Top 15 Famous Companies in Canberra
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The capital city of Australia, Canberra, was explicitly founded to be the seat of government for the new nation and is the largest inland city in Australia.
Located in the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), it has been consistently ranked as one of the best/ healthiest cities since 2014. (Sources: CanberraWeekly, BBC)
Being the capital city of the country, public sector companies are the major employers in the city.
Just under a 3rd of Canberrans are employed in the public sector or government departments like treasury etc. (Source: Wikipedia)
Interestingly, Canberra is one of the rarest Australian cities that is planned.
The city accommodates many federal government institutions, like national monuments and museums, government houses, the High Court, and multiple government agencies.
But that does not mean it is a rather dull city full of official government offices.
On the contrary, Canberra’s economy is diverse and spread into multiple sectors like defense, space, cyber security, agri-technology, renewable energy, innovation, education, and tourism. (Source: City’s Official Site)
This diversity in the city’s economic profile has brought favorable gains for its residents.
For example, It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (2.9% in 2020). (Source: Wikipedia)
Canberrans have one of the highest gross weekly averages ($1827) compared to the rest of the country ($1658). (Source: Australian Govt Website)
Public administration and safety are Canberra’s leading industries.
Likewise, the services sector is one of the major players in the city’s employment and economic activities. Tourism, accommodation, retail, and food are the major employers in the services sector.
In the non-service sector, the construction industry is the largest employer – an employment ratio of just above 5%. (Source: Wikipedia)
In recent years, a sizeable number of Canberrans are also working in the science and technology sector.
We’ll surely see the reflection of these facts in our list below.
So, let’s dive into our list of the top companies in Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
You can also check out our lists of famous companies in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.
CEO: Gregory J. Hayes
Year of Establishment: 1999
Market Cap: $148.35 Billion
Industry: Defence Systems
Leading the list of top famous companies in Canberra and the ACT is Raytheon Australia.
Raytheon is a defence systems production company and a leading partner of the Australian Defence Forces.
Raytheon manufactures Air Defence systems, Integrated Air and Missile Defence systems, and systems and services required for testing and training the forces.
The company was established in 1999 and has become integral to the Australian defence system manufacturing architecture.
It is no surprise that the company has the largest market cap in the city. The gross size of the market cap is reflective of the company’s manufacturing capability and the volume of production.
Raytheon is a manufacturer of sophisticated military systems, with more than 700 engineers and technicians present on its employed strength.
These professionals are among the cream of the lot who have successfully delivered Battlespace Systems, Mission Systems, Above Water Systems, Under Water Systems and Weapons.
Per the company stats, their experts have clocked in more than 10 million hours of combat system design, development, integration and testing.
Acknowledging its exceptional performance, the company was ranked 4th in Australian Defence Magazine’s “Top 40 Defence Contractors”.
Expanding its manufacturing capability and market share, Raytheon has carried out many significant acquisitions since 1999 up till 2010, which included aerospace and naval defence systems production companies, among others.
(Source: Official Website, Wikipedia)
CEO: Jack Percy
Year of Establishment: 2000
Market Cap: $175 billion
Industry: IT Management Consulting
Accenture is an Irish-American professional services company.
While the company is more than two decades old, it has become a Fortune Global 500 company. (Source: CNN)
In its wild-fire-like growth, the company has become a leading global company serving in digital, cloud and security.
But the company’s success does not end with becoming a Fortune Global 500 company. Its clientele is full of other Fortune Global 500 companies. Accenture serves 91 such companies.
And to top it off, Accenture is considered the largest consulting firm in the world by the number of employees – an organization of more than 674,000 employees. (Sources: Fortune, Accenture)
Accenture offers its services in more than 120 countries.
Now focusing on its presence in Australia, the company has more than 5000 people employed in the country.
It provides management and consulting services, including change risk, customer relationship, financial performance, supply chain, HR, talent, enterprise, workforce performance management, strategy consulting, and marketing science services.
CEO: Adam Powick
Year of Establishment: 1845
Market Cap: $124.1 Billion
Industry: Audit, Financial Advisory
The story of Deloitte starts in the UK with the pioneer auditor of a public company opening his office.
This auditor’s name was William Welch Deloitte and his company’s first office was opened in 1845 in London, UK.
Great Western Railway was the public company to have him as its first auditor.
And now, after close to two hundred years of its existence, Deloitte has become the largest professional services network by revenue and the number of professionals worldwide. (Source: Telegraph)
It started its operation in the USA in 1880, almost 40 years after it was founded in the UK. (Official Website)
The recent history of Deloitte is a story of multiple mergers between auditing firms based in the UK and the USA.
A couple of these major mergers include
- 1972 – with USA-based Haskin & Sells to form Deloitte Haskin & Sells
- 1989 – with USA-based Touche Ross to form Deloitte & Touche
The firm changed its name again in 1989 to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, before finally settling with its present name ‘Deloitte’ in 1993. (Source: Wikipedia)
The services provided by the company include audit, consulting, financial advisory, tax, and legal services. To provide these services, the company has an employee strength of more than 415,000.
CEO: Nick Pesch
Year of Establishment: 1960
Market Cap: $11.11 Billion
Industry: Employment & Consultancy
As we mentioned in the intro of this blog, Canberra has one of the best employment figures in the country.
One of the contributing factors to such efficient employment management in Canberra and the ACT is the presence of leading recruitment firms like Randstad.
Randstad is one of the global leaders in the HR services industry.
The company was initially founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The name Randstad comes from a region in the country.
Besides Australia, Randstad is present globally in Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania and South America. (Source: Wikipedia)
The success of Randstad on a global scale has been achieved by the provision of all
HR-related services like staffing, in-house services, professionals, outsourcing solutions, outplacement and redeployment, and HR tech solutions.
Randstad is thus a one-stop solution for all HR-related needs of big firms.
It provides big employers with deep insights into HR management, owing to its vast employee and employer database.
The company regularly publishes annual ‘workforce insight reports’ to keep the companies abreast of the latest employee sentiments and recruitment practices.
Being huge on HR tech, Randstad has multiple tools to provide temporary and permanent staffing solutions covering the complete process of recruitment from start to finish.
(Source: Official Website)
CEO: Mike Salvino
Year of Establishment: 1970
Market Cap: $6.09 billion
Industry: IT Services
Another Fortune 500 company to make it to the list of famous companies in Canberra is DXC Technology.
DXC Technology is an American Multinational IT services and consulting company. While the company’s Australian head office is located in Macquarie Park, New South Wales, it is one of the biggest companies in Canberra city.
DXC Technology was born out of HP (Hewlett Packard) USA.
In 2017, HP separated its Enterprise Services business and merged it with another California-based multinational corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).
At the time of its merger, HP’s Enterprise Services business had a footprint in more than 70 countries and employed 170,000 people.
This global reach helped the merger reach even new heights by connecting the networks of both merged companies.
Spread out in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, the company’s global network allows it to serve customers across the globe with fast-paced IT solutions backed by fast delivery and support systems.
DXC Technology’s business model is a prime example of understanding how the wide-scale presence of a multinational can be its business superpower.
For example, DXC Technology’s global presence benefits the company by lowering costs (regulatory and supply chain issues, etc.) and offering unique and customized solutions based on peculiar local requirements (language support, etc.).
(Sources: DXCTechnology, Wikipedia)
CEO: John Knox
Year of Establishment: 2000
Market Cap: $5.43 billion
Industry: Utility Services
ActewAGL is an Australian joint venture company that provides utility services to the ACT and NSW.
The company was formed by merging Australian Gas Light Company (AGL Energy) and Icon Water (previously known as ACETW Corporation) in 2000.
Later, the venture evolved its partnerships to arrange its retail and distribution networks.
The company’s retail network is owned equally by AGL Energy and Icon Water.
The distribution partnership is equally shared between Icon Water and Jemena Ltd through its subsidiary.
More than 100 years have passed since ActewAGL and its subsidiaries began serving Canberra and the ACT region.
These deep roots of the company in serving the area have resulted in some very innovative and environmentally friendly projects with the help of its customers.
The most amazing of these projects is the launch of the publicly-available Hydrogen Refuelling Station (HRS).
This project will make Canberra the first Australian city to have such a station.
Another such mega project is the launch of the world-first electric-vehicle (EV) Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) trial.
The project is a whole industry cooperation project which will help perfect the V2G technology, allowing the discharge of EV batteries back to the electric grid.
(Sources: Official Website, Wikipedia)
CEO: Alistair Cox
Year of Establishment: 1976
Market Cap: $2.3 billion
One of the world’s largest recruiters, Hays plc, is crucial in contributing to Canberra’s high employment rates.
Hays is a British-origin multinational recruitment and HR services company present in more than 33 countries.
Hays roots back hundreds of years to 1651 when Mr. Alexander Hay bought a brewhouse on the southern bank of the River Thames.
In 1856 the brewhouse was converted into a wharf.
FYI: A wharf is a landing dock on a river or shore that allows ships to dock and get serviced.
This service dock was named Hays Wharf.
Although the Wharf’s building still stands, it was converted into ‘Hays Galleria’ comprising a restaurant and shopping area.
Kuwaiti Investment Authority acquired Hays in 1980 as a riverside investment.
It was in 2003 that Hays rebranded itself as a specialist recruitment business following a strategic review.
The company currently operates in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific regions.
- The services offered by the company include
- Temporary and permanent recruitment
- Executive search and selection
- Outsourced permanent recruitment
- Volume hiring and many other HR solutions
Calvary Health Care
CEO: Martin Bowles
Year of Establishment: 1885
Revenue: $1.3 billion
Calvary Health Care, also known as the Little Company of Mary Health Care, is a charitable, not-for-profit Catholic healthcare organisation founded by the sisters of the Little Company of Mary in 1885.
The story of Calvary Health Care is fascinating, filled with selfless devotion to humanity and compassion for the vulnerable people of society.
The healthcare company was founded by six courageous Sisters who founded the Little Company of Mary in Nottingham, England, in 1877.
The establishment’s founder, which was started in a stocking factory, was a 29 years old Mary Potter.
On 4 November 1885, she dispatched a team of six founding Sisters to Australia in response to a request from Cardinal Moran. They sailed on the SS Liguria to reach the Australian shores in Sydney.
They established a little nursery to care for the sick, the poor, and the dying on the very next day of their arrival.
They established their nursing practice as far afield as Gunnedah and Armidale within a few years of arriving.
And three years after their aerial, they had laid the foundation stone for the Little Company of Mary’s first hospital, the Children’s Hospital of the Holy Child.
The hospital was later renamed Lewisham Hospital.
Calvary Health Care was founded in 1997 as a limited company to ensure the continued growth and development of its health and aged care services.
It comprises 14 private and public hospitals, 72 residential care, and Retirement Communities, and 19 Community services.
To run these establishments and provide the best care, the company employs 18,000 staff and volunteers across the seven states and territories of the country.
(Sources: CalvaryCare, Official Website, Zoominfo, Wikipedia)
CEO: Jessica May
Year of Establishment: 2012
Revenue: $681 million
Enabled Employment is a startup in the recruitment industry that has opened a whole new realm of employment avenues for people with disability, carers, former Australian Defence Force Personnel and their supporting family, and senior Australian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
By catering to the employment needs of the specially-abled members of society, its founder and Chief Executive, Mrs. Jessica May, has pushed the boundaries of innovation to the next level in HR management.
This innovative take on HR management has equally benefited the employees and the
It is the only start-up of its kind in the world, not only in Australia.
The company uses flexible arrangements to enable highly-capable individuals from various fields to secure dignified and well-paid jobs.
For the employers, the company has also proven to be a blessing they didn’t know they needed.
Enabled Employment helps companies find suitable matches to fulfill positions to fill skills and diversity gaps.
Enabled Environment is a futuristic employment company not only caters to the needs of people with disabilities but also strives to provide equal opportunities to people from minority communities.
And as they say, charity begins at home; the company is full of people with diverse abilities and backgrounds.
At the management level, Enabled Employment is full of people with disability, ex-Australian Defence Force Personnel, or families.
(Sources: MyCareSpace, StartupGalaxy, Gust)
CEO: Josh Rockman
Year of Establishment: 1930
Revenue: $579 million
Industry: Apparel & Accessories Retail
Female fashion retail brand Rockmans is number 10 on the list of famous companies in Canberra, with an impressive revenue of more than half a billion dollars. (source: Zoominfo)
The store has been on the Australian fashion retail scene for 85 years. In these years, the brand has spread to 300 outlets throughout the country.
The USP of the brand is ‘affordable fashion.’
Known for its colourful prints, Rockmans occupies an enviable share of the fashion industry.
The Rockmans is part of Mosaic Brands ltd.
Mosaic Brands is a consortium of multiple fashion brands, including Table Eight, Noni B, W.Lane, Beme, and the recently acquired Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, and Rivers.
Rockmans parent brand ‘Mosaic Brands’ jointly owns more than 1,350 stores nationally and employs over 2,000 team members.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
CEO: Pip Spence
Year of Establishment: 1965
Revenue: $556 million
Industry: Aviation Safety
As we discussed in the intro of this list, any list of Canberra’s famous companies would not be complete without mentioning some government-owned corporations.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is one such major company that is a government entity and yet one of the major companies in the city.
CASA is Australia’s national authority for the regulation of civil aviation.
CASA came into existence in 1965 when it separated the air safety functions of the former Civil Aviation Authority from its other regulatory duties.
The tasks of this authority include licensing pilots, registering aircraft, overseeing aviation safety, and promoting safety awareness.
One of the other functions of the CASA is to protect the environment from the effects of aircraft use.
CASA employs 800 people across the country.
(Sources: Official Website, Wikipedia)
CEO: Matthew Kenny
Year of Establishment: 2005
Revenue: $358 million
The next entry on the list is an Australian restaurant launched with noble ambitions.
Yes, as you might already know, Zambre was launched by then-medical student Sam Prince to create a business that could support humanitarian causes.
At the time, he only had $16,000 to invest in his crazy idea – a business solely for humanitarian needs.
Today, Dr. Sam is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Zambrero is only one of the long list of entrepreneurial successes Dr. Sam has bagged in over a decade and a half. Some of his other projects include:
- Next Practice (reinventing the medical clinic experience)
- Shine+ (an energy drink with ingredients to improve brain function and mental health)
- Sam Prince Hospitality Group (a vibrant restaurant group)
- INDU (casual dining restaurant with Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine)
The idea for Zambrero struck him during his part-time job at a Mexican restaurant.
The idea seemed to have “whispered to him as an intuition,” as Steven Spielberg put it in one of his quotes.
But later, that idea “finally yelled at him,” contrary to what Spielberg had suggested. (Source: Zambrero)
The ambitious idea finally stood the test of time and has donated over 50,000,000 meals to the poor of the underdeveloped world.
The donations work through their “plate-4-plate” initiative. Under this program, the chain donates a meal for every meal purchased.
Launched in 2005 on Lonsdale Street, Braddon, Zambrero specializes in Mexican cuisine.
The brand opened its 100th restaurant in Midland, Australia, a decade after its launch.
It achieved wildfire-like success spreading its outlets globally. Growing as one of the fastest restaurants in the country, Zambrero now proudly owns 245 restaurants worldwide.
CEO: Murray Elbourn
Year of Establishment: 1966
Revenue: A$45 million
Industry: Travel, Bus Transportation
Next on our list is a coach-operating company that started as a school bus operator.
In the 1950s, Bill Murray started the company as a school bus operator.
The company changed hands in the 1970s when Ron Murray took over the fleet of 10 buses in the 1970s.
Afterward, in the 80s and the 90s, the company diversified from school buses to coach operations and interstate bus service.
During the 80s and 90s, the company saw an unexpected boost in its growth and operations, mainly due to the collapse of some significant bus/coach services, including Deluxe Coachlines and Sunliner Express.
Taking advantage of reduced competition, Murrays expanded its fleet and took on some semi-new Austral, Denning and Scania coaches. The growth in fleet continued well into the 1990s.
In 1997, Deane’s Busline acquired the company.
The Company’s unbound success and unmatched services in the tourism industry earned it the Order of Australia title in 2005.
Other than coach services, Murrays has ventured into various other services, including day tour operations, a pub, sheep stations, and cruise companies.
As of 2020, Murrays has 400 employees and 199 coaches in its fleet.
(Sources: Murrays, Wikipedia, Zoominfo, CourierMail)
CEO: Theo Koundouris (GM)
Year of Establishment: 1991
Market Cap: $16 million
Another Canberra-based company that is proudly Australian and based out of Canberra is a chain of family-owned supermarkets.
Supabarn has a chain of stores across ACT and NSW.
Since its launch in 1991, Supabarn has been proudly rooted in the community it serves.
One testament to its community service as a local business is the recognition received in 2007 for donating more than $1,000,000.
Known for its wide aisle, 90’s background music, and extensive range of products, Supabarn stands proudly apart from other chains of retail stores.
The store carries general groceries, including produce, meat, deli products, canned foods, and dry goods.
BentSpoke Brewing Co
CEO: Richard Watkins
Year of Establishment: 2014
Market Cap: $13 million
Industry: Alcoholic Beverage
Sited in Canberra city mainly to use its “pristine water supply,” BentSpoke Brewing Co is the last – but not the most minor – company on our list today.
Launched in 2014, BentSpoke Brewing Co is the brainchild of the champion Australian brewers Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain.
The launch itself was more than successful, per the company’s claims.
They sold more than 3000 liters of beer in the first two weeks of the bar’s opening.
The magic figure continues to grow.
After two years of the pub’s opening, the company had won several awards and sold 300,000 liters of 50 different beers.
But their success isn’t limited to local consumers alone.
In 2019, BentSpoke was the only Australian brewery to secure a champion’s trophy at the 2019 International Brewing Awards.
The company also has a DNA for innovation.
The same year it won International Brewing Award, the company launched a drink called “The Innovator” made out of wild yeast, peer juice, and dried edible insects.
Yep, edible insects!
Apparently, cricket and black soldier fly larvae are edible.
The innovation was a joint initiative with the Canberran Innovation Network to produce a brew made of local and environmentally friendly ingredients.
(Source: BentSpoke, Wikipedia)
With this appetising entry, our list of famous companies in Canberra comes to a close.
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