Meet the team
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.
Bruce has shown his dedication to small business through being a founding Director of Judo Bank and various board appointments, including the Franchise Council of Australia, Deakin University Business School and Australian Property Institute.
The mission of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is to help ensure Australia is the best place to start, grow and transform a small business and family enterprise. Australia is a nation of small businesses and family enterprises. It’s a dynamic, fast-growing and exciting sector that allows people with an entrepreneurial spirit to pursue their dreams. We celebrate the vital and deeply personal commitment made by the more than 2.3 million small and family businesses to our community and the significant contribution to Australia’s economy and our future prosperity.
The Ombudsman is an independent advocate for small and family businesses. ASBFEO understands the challenges facing small and family business and provides advice and research to improve policies, access to dispute resolution services and mental health support should the need arise.
Dr Craig Latham
Craig’s experience stretches across business, government and academia in both Australia and New Zealand. He has specialist expertise in commercial and tax law, regulatory reform, and private sector/government collaboration. Craig has a passion to improve the commercial environment so that small and family businesses can flourish, and a focus on speedy and low cost dispute resolution for business disputes. Craig holds undergraduate degrees in economics and law, a Masters of Law and a Doctorate of Philosophy focussed on disruptive technology and regulatory systems.
Administration & Events Assistant
Julia joined ASBFEO’s Administration team after 2 years of working within small businesses in the private sector. Before this, Julia worked in event management, operational and administration roles within the Canberra Events Industry and Vocational Education and Training Sector. Julia’s experience is supported by a degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
With a background in law and strong family ties to small business, Alexandra’s career spans across both the private and public sectors that intersect with small business. Alexandra has worked in industry bodies and private businesses, advocating to government.
Cameron has been involved in the operations of small and family business for two decades. He has dedicated the past fifteen years to his love of the hospitality industry, which included owning and operating a restaurant. With this experience comes an in depth understanding of operations that Cameron uses to help develop and strengthen Australia’s small business environment.
While studying a Bachelor of Political Science and International Relations, Lachlan supported himself working for a variety of small business. He has been involved across a range of sectors and industries performing a number of different roles with varying responsibilities. Lachlan’s most recent experience comes from working in Industrial Relations space for the Federal Government and he now brings this subject matter expertise to the small business environment.
Sarah grew up on the family farm and holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management. She has 10 years’ experience working for government; previously in federal government program management and more recently as the Economic Development Officer for a regional NSW Council.
Bridget brings a range of experiences to ASBFEO from working on the family farm, to her time at Parliament House. Bridget studied a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at ANU.
Ekaterina has worked across a range of portfolios in the Federal Government including energy efficiency, supporting Australia's Indian Ocean Territories, and governance. She has also worked for the UK Civil Service developing a multi-million pound agriculture & environment scheme. Originally from Russia, Ekaterina has also lived in England, Italy and Kazakhstan.
Economics & Data Analytics
Principal Data Analyst
Liz has a background in small business, having owned and operated her own shops for 20 years. She has an economics degree and a mediation certificate. She previously worked for industry bodies and Government research agencies.
Nicole has worked in a number of roles across the private and public sectors. Nicole’s roles in government includes grants management, policy development and arts administration. In private enterprise, she has worked in community engagement in the arts and tourism sectors. Nicole also owned and worked in a family business for a number of years, where like many small business owners, she wore many hats and experienced multiple challenges daily.
Case Management Officer
Keiran grew up in a family who operated small businesses in regional New South Wales. He has experience in many sectors including building and construction, entertainment and community services. Keiran has specialist knowledge of businesses working as registered providers for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and in the Commonwealth My Aged Care system.
Case Management Officer
Grace spent 16 years working in small businesses, co-owning and operating her own small business for 13 years. Covid-19 was a catalyst for the closure of Grace’s business, however she is pleased to bring the knowledge and experience she gained during that time to her role with the Assistance team.
Case Management Officer
Jeff has a background in Environmental Science and spent time testing environmental compliance of NSW mines before teaching science at high school. He has been involved in tourism and hospitality for 15 years along the South Coast of NSW, including managing a family-owned motel and working in cafes and bars. Combining his love of travel and passion for the environment, he completed a Masters of Business, specialising in Sustainable Tourism.
Communications & Media
Amelia is an accomplished communication, branding and media specialist, with almost 20 years of experience in strategic communications, stakeholder engagement and overseeing large national advertising campaigns for the public sector. She has also developed and implemented small and family business policies on behalf of government. Amelia’s experience ensures a unique perspective to engaging and raising awareness with target audiences.
Melinda is a strategic communications professional with a passion for helping small business. She has two decades of experience writing and delivering internal and external communication strategies across public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Senior Social Media and Publications Officer
Emily joined ASBFEO with a background in the private sector where she gained experience in social media management, digital content creation and graphic design for digital and print publications. She has a strong understanding of the challenges small businesses face, having operated her own freelance makeup artistry business for five years. Emily is currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in graphic design and photography.
Social Media Officer
Olivia has a wealth of experience working in multiple small businesses in the hospitality industry, including 4 years as a baker which was supported by her studies in Patisserie. Olivia is currently studying a Bachelor of Communications and Media, majoring in Marketing Communications.