A Message from the CEO


“The FCA has its mojoback” was perhaps the quote of the day from one of our award winners at the MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards Gala Dinner. A memorable and vibrant National Franchise Convention closed with a positive buzz for 2016.

Attending the NFC event for the first time, I was impressed by the energy, passion and commitment to franchising.

It was invigorating to see the FCA Hall of Fame committee captivated by the Next Gen initiative, offering to mentor the finalists. It is this type of contribution that shows real leadership and commitment to the franchising sector. We would like to wish David Lindsay from Salts of the Earth, the winner of the Australian NextGen in Franchising competition as well as the two finalists, Bao Hoang from Rolld and Nik Leigh of Real Property Photography all the best when they compete against other international finalists at the IFA Convention in the United States in February 2017.

The FCA continues to be at the forefront and lead the legislative, regulatory and public policy debate impacting the franchise sector in Australia. During the Convention in Canberra, a delegation of FCA members took the opportunity to meet with key political leaders; Minister for Small Business, Minister for Employment and Education, The Treasurer, The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. This type of engagement has proven to be crucial, helping to build an understanding of franchising and forging new relationships with the Turnbull Government. The meetings have been the catalyst for a stronger alliance with the Government and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

As we work through some of the challenges the sector is facing with the Government, we will keep members informed of the valuable work the FCA and the FCA Legal Committee are doing to ensure franchising is well understood by policy makers and continues to be a vital part of the economy.

Our incredibly successful National Franchise Convention 2016 (NFC16)

The National Franchise Convention, held from the 9-11 October in Canberra, proved to be a powerful collaboration of like-minded peers coming together to discuss best practice and elaborate on the theme of the year, Innovation meets Opportunity.

As outlined in my address, last year’s convention was an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the successes of 2016, to come together as a community, to share stories and insights that fuel the creative spirit and to build relationships that in the longer term help us all to grow.

Growth as a concept underpinned the conference theme of ‘Innovation’ which is quickly becoming a vital part of every business. Our challenge now is to harness the energy released by innovation, look for ways in which we can disrupt ourselves and move forward, keeping pace with change and where possible leading it – and as we reminded our politicians, franchising is where innovation delivers real economic value.

The Hon Michael McCormack clearly understands that message. We were thankful that the Minister for Small Business could open the NFC – he is clearly an advocate for the small business community. We were also very lucky to have Natalie James, the Fair Work Ombudsman who took the time to speak at our convention highlighting the issues of joint employer liability and providing the necessary steps to push best practice into the franchise sector.

We will continue working closely with the regulators of the sector – to provide transparency and to position us at the forefront of small business discussions, so we can participate, advocate and lead on the issues that matter to the franchising community.

We were honoured that the following innovation and business leaders were keynote speakers at our convention – Peta Credlin, SKY News Contributor, Alex Malley, CEO of CPA Australia and author of The Naked CEO, Dr Sam Prince, Founder of Zambrero and Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, among many others. These incredible industry leaders and game-changers not only inspired the delegation to achieve more, but also reminded us how vital it is to give back to the community. It was a pleasure to hear them speak at our convention.

Aside from the inspiring keynotes, delegates also had the opportunity to network at an array of events, participate in concurrent sessions focused on topical issues, engage in the round table discussions and hear from our Franchise Hall of Fame and leaders of the best franchising systems in Australia.

Congratulations to the MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Award Winners

We extend our warm congratulations again to all the winners and finalists of last year’s MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards, which were presented at the Gala Dinner to conclude the convention. These awards honour the best and brightest franchise systems and individuals for  their incredible commitment to excellence in franchising. It was truly inspiring to see the hard work and dedication these winners put into their businesses.

The winner of the prestigious Australian Established Franchise of the Year Award was Poolwerx, with Franchisor and Founder John O’Brien accepting the award with a heartfelt speech. We are also delighted to announce that Natalie Brennan is 2016’s Franchise Woman of the Year. Natalie started her career in the franchise sector at almost 15 years old, and now some three decades later she’s still passionate about franchising and paving the way for other women in this sector.

Finally, I would also like to welcome our newest Hall of Fame Inductee, Murray d’Almeida, Chairman of BPS Technology and founder of Retail Food Group. Murray’s commitment, dedication and contribution to the franchising sector is unparalleled and we are proud to have him in our Franchising Hall of Fame.

To all our entrants, finalists and winners, you are all to be commended for your exceptional efforts and we wish you all the very best for your future successes. For those that wish to enter the MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards for 2017, please check our website for state date openings.

Finally, as we say goodbye to 2016 our thoughts turn to our family and friends, holidays and festive times. On that note, on behalf of the FCA Board and team, we hope your holiday season was filled with joy and celebration, as we look at 2017 with energy, hope and anticipation of what innovation may bring. We are deeply grateful for all the support we have received from the franchising industry which has made our progress possible.


Damian Paull | Chief Executive Officer
Franchise Council of Australia