Associations To Business

Business sector coming of age in Canberra

B2B Editor24 May 2017

Business sector coming of age in Canberra

The ACT celebrated its centenary just a few short years ago – we are now a young and vibrant 104!

While we honoured our city’s longevity with a year of events, it is also worth recognising the staying power of many of our local businesses.

It is estimated that one in three new small businesses in Australia fail in their first year of operation, two out of four by the end of the second year, and three out of four by the fifth year.

With these sort of statistics, it can be difficult to believe businesses can reach milestones like 10 years of operation, yet alone 20, 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years.

A number of Canberra businesses turn 50 this year, meaning they have been part of the fabric of the ACT for nearly half its life.

One such business is WR Engineering, who marks its 50th year in business in the ACT in 2017. For half a century, WR has been helping Canberrans with their fencing and garage door needs.

WR enjoys a well-deserved reputation for serving every customer with utmost professionalism and integrity. During its 50 years of operation, this local, family owned business has generously supported the Canberra community, charities and sporting teams.

In March, Canberra’s Bean!Roasters was recognised as the best coffee roaster in Australia for the second time running. At the 2017 Australian International Coffee Awards (ACIA), Bean!Roasters took out the title of Champion Australia Roaster.

Three generations of the Sciannimanica family have been producing great coffee in Canberra since 1963.

Today the family’s coffee centre in Fyshwick is a multi-purpose coffee house, warehouse and coffee education centre in Fyshwick, which attracts visitors and clients from afar.

The Snowy Hydro Scheme, which played an important role in Canberra’s development, is back on the public’s radar due to Federal Government plans for a major expansion.

Global engineering firm, SMEC, dates its origins back to the early days of the Scheme in 1949. SMEC has joined forces with Surbana Jurong and today has 110 offices in 40 countries throughout Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be invited to help GHD celebrate its 40 years in Canberra. GHD is one of the world’s leading professional services companies operating in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation. It provides engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services to private and public sector clients.

GHD has over 200 offices across five continents – Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America – and the Pacific Region.

It is not only commercial businesses demonstrating their permanence in the ACT. Not-for-profit organisations have a long and proud history of helping our community.

Marymead hit the big 50 in 2017. Since 1967, Marymead has been delivering a range of high quality, family support services to children, young people and their families. Its programs and services include child and family counselling, early intervention programs, foster care, post separation support, parent education groups, and family and mental health support programs. Marymead also offers person-centred support services for people with disability and their families.

St Marks National Theological Centre has turned 60. St Mark’s strives to provide a program of high quality university-based theological education, postgraduate studies and research to people throughout Australia and overseas.

Other businesses getting on up there in years, include Carways (47 years), Broadlex Services (43 years), and ACT Steelworks (40 years).

These are just a few of the local organisations who have been with us for decades, and I want to congratulate all the businesses who are proving that sustainability is possible.

I would also like to encourage all businesses, no matter where they are up to in their lifespan, to take a moment to celebrate their achievements, such as a year of operation, and think about how far they have come and where they still want to go.

Robyn Hendry, CEO
Canberra Business Chamber

Enjoy an evening of food and drinks while expanding your connections and learning how Servcorp can help your business.

Date: 29 June 2017
Time: 6pm to 8pm
Location: Nishi Building
To learn more or register, visit

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