Skip Navigation


Across the two days, more than 30 prominent business leaders and senior politicians will discuss and debate significant matters facing small business people including banking and finance, regulation red-tape, cyber security, workplace relations, Vocational Education & Training (VET) and owner work-life balance.

In 2018, the Vodafone National Small Business Summit will bring together the leading voices and decision makers in the industry to focus on what really matters to small business owners.




Fleur Anderson

Director of Business Development, 89 Degrees East 


After 20 years as a journalist with Australia’s leading newspapers, Fleur followed Dr Seuss’s career advice to go where “it’s opener out there, in the wide open air”.

Fleur is senior strategist and director of business development at the Canberra-based strategic communication firm 89 Degrees East, and the author of On Sleep, published by Melbourne University Publishing.

Before joining 89 Degrees East, Fleur was a senior political journalist and parliamentary sketch writer with The Australian Financial Review, a regular panellist on ABC’s Insiders, Vice-President of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery and a founding member of the Canberra branch of Women in Media.



John Barilaro

Deputy Premier


John Barilaro was born in Queanbeyan, NSW to Italian migrant parents who arrived in Australia in 1968. Their hard working and selfless approach was an example which instilled in him strong values of family and community service.

He is the proud Member for the Monaro and in 2016 was elected Leader of the NSW Nationals and Deputy Premier of NSW. He is the Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business, bringing a ‘hands on’ understanding and passion to his portfolios.

The Deputy Premier strongly believes in supporting a thriving business economy, building a skilled workforce for the future and investing in communities across regional NSW.

In the 2017-18 NSW Budget, John delivered a $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund to turbo-charge regional economies across the state – giving community’s choice in selecting the local infrastructure projects they want and need.  

A passionate advocate for Vocational Education and Training (VET), John has started a successful campaign to change the perceptions around VET and make sure we have the skilled workforce needed to keep up with the massive investment by the NSW Government in infrastructure and technology.

The NSW Nationals Leader is overseeing one of the biggest investments in regional NSW in the state’s history and believes in fighting every day to make sure that regional NSW gets its fair share.



Lisa Belcher

Vice President of Small Merchants JAPA, Amercian Express


Lisa Belcher is the Vice President of Small Merchant JAPA for American Express.  In this role, Lisa is responsible for the health of the Small Merchant network across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Her team develops and implements innovative strategies that centre on customer segmentation, system capabilities and delivery of highly engaging marketing programs, including Shop Small and Card Member Favourite, with the objective of improving merchant satisfaction. 

Lisa also leads high performing sales channels including face to face field sales, outbound client management, and trigger based engagement and acquisition channels in Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.  Lisa has a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School in New York.



Chris Black

Director of Policy and Projects, 89 Degrees East


Chris Black has almost 25 years experience in researching, writing and analysing social policy. She is the Director of Policy and Projects at 89 Degrees East, a strategic communications agency with offices in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Byron Bay and Sydney.  

Recent clients include the National Disability Insurance Agency, the Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence, Department of Social Services and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
Chris has a Masters of Social Policy from the University of Melbourne and recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) director’s course.  She is currently a Board member for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and has previously served on the Boards of Yarra Community Housing and Deakin University.



Chris Bowen

Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister for Small Business


Chris Bowen entered Parliament in 2004 and has held a wide range of portfolios including serving as Treasurer, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Immigration, Minister for Financial Services, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Competition Policy, Minister for Small Business and Minister for Tertiary Education.   Chris has been responsible for a range of significant policy reform programs in these portfolios.

He served as Interim Leader of the Labor Party and Acting Leader of the Opposition following the 2013 Federal election and has been Shadow Treasurer since 2013 and Shadow Minister for Small Business since 2018.

Chris is served on Fairfield Council for nine years is a former Mayor and President of the Western Sydney Councils (WSROC).

He has a Bachelor of Economics, a Masters in International Relations and a Graduate Diploma in Modern Languages (Bahasa Indonesia). He lives in Smithfield with his wife (Rebecca) , two children (Grace and Max) and Ollie the Labrador.

Back To Top


Kate Carnell

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) 


Kate Carnell commenced her role as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in March 2016. 

Kate brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman, having run her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister in 1995 for a five year period.

Prior to her appointment as the inaugural ASBFEO, Kate held the position of CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents more than 300,000 businesses across Australia. She has also served two years as CEO of beyondblue, four years as CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, four years as CEO of the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) and three years as CEO of the National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI).

Kate is a pharmacist by profession and was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the first female to become the National VicePresident of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
Kate was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her services to the community through contributions to economic development and support for the business sector, knowledge industries, the medical sector and medical technology advances.

Back To Top


Leanne Faulkner

Small Business Mental Health Advocate, Founder, Fortitude at Work


In 2004 Leanne founded her small business, Billie Goat Soap. Billie Goat Soap was awarded the NSW Business Chamber President’s Prize in 2009, and was acknowledged with the Excellence in Small Business Growth Award in the same year. In 2010 the business was the Myer Supplier of the Yearin General Cosmetics. Billie Goat Soap was sold to The Heat Group in February 2012. 

Leanne understands the strains and pressures faced by small/medium business owners today, with her own lived experience growing her business. Today she advocates for more mental health resources to support small business owners, and works as a business mentor and university lecturer. She knows how to combine business growth strategies with wellness initiatives to make owning a growing a small business stress free. Leanne offers an innovative coaching service called Walk ‘n Work on the Central Coast of NSW.

When not working directly with small business owners, Leanne consults on a range of wellbeing initiatives developed by both government agencies and corporates. She has worked with the ATO, the Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Everymind and Beyondblue. She is in a unique position to be able to share a range of resources with other small business owners to support them on their business journey.

Leanne was awarded the COSBOA Business Champion Award for 2015 in recognition of the work she has done in the small business sector to raise awareness of wellbeing issues and resources needed. Her website, Fortitude at Work has been named in the Smart Company Top 20 business blogs, 2015 and 2016. Fairfax newspapers identified her as one of the top nine female influential entrepreneurs in 2016 for her work in the small business/mental health sector.

Back To Top  


Richard Flanagan

Head of Business Marketing, Google Australia and New Zealand


Richard Flanagan is Head of Business Marketing at Google Australia & New Zealand where he is focused on helping businesses of all sizes succeed in the digital economy. He is charged with driving awareness and adoption of Google Ads and Google My Business. He launched The Digital Garage, Google’s digital skills training platform to enable business owners, job seekers and students to learn the skills needed for today’s economy. He has been with Google for over 10 years working in Dublin and Tokyo before joining the Sydney office in 2010. He holds a BA magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in International Relations and French and an MBA from INSEAD.


Back To Top


Ticky Fullerton

Presenter, Sky News


Ticky Fullerton is the anchor of Sky News flagship business show Ticky- ‘where business and politics meets’. The program features politicians, top floor business people, economists and regulators nightly. 

Ticky is an award winning journalist and a household name in Australian business circles. She joined Sky News in 2017. In its first year, the program broke the news on the top budget story, the bank levy and also picked up two prestigious News Corp awards, for Best Business Coverage and Best Scoop.

With over twenty years in television at Sky News and the ABC, Ticky was also an investment banker with CS First Boston in the UK and Australia for a decade. She’s a director of the Australia British Chamber of Commerce and a former director of the CRC for irrigation futures. She has a law degree from Oxford.

Back To Top


Helen Gordon

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Finance Industry Association


Helen Gordon is the Chief Executive Officer of AFIA. Helen has been part of the Association for several decades in various capacities and together with her Team advocates on behalf of more than 100 leading providers of consumer, commercial and wholesale credit on a variety of laws which impact their operations.This has seen her involved in lobbying government at both the Commonwealth and State levels to ensure their policy development and regulation reform will have a practical and relevant application for the finance industry and its customers.

Helen is a member of the Finance Industry Council of Australia and the AFIA representative on a range of government consultation groups including various Commonwealth Treasury and ASIC Stakeholder Forums. She utilises her legal background together with her qualifications from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and involvement with Women & Leadership Australia in her role.  

 Back To Top


Margaret Hennessy

Owner/Director at DOGUE Retail Group


Margaret joined DOGUE in April 2005, when it was a single boutique in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney selling high end, stylish and unique dog products. Margaret's vision was to expand DOGUE around Australia. Under Margaret’s leadership, DOGUE has become a successful and profitable business, grown to eight stores, a stunning Retreat in the Southern Highlands and a growing online presence. DOGUE is set to become Australia's leading boutique dog retailer and service provider. All boutiques offer retail, grooming and day care.

Prior to joining DOGUE, Margaret spent over twelve years’ as a business and change management consultant designing and delivering business improvement projects while with two leading consultancies: Coopers & Lybrand Consulting (now IBM Business Consulting Services) and PA Consulting. 

Margaret moved away from corporate consulting in 2001 to travel and to gain hands on experience in a line manager role. Margaret has been a manager with two business to business service organisations: Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Australian Business Limited (ABL) in Sydney. Margaret has a Bachelor in Economics (Social Sciences) in which she majored in economics and psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Change Management from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM).

Back To Top


Chris Jordan 

Commissioner of Taxation, Australian Taxation Office


Chris Jordan was appointed as the Commissioner of Taxation on 1 January 2013.

Chris has broad experience in tax policy and law development and implementation, having held influential roles in the private sector and as a government advisor to both Labor and Coalition governments.

He was the Chair of the Board of Taxation from June 2011 to December 2012 and a member of the Board since its inception in 2000.  He also served as Chair of the Business Tax Working Group from 2011-2012 and as Chair of the New Tax System Advisory Board (1999-2001) which advised the government on the implementation of the GST. He was a member of the Policy Transition Group that consulted with the mining industry about the resource rent tax (2011-12).

Chris had over 30 years of experience in the professional services sector and was Chairman of Partners for KPMG New South Wales from 2001 to 2012 giving him a broad perspective and insight into leadership, business and regulatory issues.

Until taking up his role as Commissioner of Taxation, Chris was the Chairman of the Committee for Sydney, a Director of the Bell Shakespeare Company and the Sydney Childrens’ Hospital Foundation as well as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee for the NSW Art Gallery.

Chris has a Master of Laws (Sydney University) and Bachelors of Commerce and Law (University of NSW).

He is a Chartered Tax Adviser of the Tax Institute and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Back To Top


Basil Karam

Co-founder & CEO, Life Interiors


Basil is an entrepreneur with a track record of starting, growing and scaling high-growth technology enabled businesses. With more than 17 years experience delivering complex technology solutions, his expertise branches the fields of retail, technology and digital marketing. 

Basil is co-founder and CEO of Life Interiors, a leading vertically integrated omni-channel furniture and homewares retailer on a mission to offer great design at an affordable price across its retail, e-commerce channels while also seamlessly powering Australia's largest furniture and homewares marketplaces including Temple and Webster (ASX: TPW), Your Home Depot (ASX: HT8) and Zanui (ETR:RKET)

Prior to Life Interiors, Basil worked at IBM implementing WebSphere e-business solutions across Telstra before moving to pureprofile to be part of the founding technical team that launched the revolutionary pureprofile platform across Australia, United Kingdom and the US (ASX: PPL)

Back To Top


Greg Kenyon 

General Manager People & Culture, Tandem Corporation


Greg has worked in the Telecommunications industry for over 40 years. With Skilled Engineering in 1994 to 2004, he was part of the Executive Team that assembled the Project Teams that built the Telstra and Optus HFC Networks in NSW, Vic & SA. Later with Service Stream (2004 – 2010) he was Executive General Manager Human Resources, engaging subcontractors across a range of industries.

Now with ISGM (trading as TANDEM) since 2010 he is General Manager in the People & Culture Team specialising in Industrial Relations. In 2014 he Project managed the introduction of over 400 new subcontractors onto Tandem’s Telco Business Unit. As a result Tandem reached the finals, in 3 different States, for Group Training Industry Collaboration Awards in NSW, SA and Victoria in 2014.

Greg professes a deep desire to ensure that new subcontractors understand their business risks up front…and they have a realistic opportunity to succeed as small business entities.

Back To Top


Mick Keogh 

ACCC Commissioner 


 The ACCC has established an Agriculture Unit that contains additional staff to conduct investigations and engagement in rural and regional areas with funding provided through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

Mick plays a key role in the work of the Agriculture Unit, which identifies competition and fair trading issues in agriculture markets and engaging with a range of key industry groups. He oversees the ACCC’s agriculture work program and Chairs the ACCC’s Agriculture Board and Agriculture Consultative Committee. Mick also plays a key decision making role on agriculture matters across the work of the ACCC.

Mick has a long and diverse history of involvement with the agriculture sector, which has included periods of employment as a farm manager, a university researcher, an agribusiness consultant and an agriculture policy advisor.

In 2003 Mick was appointed Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute, an independent policy research institute that conducts research into strategic policy issues of importance to Australian agriculture. Mick continues to undertake this role.

In 2011 Mick was appointed Chairperson of the Australian Government panel which reviewed drought support measures. He was also Chairman of the Australian Government’s National Rural Advisory Council from 2012 to 2015.

Additionally, Mick remains involved in family farming interests in southern NSW.

Mick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to agriculture in 2015. He holds Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Wool & Pastoral Sciences, both obtained at the University of New South Wales.

Back To Top



Stephen Lee 

Marriage Celebrant


Stephen Lee is a Sydney-based Marriage Celebrant who has worked with many hundreds of couples to create highly personalised, authentic and memorable wedding ceremonies.

A former journalist and broadcaster, the switch to becoming a successful small business owner has taken him on a journey of digital and data discovery to find new and different ways of connecting with clients in a crowded marketplace. This knowledge has enabled him to grow his business and position himself as a respected leader in the wedding industry.  The arrival of Marriage Equality in Australia means that 2018 has become his busiest year to date.

Back To Top



David Locke

Chief Ombudsman and CEO, FOS, AFCA


David Locke started as Chief Ombudsman and CEO at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) on 25 June 2018. 

David was previously Assistant Commissioner Charity Services at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). 

Prior to the ACNC, David was the Executive Director of Charity Services at the Charity Commission of England and Wales, with responsibility for the strategic leadership and operational delivery of all the Commission's one-to-one services to charities. 

David has also worked as an adviser to several international governments on the regulation of non-government organisations.

David is a qualified lawyer in the UK, who started his career in community legal centres where he spent over ten years managing the delivery of services to the public. David has served as a board member and volunteer of a number of charities and not-for-profits.

Back To Top


Tim Mahlberg

PhD Candidate, University of Sydney


Tim’s unique background combines a natural curiosity about people, a passion for community, and a dedication to creating world-class customer experiences. With a colourful career spanning corporate, non-profit, consulting and retail/hospitality, he has been developing individuals and organisations through their people for over 15 years, now working independently to help “connect the dots” in workplaces and communities, sparking new thinking within organisations, and making change happen.  

Tim became active in supporting Australia’s small business scene from 2014, when he founded one of Australia’s largest coworking communities, “The Village”, a dynamic & innovative space in Melbourne for NAB's small business customers and community partners with over 2500 members. He remains an active supporter and mentor to a range of small business initiatives and regional communities.

Tim has a Masters in Organisational Psychology, and is currently completing his PhD at the University of Sydney where he’s been sponsored by Deloitte Australia to explore the future of work and how innovation happens at the fringes of our workplaces.

Back To Top 


Cathy McGowan

Member for Indi


Cathy was born in Albury Hospital and raised on a dairy farm in the Indigo Valley near Wodonga. She was educated in Beechworth and Melbourne and gained qualifications in economics and agriculture. She began her working life in rural Victoria as a teacher in Nhill and Wangaratta, and then as electoral assistant for Ewen Cameron, the Federal Member for Indi, in the 1980s, before joining the Victorian Department of Agriculture.

When she was 27, Cathy purchased a farm in the Indigo Valley and established a rural consulting business with a focus on working with communities, and farming families on issues such as Home and Community Care, child care, and care for people with cancer. This gave Cathy an understanding of the various challenges facing small business and community groups, and how they could be overcome. Cathy has also worked as an academic at the University of Western Sydney, researcher, and company director. Her work with women in agriculture took her all around the world, with contracts in Papua New Guinea and Ireland and she was regularly asked to speak at international conferences.

Cathy’s community service has been acknowledged with an Order of Australia, a national Centenary medal, and the award of a Churchill Fellowship. Cathy stood as an independent candidate in the 2013 election for the Federal seat of Indi to provide voters with a real choice for representation on issues that matter to them. She was re-elected again in 2016.

Back To Top 


Paul Nielsen

COSBOA Cyber Security Ambassador


Paul Nielsen graduated from Chicago’s Loyola University  School of Business Administration  as a Certified Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor, is a Certified Business Intermediary, Certified Machinery & Equipment Appraiser,  Business Valuer,  Licensed Commercial Real Estate Agent,  and Justice of the Peace (Qual). 

During Paul’s 3 year term as Chairman of  COSBOA, at the request of the Federal Government following the Prime Ministers Round Table, he created a low cost Cyber Security Solution for SME’s and  was appointed COSBOA’s Cyber Security Ambassador.

In 2018,  it became apparent that the channel required a ‘full time’ focus as the threat level worldwide from Cyber Crime reached $1.5 Trillion dollars annually.  A specialist division,  Avantia Cyber Security Solutions, was created within  Paul’s Consultancy firm to address the critical risks facing SME’s in Australia. 

Avantia Cyber Security Solutions provides a full suite of low cost programs including Password Security, Staff Education & Certification, Network Security and Disaster Recovery Solutions for SME’s.

Back To Top



Judy O’Connell

Victorian Small Business Commissioner


 In December 2016, Judy O’Connell commenced as the Victorian Small Business Commissioner, where she advocates to make sure Victorian small businesses have a fair and competitive environment whilst running their business.

Judy also manages the quick, low cost dispute resolution service for small business.

Judy has extensive experience in tax administration with a public service career of over 30 years. Prior to being appointed Commissioner, Judy was the ATO’s Assistant Commissioner for Small Business.

At the ATO, Judy also helped to educate small businesses about paying their tax.

Judy lists, as a highlight of her career, being posted to the OECD in Paris where she led the International Tax Dialogue.  

“I am passionate about helping small business because I’ve lived and breathed it most of my life.”

 Back To Top


Julie Owens

Shadow Assistant Minister, Small Business 


Shadow Assistant Minister for Small Business and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia. Julie was elected to Parliament in 2004. Prior to joining Parliament she was a small-business owner and previously the head of the Association of Australian Independent Record Labels.

Julie is passionate about small business policy, employment and growth opportunities for local businesses.



Back To Top


Christine Pope

Director and Treasurer, Australian Traditional Medicine Society


Christine Pope is a Director and Treasurer of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, the leading natural medicine association in Australia. She is also a Naturopath and Nutritionist who has her own multi modality clinic at St Ives and has taught at Nature Care College for the last 8 years, primarily supervising final year student clinic and teaching Nutrition and Business Skills.

Prior to her career in natural medicine Christine spent twenty years in Investment Banking and Venture Capital specialising in risk management and analysis of business. Her focus at ATMS is on representing the interests of natural medicine and educating practitioners to build successful practices. 

Back To Top



Neelum Prakash

General Manager Enterprise, Vodafone


Neelum is a tenured business to business leader with international experience in the telecommunications and financial services sector.

Her passion in driving small business growth led to her join Vodafone Australia as GM Enterprise in late 2017 from NBN Co.

Neelum oversees national sales channels that acquire and on-board new business customers to ensure they have the mobility solutions required to innovate and succeed.

Originally from London Neelum has lived in Sydney for 12 years. During this time she spent 9 years with American Express in enterprise leadership roles.

She also worked in the American Express head-quarters in New York leading the development of a global strategy for enterprise customer service.

Prior to moving to Australia Neelum held Business Development, Marketing and Technology Alliance Management roles with British Telecom in the UK and Spain.

Neelum has a Degree in Business and Marketing from Greenwich University – London, and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Ulster - Northern Ireland.

Back To Top


John Price 

ASIC Commissioner 


John Price commenced as an ASIC Commissioner on 21 March 2012.

He has over 15 years regulatory experience in a variety of regulatory roles at ASIC relating to policy making, fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, financial services and products, licensing, insolvency, ASIC's Registry and financial reporting and audit.

John was previously a member of CAMAC, an advisory body to Government on corporate and markets issues and also the Financial Reporting Council, a body providing broad oversight of various accounting and audit-related issues in Australia.

John is a current member of the Council of Financial Regulators, the coordinating body for Australia's main financial regulatory agencies. John is the sponsor of ASIC's innovation hub, an initiative to help innovative fintech startups offering financial products or financial services in Australia. He also leads ASIC's work helping small business and cutting red-tape.

Prior to joining ASIC, John worked in the Gold Coast and Brisbane offices of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a national law firm.

Back To Top


Sandra Parker

Fair Work Ombudsman


Sandra Parker was appointed as Fair Work Ombudsman in July 2018.

Prior to this she was Deputy Secretary Workplace Relations and Economic Strategy in the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Her role was to facilitate jobs growth and workforce participation through workplace relations and work health and safety policies that promote fair, productive and safe workplaces.

Sandra held the position of Deputy Secretary, Employment from 2010. The role included managing the Commonwealth’s outsourced employment programmes including mainstream and disability employment services, and leading labour market and income support policy.

For three years prior to this, Sandra was head of the Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC), a tripartite national body overseeing the establishment of national occupational health and safety and workers’ compensation policy and standards.

Sandra was promoted to senior executive level in the Commonwealth Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2002, having held various policy and program management positions in the vocational education and training field, at Commonwealth and state government levels.

She began her career in education, with secondary teaching roles in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and in London.

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Tasmania and is a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors. She is an alumni of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Australia New Zealand School of Government.

Back To Top


Rod Sims  

ACCC Chairman  


Rod Sims was appointed Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in August 2011 for a five year term and reappointed for a further three years in August 2016.

Rod has extensive business and public sector experience. Immediately prior to his appointment to the ACCC, he was the Chairman of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales, Commissioner on the National Competition Council, Chairman of InfraCo Asia, Director of Ingeus Limited, and member of the Research and Policy Council of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. Rod was also a Director of Port Jackson’s Partners Limited where he advised the CEOs and Boards of some of Australia’s top 50 companies on commercial corporate strategy over many years. Rod relinquished all of these roles on becoming Chairman of the ACCC.

Rod is also a past Chairman of the NSW Rail Infrastructure Corporation and the State Rail Authority and has been a Director of a number of private sector companies. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Rod worked as the Deputy Secretary in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet responsible for economic, infrastructure and social policy and the Cabinet Office. He also worked as Deputy Secretary in the Department of Transport and Communications.

Rod Sims holds a first class honours degree in Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Economics from the Australian National University.

Back To Top


Jon Stewart 

Vice President, American Express


Jon Stewart is Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications for American Express in Australia and New Zealand. A member of the company's executive management committee, he is responsible for leading internal and external communications, government relations and public policy, sustainability and community engagement, public relations and social media across the organisation.

Jon joined American Express from Visa, where he was Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy across 18 markets in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Prior to this, Jon worked for Sydney Airport, where he was heavily involved in the Western Sydney Airport development project in both a commercial strategy and public policy function. Earlier in his career, Jon led the aviation division of the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), and also served as a senior policy and media adviser to former NSW Liberal Party leader, Barry O’Farrell, during the opposition years.

Jon is a graduate of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Economics with Honours. During his postgraduate studies, Jon was a member of the UNSW Academic Board and continues as a board member of a number of community and alumni organisations.

Back To Top


Cosmos Vlahopoulos

Co-Chair, ADTIA


Drawing on more than 40 years of hands-on broadcast and telecommunications business experience, Cosmos Vlahopoulos is the founder and Co-Chair of the Australian Digital and Telecommunications Industry Australia (ADTIA) peak industry body. He is very a passionate advocate and lobbyist of this business sector in Australia. 

Cosmos has worked closely with government panels such as the Digital Taskforce and assisted in the successful transition of Analog to Digital programme. He has worked with the curriculum upgrade of the ICT10 training package to bring it in line with technology changes. He sits on multiple Australian Standards Committees and uses his subject matter expertise to assist small business owners in reaching their potential through the harnessing and sharing of relevant business knowledge.

He believes that a fair go opportunity should exist for everyone as long as they are willing to learn!

Back To Top


Rusty Wallis

National Licensing Manager, APRA AMCOS


Rusty has spent her working life in music, media and entertainment. Starting out as a touring musician and signed songwriter, she eventually found her niche in the business side of the music industry.
Rusty has since held roles in music publishing, record labels, artist management and radio, and has spent the last eight years specialising in public performance licensing.

She knows what a difference music can make to a business or an event, and joined APRA AMCOS in 2016 as National Licensing Manager to help business owners understand the value of music, and their licensing obligations.


Back To Top