest about their thoughts, feelings and ideas. This openness leads to greater creativity, collaboration and productivity. Psychosocial hazards are defined as anything that could cause psychological harm to workers and must be eliminated/mitigated using a risk management approach. By fostering a safe environment and creating an effective workplace culture, family business owners can better manage risks and protect their workers from psychological harm.

This panel session facilitated by FBA CEO, Catherine Sayer, will explore the importance of psychological safety and managing psychosocial risk in family businesses and provide strategies to cultivate a supportive and effective workplace.

Session 4Foundations of Resilience: Construction, Crises and Control

Darren Linton 
Managing Director
Hanssen Construction
Gerry Hanssen
Executive Director 
Hanssen Construction

For more than three decades the family business Hanssen Construction has worked diligently to become specialists in the management and construction of large-scale building developments. Under the leadership and vision of Executive Director Gerry Hanssen, who has 55 years of experience in the construction industry, the business has recently transitioned to the next generation. Darren Linton, now serving as the new Managing Director of Hanssen Construction, is actively contributing to the long-term success and sustainability of the family business.

However, their success has not come without significant challenges, particularly in an industry characterised by a high-risk work environment. Navigating these challenges as a family business is difficult, and the added pressure of constant media scrutiny adds another layer of complexity.

First and second-generation members Gerry Hansen and Darren Linton will share valuable insights into their leadership strategies, aligned values for driving success and methods for maintaining control to ensure cohesion within the family and business while effectively managing crises. They will also discuss the 12 non-negotiable rules that have shaped Hanssen Construction’s unique company culture.

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 Thursday 26 September.

* Prices include GST.

Aloft Perth offers free flowing, open and bright spaces as the focal point of this design styled hotel.

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.