Frank Aloysius Costa AO (born 1938 in Geelong) is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. The Geelong native has been a prominent figure in the region for more than four decades, after inheriting the family's produce business in the late 1950s. The company has become largest service wholesaler of fruit & vegetables in the country with operations in five major states.
In 1998, he became president of the Geelong Football Club.
Costa was the eldest of five sons born to Sicilian immigrants that moved to Australia in the 1880s. His great-uncle established the Geelong Covent Garden in 1888 — a produce grocery which he ran until the 1920s, at which time he turned it over to Costa's father.
When Costa was 21, he (along with his brother Adrian) convinced his father to sell the business to them. Costa successfully grew the business with help from his brother, as they made forays into wholesaling. Although Adrian died in 1972 as a result of an automobile accident, and there were a few business blunders along the way — including the failed development of a state-of-the-art warehouse — the remaining Costa brothers were able to keep the business afloat. By the 1980s, the company had an annual turnover to the tune of A$100 million.
As of 2006, the company has 800 employees, and a turnover in excess of 800 million. Its head office is an ex-church purchased by the Costa Group and converted into modern offices, located in Myers Street, Geelong.
Costa is the subject of a recent biography, with a foreword by eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey and references to Geelong identities, the Geelong Football Club, and Italian immigrants in Geelong.
According to a 2004 poll, Costa held first place on the list of the regions Movers and Shakers." It was also a year that saw him (out of frustration) publicly urge the authorities to keep its promise of developing a recycling and irrigation facility in the Werribee region.
Frank Costa is Patron of the Geelong Volunteer Resource Centre and the Geelong Volunteering Network.
His push for the recycling/irrigation plant is one of many events has caused some to raise conflict of interest concerns, as his company was apt to obtain a substantial benefit from the project. In addition to being a Committee for Geelong board member and being president of the Geelong Football Club, Costa has been involved in some of the most prominent development projects being touted for the region. These include the development in North Geelong near the Ford site and at Point Richards near Portarlington.
In early 2006, Costa was embroiled in controversy due to his undisclosed financial support of political campaigns.
At the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours, Costa was awarded the Order of Australia for service to youth and to the community of Geelong. 18 years later at the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Costa was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community of Geelong through ongoing roles and contributions to a range of sports, business, religious, medical, educational and social welfare organisations. Costa was also awarded the Centenary Medal and the Australian Sports Medal in 2001 for service to the Barwon community and for services to Australia football, respectively.
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- Des Tobin with foreword by Geoffrey Blainey, (2006), Frank Costa. Family, Faith and Footy, Killaghy Publishing, Malvern, Victoria
- "Francis Aloysius Costa OAM". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 9 June 1997. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in the General Division" (pdf). Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2015. p. 8. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Francis Aloysius Costa". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Francis Costa". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 16 January 2001. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Frank Costa profile from the Official Website of the Australian Football League
- Costa Group of Companies
- Frank dominates the fruit game Transcript of story on Frank Costa, from abc.net.au
- Geelong's mini MCG
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