Fran Koster – Business Owner

Fran Koster

Fran isn’t the sort of person you’d expect to find at a Defence conference.

Nearly 20 years ago, the ex-nutritionist from Nowra started Global Defence Solutions (GDS). Today, the company is one of Defence’s leading supplier of portable shelters and refrigeration.

In 2009, when a devastating earthquake destroyed much of the Sumatran city of Padang, GDS supplied the shelter systems for the Australian Army’s Deployable Field Hospital – an essential part of Australia’s aid response.

“95% of our business is defence. We’ve managed to grow our business and staff through the Defence contracts we’ve been awarded over nearly 20 years. “

This year, Fran is looking at putting on some trainees and apprentices so she can invest in new skills and diversify her product offerings.

Fran gives a lot of credit for GDS’ success to support she’s gotten from the defence industry and both state and local government programs, specifically in Shoalhaven.

She is a member of the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group, which promotes defence industry capability to attract business, investment and jobs to the region. With her work in the Group, she’s passionate about using local businesses in GDS’ supply chain.

“We source local products and local tradespeople – everyone from electricians to fabricators, uniform suppliers, canvas and webbing manufacture and repairers, for tasks such as electrical fit outs and stainless steel sink fabricating.”