SBAA INTERNATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT 2021 – Small Business Association of Australia


Event Date:

Event Time:

Event Location:

Sea World Resort Conference Centre

 Big bold new ideas

The coronavirus proved that our supply chains are broken, many small businesses destroyed and policy reform is seriously overdue. Post coronavirus will require the rebuilding of economies including small business and it will not be business as usual. Big, bold, new ideas are required to take us into the next decade and beyond.

The Summit is a two-day high-level event that will be attended by policy makers, academics, governments, international representatives, small and large businesses, and business organisations.



Evolution or revolution, A time for change

There are periods throughout history when the world experiences an event so powerful that things do not remain the same. It becomes a time for new ideas and change. Such a time arrived with the coronavirus. The status quo cannot remain the same and it is now time for change. As a global economy, Australia and other nations can enter the Golden Age, but the Golden Age will only be achievable if there are serious reforms for small business.

The Summit is such an event where great minds and ideas will come together.

Whilst it will be important for all sectors of business large and small to play their role in the rebuilding of the Australian and global economies, small business is the key to any long-term sustainable recovery.


96-99.7% of all businesses in contemporary economies are small businesses meaning they make up the bulk of businesses – globally. As an example, between Australian and Japanese small businesses, they make up approximately 6.5million small businesses. They are the economy.

The purpose of the Summit is to lay the foundations for good policies including new ideas, best business practices and ease of doing business for small businesses particularly doing trade with global economies.

This Summit is set to become a mini APEC having the support of these important organisations and our global partners. It will set the scene and create opportunities for the small business sector domestically and globally. It will forge relationships and produce an environment whereby small business can compete and prosper.

Small businesses are also the most sensitive to changes and the first to suffer if weighed down with excessive bureaucracy, changing rules, draconian regulation, and unfair competition.

Governments and policy makers need to adopt a more sophisticated approach towards small business by providing an economic plan for small business. Such plans need to identify strategic priorities and create opportunities for global economic sustainability for Australian small businesses

MSMEs Australian Statistics

  • There are approximately 2.4 million actively trading small businesses in 2019.
  • 96% of businesses in Australia are small businesses.
  • 88% are micro employing 0-4 staff as per Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS);
  • Approximately 700,000 do not employ staff.
  • There are 868,248 employing businesses of all sizes. Of all employing businesses, 812,084 were considered small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
  • Small business including owners make up more than half of Australia’s workforce engaging up to 7 million.
  • They produced 57% of Australia’s gross domestic value (GVD) which was generated by businesses between $100,000 and $50 million (NAB survey 2017).
  • Of the employing businesses, 70% or 608,733 employed between 1 and 4 people whilst only 0.5% or 3,915 employed more than 200 people.



The SBAA is inviting Expressions of Interest in the areas of sponsorship and presenters for next Summit 2022 / 2023 .  Please email [email protected] for more information

Proudly Sponsored in 2021 by:



The Hon Bruce Billson

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Bruce Billson commenced his role as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in March 2021.
Bruce brings experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman, and an understanding of the issues facing small business, having started his own advisory business in 2016.
Bruce’s political career spans 30 years, including his role as Cabinet Minister for Small Business from 2013-2015. During this role, Bruce was instrumental in the establishment of ASBFEO and the passing of complex legislation to establish the office.
Bruce has shown his dedication to small business through various board appointments, including the Franchise Council of Australia, Deakin University Business School and Australian Property Institute, and more recently through his appointment as Administrator for the City of Whittlesea

Taxation and Industrial

Senator Malcom Roberts B Eng (Hons), MBA

Senator for Queensland. Malcolm has extensive experience in the corporate sector and as a business owner. He worked as an underground coalface miner and manager and is committed to optimising productive capacity by removing excessive government intervention that undermines our ability to take responsibility and have freedom in our lives.


Dr Luca DE Leonardis Ph.D.


Dr Luca De Leonardis is the Head for Australia and New Zealand at Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the Government Department responsible for attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into Hong Kong.
With senior management experience in both the private and public sectors, Dr De Leonardis’s work experience combines international marketing, economic and business development and investment promotion.


Dr P. Roberto Garcia Ph.D.

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

P. Roberto Garcia is the Young-Jin Kim Clinical Professor of International Business in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He also serves as Faculty Director for the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). He currently teaches various International Business courses at the Undergraduate, Kelley Direct-Online, and Executive Education programs.

Trade – Virtual

Marko Vuksanovic

Tradewin Asia Pacific

As Principal of Tradewin in the Asia Pacific region, Marko oversees Tradewin’s practices in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India.

Marko has years of trade compliance experience and adding value to supply chains through various duty mitigation methods, involving Tariff Classification, Tariff Concession Orders, Valuation, Duty Drawback, Free Trade Agreements, and industry assistance schemes. Marko also assists clients in understanding the complexities of customs and trade compliance, and implementing programs to mitigate and manage associated risks, including Export Controls and AEO/Trusted Trader programs.

Marko is a licensed Customs Broker in Australia and holds a Bachelor of International Business from the University of South Australia.


Dr Melissa Belle Isle PhD, BAcc, BCom

Griffith University

Melissa Belle Isle is a Taxation Lecturer at Griffith University. She has a PhD and Honours degree for her research relating to the influence of tax on small business cash flow. Melissa’s motivation for small business research stems from her involvement in small businesses owned and operated by her family.


Dr Brett Freudenberg

Griffith University Business School

Brett is know for his research expertise in tax law and policy issues facing private enterprises, as evidenced by his Fulbright Scholarship and over 80 refereed publications.  In 2021, he was awarded the national ATTA-Hill medal in recognition of outstanding contribution to tax policy and tax teaching.


Jane Mason LLB Hons

BizCover Pty Ltd

Jane is Product & Channel Manager at BizCover, focusing distribution channels and product growth & innovation. Jane has previously held various senior management positions in the insurance industry in various jurisdictions.

Finance – Lending

Peter White AM

Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA)

Managing Director of the FBAA. Banking and finance career spans over 43 years covering retail banking, Private Banking, Investment Banking, non-banking and mortgage management and broking. Is a Registered Lobbyist, the leading advocate and ambassador for Mental Health Awareness in finance industry, Chairman of the International Mortgage Brokers Federation, Member of the SBAA, champion for mental health issues of parents with Special Needs Children via his charity “The Sanity Space Foundation”.

Recipient 2019 Queens Birthday Honours as an “AM” Member of the Order of Australia for significant services to industry and the community.



Craig Gillies

Australian Cyber Security Centre

Craig is the inaugural Director of the Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD’s) Technical Advice and Uplift – Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Individuals Section, as part of the ASDs, Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

Education and Training

Joanne Brooks

Navig8 Biz Pty Ltd

Joanne is a leading specialist in the field of business education, having founded and built her own start-up from zero to 30m in only 18 months. She brings vibrancy, fun and inspiration in spades to every masterclass, having run businesses since 2000.

Industrial Relations


Small Business Assistance & Advisory Services

Eric has over 20 years’ experience in assisting small business in their Human Resources, Strategic Growth and Education requirements. Eric is a Chartered Manager, a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, a Certified Professional of the Australian Human Resources Institute, and a proud White Ribbon Ambassador and Mental Health Advocate.

Industrial Relations

Lester (Wes) Lambert CPA, FGIA, MAICD

Restaurant & Catering Association

Wes Lambert CPA, GIA (Cert) MAICD, commenced with Restaurant & Catering in May 2019.  Most recently he served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director for Velocity Group, a retail industry holding company based in the United States.  Mr Lambert previously served as Executive Director, Secretary and Financial Controller for Pacific Restaurant Group Ltd (Kingsleys, ChopHouse, & Jamie’s Italian), Australia’s first public unlisted Full-Service Restaurant Group, from 2007 to 2012, where he was responsible for the restructure and IPO of the Group as well as securing the Master Franchise Agreement for Jamie’s Italian in Australia/NZ.


John Hebrard Mech Eng., MBA

TAFE Queensland

John brings his role at TAFE Queensland over 25 years of experience in general management, sales, marketing in various industries. John’s interest in making high quality training and mentoring accessible and affordable for small business operators led him to his current role at TAFE Queensland Small Business Solutions.


Colin Coverdale CMC, FAIM / FNZIM

Institute Small Business Owners

Colins experience spans 40 years in Board, CEO and Consulting positions across NZ, Australia, Sth Pacific, Canada, parts of USA, Europe, Scandinavia and UK. He has held senior positions in the Oil Industry, been a KPMG recovery specialist plus a Small Business Educator in Retail, Banking, Manufacturing, Marine and Construction sectors.

Education and Technology

Dr Dion Klein B.S., MEd, MBA, PhD

The WISE Academy Pty Ltd

Dion has 35+ years’ experience owning businesses mainly in health/fitness and is an educator 40+ years. He specialises in entrepreneurship, marketing and wellness. He currently owns The WISE Academy. He served on the ACT Minister’s Advisory Council for Sport & Recreation & is recognised for his contribution to the Australian Fitness Industry.


Susan Sheehan


Susan Sheehan is an International Speaker, Wellness and Business Coach, BRAIN training authority, best-selling author and a Managing Partner of SMARTCOACH7. She wants to share that success is the process of continually growing and improving oneself. Training your brain daily is a necessary skill and a powerful success strategy.


Dr Peter Ellis MBA; DBA; Ph.D. JP (Qual)

Your Silent Partner Pty Ltd

Dr Peter Ellis has been assisting enterprise owners of dysfunctional businesses to grow, for over 30 years. Teaching business owners about finance, management development and how to pass through their glass ceilings that prevented growth. Dr Peter Ellis gained post-graduate degrees to enhance the training, Masters in Strategy, Doctorate in Business Education, PhD in Business scaling and development.


Masaki Takahara

JETRO Sydney

Mr Takahara joined Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in 1989. Served as a researcher at New York office 1996-2000, Deputy Managing Director at Shanghai office 2004-09 and Managing Director at Yangon office 2012-15. Mr Takahara has been working as a Managing Director of the JETRO Sydney office since June 2019.

Education & Technology

Dr Clarence N W Tan BSEE, MSISE, MBA (USC), PhD, FACS, F Fin (Aust), FInstBA, FBSC (UK)

Dr Clarence N.W. Tan is a futurist and the Strategic Innovation Advisor to Constellation Technologies, an ASX-listed IoT company. He is also the co-founder of Exponential Positive Impact Capital (EPIC) and, the makers of affordable and portable smart wheelchairs and the CEO of Dr CT Pty Ltd and Austanco Pty Ltd, a private equity fund. He has been involved in a number of start-ups as a founder, mentor and investor. He is passionate about exponential technologies particularly in the areas of education, health, seeking and sharing knowledge through humor.

Education & Training

Helen Dayman B Comn

WAHP Business Australia

Helen Dayman has been a micro and small business owner for 40 years starting her first business at 18 years of age. Growing up, surrounded by family businesses including her parents roofing business and family-run corner store, Helen has a solid grounding in the issues and risks micro and small businesses face.


Faisal Khatib

Adbuzz Australia Pty Ltd

Faisal is an experienced Digital specialist and a leader with experience across all aspects of digital marketing from digital strategy to implementation including delivery, support, and management.

Faisal has an outgoing personality with proven ability to develop strong internal & external networks and established relationships with key stakeholders, clients, team members and vendors and the ability to communicate effectively with both non-technical and technical parties and all levels of management. He is a highly engaged, innovative and a committed employee with the ability to work autonomously and deliver results under pressure.

Adbuzz is a boutique advertising agency servicing Australian customers. Our core values include integrity and creativity, meaning you get to deal with an honest upfront, professional and no-nonsense approach to your marketing campaign. Whether your campaign is edgy, laid-back Aussie or off the wall, our creative hats will ensure we put you out there in the best possible way.

Education & Training and Industrial Relations

Jonathan Alt MBA, M Fraud & Financial Crime


Jonathan is a former Detective Superintendent of the NSW Police Force. Since retiring he has been involved in a number of small businesses.

He currently owns an RTO and has founded a boutique Forensic Consultancy firm. Here he gained a number of high-profile government and corporate clients.


Peter Graham Corrie

Rynco Pty Ltd

Mr Corrie’s career as a financial advisor has spanned over 40 years, with over 10 years’ management experience with life insurance companies.

Mr Corrie is currently operating as an advisor specialising in risk management & Life Insurance Programs to protect small businesses and their respective assets. Mr Corrie prides himself on his work and the positive results it yields; the protection of families & superannuation funds for financial security in the future.


Gabriel Dio B. Eng (hons), MIEAust, RPEQ, CPEng

Master Steel

Gabe is passionate about advancing Australian manufacturing and improving our country’s commercial competitiveness. Since taking over Master Steel in 2018, he has realised annual revenue growth, grown the team, entered new markets and achieved Main Roads (TMR) accreditation to MRTS78.

His background in the resources and manufacturing sector spans more than a decade and numerous countries in South East Asia, the Middle East and East Coast of Australia. When combined with his love of innovation, Gabe is providing the leadership Master Steel needs so it can play a role in a brighter future for advanced manufacturing in Australia.

When he’s not planning the next phase of growth for Master Steel, Gabe enjoys staying connected with his Filipino community – whilst eating Mexican food. And if he’s not watching sports, he’s either out playing golf or taking care of his mental wellbeing with some meditation (which also helps when he’s had a bad day out on the golf course).


Mr Greg Craven B.App.Sc.,Grad.Dip.Bus.

Cumulus Technologies Pty Ltd

Greg’s career started in State Government and Education before working with international companies like Baxter Healthcare, Lotus Development, and IBM. Held C Level positions with APN News and Media, Arrow Energy and one of the founders/CTO of eGlobal International Ltd. Greg with his brothers started Cumulus in 2008 focused on providing Web, Mobile and Integration technologies throughout Asia Pacific. For over a decade Greg has enabled organizations to leverage their data and put to use information for better decision making.

Women In Business

Karen Phillips

Women in Business Australia

Karen is Executive Director of Women in Business Australia and Queensland Women in Business. She has over 28 years of extensive experience in sectors including media, women in business, and small business and has worked with a host of world’s leading brands, heads of state, national companies, with a key focus on women’s leadership initiatives.

Women In Business

Tina Randello


Tina is Chief Commercial Officer at Alpha-H; Australian corrective skincare brand. She is an innovator and brand builder having worked across local and global businesses in the Wellness, Beauty and Design industries. She is on a mission to empower more women to find their Alpha.

Manufacturing and Trade

Tracey Hocking


Tracey is the CEO of Lazybones Australia, a clothing brand thriving in the fashion and homeware scene that creates and deliver quality collections whilst being driven by their social and ecological responsibilities as a small business. Having operated as the CEO since Lazybones establishment in 2000, Tracey has a keen insight on how to successfully operate a small business whilst being environmentally, and ethically conscious.

Women In Business

Adrienne Ward

Women In Business Australia Ambassador

Adrienne has an extensive background in corporate and government strategy, as well as working in high-risk and dynamic environments.

Her current roles include Chairman, Safety Governance Institute Foundation AUS, Chairman, Gladstone Airport Corporation and Non-Executive Director, Gladstone Ports Corporation. Experience in state and national roles within organisations such as Accenture, Westpac Banking Corporation and Leighton Contractors.


Dr Carla Riverola Bataller

Griffith University

Dr Carla Riverola is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Griffith University. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation management and sustainability. She has partnered with entrepreneurs and policy makers around the world and has been published in top peer-reviewed journals (e.g. International Journal of Innovation Management, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal).


Dr Anna Kurtovic PhD, B.Com, M.Com, CFE, CA


Dr Kurtovic is a Certified Fraud Examiner and has headed up forensic units for top tier banking organisations and has heled the position of Partner in a mid-tier professional Accounting services firm. Prior to joining Daris Group, Anna founded a boutique consulting business providing Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation services.


Dr Rumintha Wickramasekera PhD, SFHEA

Queensland University of Technology

Rumintha’s research is focused on identifying the dynamics of the internationalization process of SMEs, including his PhD research, which examined the internationalization of the Australian wine industry. Recently he has expanded his research to examine factors behind the Internationalisation and longevity of firms in Japan, Chile, Brazil, Taiwan, India.

Technology, Industrial Relations, Taxation, Finance

Maree Adshead

Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner

Maree Adshead was appointed as Queensland Small Business Commissioner in May 2020 under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020. Initially a temporary COVID response, the Office of the Small Business Commissioner is now being established as a permanent service for small business. It is the primary role and function of the Small Business Commissioner to advocate for small businesses, to connect them with information and support needed to grow and thrive, and to provide dispute resolution support (including a free mediation service) for small business tenancy matters.

Industrial Relations & Manufacturing

Trena Blair B.A.(Ed), Grad.Dip.Mgt, GAICD

FD Global Connections Pty Ltd

Ms. Trena Blair is a highly accomplished global businesswoman and professional speaker who effortlessly transverses corporate and entrepreneurial communities transcontinental. In 2014, Ms. Blair founded and is CEO of FD Global Connections, a boutique advisory firm dedicated to successfully scaling businesses globally. Featured in Forbes, Ms. Blair is highly sought after advisor to Federal Government, Corporates and entrepreneurs.

Women In Business

Dr Juliette Tobias-Webb PhD UCam

Kaplan Business School

Dr Juliette Tobias-Webb is a Behavioural Scientist and MBA Lecturer at Kaplan Business School. Juliette has a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge University. She has a range of academic and commercial experience that has led her to be named a “Superstar of STEM” and selected for an all female expedition to Antarctica.

Dominique -Lamb

Dominique Lamb

National Retail Association

CEO of the National Retail Association and Director of NRA Legal, Dominique Lamb has extensive experience providing industrial relations and employment law advice to a range of small, medium and large businesses across a range of industries. Dominique plays an integral role with the National Retail Association by liaising and advocating on behalf of retailers at a Federal and State Government level on all areas of policy which affect retail businesses both large and small, including but not limited to industrial relations, technical standards, product safety, loss prevention and city planning and infrastructure.

Women In Business

Dr Dharah Shah

Griffith University

Dr. Dhara Shah is a Senior Lecturer within BSI. Her research expertise and interest have been within the areas of gender, career-growth, training, women entrepreneurship. She has successfully led and completed two research grants projects recently, focusing on empowering disadvantaged women through entrepreneurship and building international entrepreneurial capacity for growth.

Paul Cooper

Paul Cooper

Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

Paul was appointed Chairman of AMGC’s Board in 2018. He is owner and Executive Chair of Rinstrum, and holds qualifications as a Chartered Tax Advisor, is a Fellow of Certified Practising Accountants Australia, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Gretta Svendsen

Gretta Svendsen


Gretta is the SMB Lead at Microsoft. She is focused on empowering small and medium sized business through advancements in technology and innovation. During her time at Microsoft, she has been focused on supporting Small Businesses during a time of economic recovery and reimagination. Her experience extends across multiple sectors including banking, payments, accounting technology, FMCG and Consumer Goods.

Ben Giles

Ben Giles

Trade and Investment Queensland

Ben Giles commenced as Trade and Investment Commissioner for Indonesia (based in Jakarta) in July 2018. He has 25 years’ experience in international business, including 15 in the field of trade and investment. He also has longstanding connections to Indonesia, having previously worked in Jakarta with both the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the private sector. Ben is currently Vice President of the Indonesia Australia Business Council.

David Power - MC

David Power – MC

Swinburne University, Southern Cross University, QUT

David Power was the youngest Councillor ever elected to the Albert Shire in 1991 prior to amalgamation with Gold Coast City. He was Chair of Planning North and Chair of Strategic Planning until his retirement in 2007. He was Deputy Mayor from 2004 till 2007. He is the initiator and strategist behind the Gold Coast Light Rail, Gold Coast Marine Precinct, Gold Coast Knowledge Precinct and the largest urban water conservation strategy in the Southern Hemisphere.

David Power - MC

Rutland Smith

Harvey Norman Technology for Business

As an owner and advisor, technology and small business are the crux of Rutland Smith’s 20+ year career. From Apple then IBM to today, it is his passion for technology and supporting SMBs that has led Rutland to his role as MD, of Harvey Norman Technology for Business.

Catherine Palin-Brinkworth
Women In Business

Catherine Palin-Brinkworth

Progress Performance International

Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is a behavioural scientist, an inspirational speaker, coach, mentor and business strategist. She builds high performing leaders at all levels from boardroom to small business, with a focus on people skills and change leadership.

Women In Business

Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw

Global Intrapreneurs Institute

Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw, educator, author and entrepreneur is one of Australia’s leading authorities on intrapreneurialism. She is the Founder and Board Chairman of the Global Intrapreneurs Institute, Editor–in-Chief of Intrapreneur Magazine and organiser of the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit, a national conference spearheading the intrapreneurialism movement in Australia.

With numerous publications to her name, her most recent books are INTRAPRENEUR: How leaders ignite innovation, break bureaucracy and catalyse change and Leading in the Innovation Age: Unleash knowledge, talent and experience to create an innovative workplace. They both draw on her vast experience of working with people in many different contexts who are tasked with leading change and innovation in our current disruptive times.

Women In Business

Elena Gosse

AIS Water

Elena Gosse is a charismatic CEO of AIS Water, a leading manufacturing company specialising in water disinfection. Elena is recognised as a rule breaker and change maker in the male-dominated swimming pool industry. Her company’s water disinfection technology saves trillions of litres of water from being wasted from pools every day. Through her authenticity, strength and vulnerability, Elena has overcome significant challenges to emerge triumphant as a leader and successful businesswoman. Elena’s reputation as a disruptor extends beyond her professional life.

Event Location:

  • Sea World Resort Conference Centre
  • Seaworld Dr,
  • Main Beach
  • Queensland
  • Australia

Event Schedule Details

  • November 22, 2021 7:00 am - November 30, 2021 - 5:00 pm
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