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A note from the Ombudsman

"In this role I will seek to bring together the many voices within the small business community in a way that promotes growth in this vital sector."


Hello I’m Kate Carnell, the inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

As the ASBFEO, I’m an independent advocate for small business owners.  My office has the legislative powers needed to effectively influence our nation’s lawmakers, ensuring legislation and regulations are put in place to help small businesses grow.

The ASBFEO office also provides small businesses and family enterprises with assistance and advice should they find themselves involved in a business dispute.

Small businesses are the engine room of the economy; it’s a big reputation to live up to, so we need to do all we can to ensure they have the freedom to innovate, employ and thrive well into the future. 


A bit more about the Ombudsman...

Kate commenced the role of ASBFEO on 11 March 2016.

Kate brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role, 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 ASBFEO, Kate held the position of CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), which represents more than 300,000 businesses across Australia. She has also served two years as CEO of beyondblue and four years as CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

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 Vice-President 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.