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Ken NuganManaging Director, Nugan Group 1965 - 1986

When Ken Nugan purchased the family’s fruit and vegetable packing operation in 1965, he was determined to grow it into one of Australia’s pre-eminent and most successful enterprises. Ken was a true entrepreneur who believed in hard work and his ability to succeed and make his family proud.

From a young age Ken was admired for his family loyalty and dogged determination to be the best at all he turned his mind. Finishing dux at Griffith High School, Ken was awarded a scholarship to attend Sydney University where he completed a Bachelor of Economics. Whilst extremely social, sporting and popular at University, Ken never forgot his goal to take over the family business finishing his degree with Honours.

Whilst at university Ken met his wife, Michelle. They soon married and moved back to Griffith so Ken could fulfill his dream. In 1965, three years after joining the family business, Ken purchased the business from his parents so he could begin to implement his plans for growth.

Over the next 21 years Ken was responsible for growing the business from a small family packing operation to a mid-sized, highly diversified business. During this time the business became a major supplier of fruit and vegetables to the supermarkets, large producer of citrus juice concentrates and owners of the largest wholesale market stands for hard produce in the Rocklea Markets, Brisbane.

This growth brought years of prosperity. However, the 1980s saw market change in the domestic produce and juice industries which resulted in real financial strain. It was at this time Ken was tragically diagnosed with cancer and died six weeks later in February, 1986.

Ken’s unforeseen death was devastating for his wife, Michelle, and three children, who adored him. Moreover, it was a loss of a great man before his time, who contributed much to Griffith with his generosity and belief you must contribute to society. Ken was an active member of Rotary and famous for hosting his annual Christmas lunch for the residents of the Griffith nursing homes.

His was a life too short.

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