Australia’s oldest family-run business Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group along with MG Kailis Group and footwear retailer Betts Group have been made the inaugural inductees into Family Business Australia’s WA Hall of Fame.
The iconic WA-based businesses were admitted to the FBA’s local chapter of the Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night to recognise the family-run companies for educating the public on the long term value of family businesses.
Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group, Kailis and Betts were among 10 contenders judged by a peer committee based on their ability to transition the business between generations, generate successful activity in markets
beyond WA and brand establishment.
Lionel Samson Group started in Fremantle in 1829 when founder Lionel Samson opened a general store and liquor business using the first
liquor license in WA.
Today the group encompasses Plantagenet Wines in Mt Barker, road and rail transport company Sadleirs Logistics and international
beer and wine wholesalers Lionel Samson & Sons.
Marine corporation MG Kailis was rated for its pioneering in the fields of seafood, marine services including ship repair and maintenance
and jewellery with the creation of Kailis Pearls.
The company was built from the ground up by founders Michael Kailis and Dr Patricia Kailis by catching and trading rock lobsters in
Dongara in 1962.
Betts, which started in Fremantle in 1982 as a shoe repair store, has grown into a fashion retailer with 195 stores around Australia across its four brands Betts, Betts Kids, Zu and Airflex and has offices in WA South Australia, Victoria and China.
FBA WA chairman Andrew Mostyn said that what made these businesses stand out from the rest was their ability to attract and maintain
loyalty throughout their history.
“This loyalty comes from family values that have lasted through the generation,” Mr Mostyn said.
“With family businesses accounting for around 70 per cent of all Australian businesses and employing 50 per cent of the workforce it is
important that we acknowledge and nurture this vital contribution to the national economy.”