Meet the team
Kate Carnell AO
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
Kate brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role of ASBFEO, 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.
Dr Craig Latham
Craig’s experience stretches across business, academia and the public service in Australia and New Zealand. He has specialist expertise in commercial and tax law, regulatory reform, and private sector and cross-government collaboration. In his current role, Craig has a particular focus on speedy and low cost dispute resolution for small business and family enterprise.
Craig holds undergraduate degrees in economics and law, a Masters of Law and a Doctorate of Philosophy focussed on regulatory systems. When he finds the time, he enjoys photography and strenuous walks with his wolfhound.
Principal Adviser - Small Business
As the Principal Adviser, Anne is responsible for advocacy and stakeholder engagement. With 20 years of experience across a range of industries, Anne provides policy advice to support the efficient operation of the small business sector in Australia. Anne led the Ombudsman’s Inquiry in to banks and small business loans and the Inquiry on payment times to small business.
Andrea is an experienced government case manager, and brings her strong legal skills, understanding of small business and strong customer focus to her role leading the Ombudsman’s Assistance function. Andrea commenced with the Ombudsman’s office in January 2017, working with Case Managers to provide oversight of the growing number of assistance cases raised with the Ombudsman, and assistance to small businesses and family enterprises to help resolve business disputes.
Andrea joined the Public Service in 2007 as a Graduate, following completion of a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University.
Senior Executive Assistant to Ombudsman
Sharryn brings 14 years of Executive Assistance experience, 5 years’ experience in Human Resources and 12 years’ event management expertise. She has worked with various organisations including small businesses, large banks, global companies and Government. The role of Snr EA is to triage requests to the Ombudsman, manage speaking engagements and travel as well as office management.
For relaxation Sharryn enjoys gardening and spending time with her pets.
Casi has 20 years’ experience in customer service, health sector and administration. She ran a massage therapy business for 12 years before making the jump to administration. Casi is currently assistant to 2 senior executives and office administration and enjoys stand-up paddle boarding.
Annette previously worked in industry policy and in AusIndustry in Sydney, assisting companies to access research and innovation programs. Annette also enjoyed setting up and running her own small business for a number of years. Currently, she is examining contracting practices and policies in the building and construction industry and how they can be improved to assist small business participants.
Jill joined the Ombudsman’s office to assist in the Inquiry into small business loans. Jill’s career spans both the private industry, a stockbroker for 20 years, and public service, working with AusIndustry for nine years. Jill supported a high net worth client base building wealth for individuals and small businesses. With AusIndustry, Jill delivered grants to assist small businesses to grow through bringing their innovations to the market.
Outside the office Jill volunteers with Orange Sky Laundry and spends weekends on long walks and family activities.
John’s background is in research and policy in a number of Federal Government, NGO and private organisations. He has explored issues across a range of industries including agriculture; transport and communications; industry and commerce; and heritage. John spent the early part of his life in Canberra, Vienna, London and Adelaide before completing tertiary studies in mathematics and economics at Adelaide University and ANU. His interests include family (6 children), golf, horseracing, travel and the AFL’s Adelaide Crows!
Melissa joined the ASBFEO advocacy team to assist with data analysis and research into small business policy and advocacy issues. She has over 12 years’ experience in the public sector and has worked in a range of economics and policy roles. In her previous role, she worked in a team in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science that provided analytical assistance on regional and industry economic issues. Melissa enjoys exploring Canberra’s walking trails on the weekends and is unlikely to say no to watching a musical.
As an advocate, Suzanne Webbey researches policies, practices and legislation that impacts small business and family enterprises. Suzanne has over 25 years experience as a lawyer and advocate, including roles as partner and special counsel in Sydney and Canberra. Suzanne has advised many small businesses and family enterprises with a focus on alternative dispute resolution. She has also worked as a lecturer with the Australian National University with publications in corporations law and legal education. In her spare time Suzanne enjoys the outdoors and listening to music.
Media and Communications Manager
Michael came to the role with 30 years’ experience in media, government and communications. He’s a former journalist and editor, ran his own small business for six years and managed regional newspaper businesses. He has lived and worked in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory before landing in Canberra. The ASBFEO communications team publicises the office, manages social media and assists with stakeholder engagement.
In his spare time Michael enjoys walking, running, watching cricket and rugby.
Madeline comes to the ASBFEO with a passion for all things media-related. She enjoys coordinating the ASBFEO social media channels and website, writing media releases, newsletters and creating visual content (photos, videos, banners, posters). A former journalist, Madeline supports local small business and loves to speak with people across the nation about their small businesses and talents.
In her spare time, Madeline enjoys checking out local markets, creating origami creatures and exploring Canberra.
James joined the Office in July 2016 with experience across the public and private sector. His view of small business policy issues have been shaped through his experience working with his family's small business. Prior to joining the Office, he has worked for large and small businesses including EY, Ball, the Pilbara Group and the Australian Government in a diverse range of locations including Australia, the United States, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong. He has undergraduate of degrees in Economics and Arts, and postgraduate degrees and certificates in accountancy, operations research and statistics and international security. He is a Chartered Accountant. Outside of the office he enjoys spending time with his family, reading non-fiction books and watching baseball and rugby.