FamilyVoice Australia wishes to acknowledge Seeley International as the principal sponsor of the Not Ashamed 2017 National Tour.
Founded in 1972 by Frank Seeley (a FamilyVoice Advisory Board member) the firm is Australia’s largest maker of airconditioners. For more information visit the Seeley International website.
Seeley International retains strong Christian family values, as FamilyVoice South Australia Director David d’Lima learned when he visited Frank Seeley at his Lonsdale plant recently:
d’Lima: How did Australia’s largest airconditioning company grow out of the Seeley family backyard?
Seeley: Out of great adversity! After one of my brothers died suddenly, my wife Kathy and I decided to provide for his widow and six youngsters, in addition to our four children. Out of great need we developed the prototype cooler in our backyard. Then in 1975 the factory was hit by fire twice in five weeks – probably it was arson. But again the family had a vital role, as my eldest brother gave me wise counsel, and production was restored within a week.
d’Lima: How about the involvement of your wife Kathy?
Seeley: Our strong marriage is the basis of the company’s success. When I was away and the children asked, “Where’s Daddy?” Kathy would encourage respect for me as the family provider. She has been right behind our ventures, with all the risks, and is still on our board of directors.
d’Lima: Your adult children are also involved?
Seeley: Our kids grew up working in the business during holidays, and today our daughter is my assistant. One of our sons handles help inquiries, and another is on the board.
d’Lima: How does your Christian faith influence the company?
Seeley: Without the hand of God there would be no business, and we are only his stewards.
d’Lima: So does the wider Christian community encourage family business?
Seeley: Pockets of believers have a strong commitment to the family – as the unit that can make a business thrive. Elsewhere the idea is simply to work for the government! There is also a lack of understanding that God can be served in business.
d’Lima: Do you see non-Christian values as a threat to family business?
Seeley: Anything that erodes the family will undermine business. Some non-Christian families from overseas are damaging family values in countries such as Australia that have extended a welcome.
d’Lima: Finally, what advice would you give a family starting its own business?
Seeley: Involve the family as far as possible. Much wisdom for the business has come from our family – even from the lips of children.