Meet the team
Kate Carnell AO (Ombudsman) and Dr Craig Latham (Deputy) are available for speaking appearances. In most cases we require return economy airfares, and if required, accommodation. We do not require speaking fees.
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, 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 flourish, and has a particular 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. He ensures that he still has some time for long-distance trail running with his wolfhound.
Sharryn brings 15 years of Executive Assistance experience, 5 years’ experience in Human Resources and 12 years’ event management expertise. She has owned a small business and has worked with various organisations including other small businesses, global companies, large banks and Government. The role of Executive Officer is to manage all requests and invitations for the Ombudsman, manage speaking engagements and travel as well as Human Resources advice and overall office management.
Outside of the office Sharryn enjoys volunteering at the National Zoo and Aquarium and spending time with family and friends.
Liza has over 20 years customer service and administration experience in the private sector and the public service. In Liza’s previous position she was the Membership Officer and Finance Assistant at the Canberra Business Chamber.
In her spare time, Liza enjoys spending time with her family and gardening.
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. She spends her spare time with friends and family and enjoys bushwalking.
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 servant for the last 10 years. In broking, Jill supported a high net worth client base building wealth for individuals and small businesses.
During her tenure with government, Jill has worked across various departments encompassing delivery of grants to assist small businesses to grow, the initial rebuild of the business.gov.au website and currently works with the Ombudsman to advocate for a level playing field for small and family businesses.
Outside the office Jill volunteers with Safe Shelter ACT and spends weekends on long walks and family activities.
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 undertaking a review of the clarity of the R&D Tax Incentive policies and practices and their impact on small business. Annette also has experience in examining contracting practices and policies in the building and construction industry and how they can be improved to assist small business participants.
In her spare time, Annette enjoys trekking in interesting places around the globe.
Ben has previously worked in Banking, Professional Services and State Government bringing a broad cross section of experience relating to small business and issues that impact small business. This has allowed Ben to research, review and synthesise large volumes of information to deliver strong outcomes. At the ASBFEO office, Ben works in the Advocacy team with a focus on competition policy and practices, affordable capital for SME’s and payment times issues. This is achieved through advocating and enacting change through different mechanisms such as influencing policy and implementing strategic projects.
Stephen has an extensive background in adult education and teaching, working with Indigenous Australians and people with disabilities. Previously Stephen spent nine years with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in a Senior Advisor role with coverage of education and training, employment participation and migration policy. Stephen was lead author of Oceans of Opportunity, a research paper for the Menzies Research Centre on labour market access for Pacific Island workers in Australia. Most recently, Stephen led an employer liaison team with the Canberra Institute of Technology engaging with apprentices and their employers across the ACT and regional NSW.
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys building scale models, cooking and reading.
Rowen has previously worked in many small businesses over the last 17 years, from regional towns to large city environments. In 2013, Rowen studied a degree in Security, Terrorism & Counterterrorism which enabled him to complete part of his degree in Europe. Rowen recently moved to Canberra and started at ASBFEO researching issues such as legitimate businesses in the Adult Industry losing access to banking, access to justice for small business and keeping an eye on the Royal Commission into Banking Misconduct.
When not at work, Rowen enjoys playing and seeing live music, keeping fit, finding places that have good food and travelling all over the world.
Bryan has over 20 years’ experience in managing, mentoring, owning and operating small businesses. His knowledge extends across a variety of private and state government businesses. Bryan also conducted training programs for small business, specialising in one to one sessions.
The majority of Paul’s career has been in the banking sector, where he worked with small businesses to large private and public companies across a range of industry sectors. With this experience, Paul has an insight into the challenges faced by small businesses and is keen to help them succeed. Paul also worked in the Department of the Treasury’s International Policy and Engagement Division where he worked on the development of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Paul enjoys reading, travelling with his family and spending weekends with family and friends.
Eamon brings to ASBFEO 10 years’ experience in Newcastle’s vibrant hospitality scene, including time in franchises, nightclubs, bars, cafes and restaurants. His educational background is in international relations, politics and history. This involved studying conflict resolution and post-conflict societies in Belfast as well as a dissertation charting Australian foreign policy responses to China’s recent rise.
Beyond work and study he enjoys reading, board games, visiting the coast and following European football, particularly his beloved Liverpool FC.
Mike joins the ASBFEO team with a background in financial and business analysis. Mike worked on several privatisation projects and then lived in China for a number of years, primarily working in the business migration sector. He relishes the opportunity to help advocate for the mums and dads that comprise the small businesses and family enterprises of our communities.
Ruth has owned and operated several business over 25 years and understands the issues and difficulties small businesses deal with on a daily basis.
As her businesses grew, so did regulation and compliance and Ruth felt that further education would enhance her business operations. She completed a Masters of Business Administration which led to a lifelong love of learning and research . Ruth believes that small business is an integral part of Australia and loves being part of an Office in a role that assists and advocates for small business.
Ruth enjoys playing a variety of sports and is a keen spectator, particularly watching her AFL team, the Collingwood Magpies.
Case Management Officer
Kirilyn was raised in a family small business environment in her home town in the Central West. Since moving to Canberra, she has established a diverse background in the Government assisting people in difficult circumstances. She enjoys her role as a case manager and achieving great outcomes for small business owners.
On the weekend she likes spending time with friends and family. She loves her dog, fishing, camping and exploring new places.
Case Management Officer
Liz Toussaint has a background in economics and worked at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Economics and the Australian Industry Group in economic research. She has undertaken post graduate study at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.
She has owned and operated a florist for the past 20 years, coming across many issues that small business owners and retailers are faced with.
Case Management Officer
Juliana has a lifelong history with small businesses and a passion for helping people. She grew up working and managing her family’s small business for over 15 years and now runs her own small business. She understands the struggles and hardships that come with running a small business. Juliana completed a Bachelor in Business and also has a background in the private and public sector.
Outside of work, Juliana loves walking her German Shepherd puppy, practising yoga and enjoys brunch with family and friends.
Case Management Officer
Keiran comes from a family background of small businesses operating in regional New South Wales. He brings experience across 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.
Outside of work, Keiran is committed to coaching the next generation of Futsal players in Canberra and spending time with family and friends.
Case Management Officer
Connie has extensive experience both in the corporate world and as a small business owner. In addition to over a decade of Executive Support, she built and operated a coffee bar, and worked as a small business consultant. Most recently, she founded an independent publishing house which has published fourteen titles, and developed a regional writer’s festival which continues today.
Connie is passionate about the written word, mentoring, learning and communicating. She is crazy about movies, cooking and yoga, and relaxes by spending time with family and friends, especially when sharing the view from the top of a mountain.
Communications and Media
Communications and Marketing Officer
Simone has worked in communications/marketing roles in the public service for more than 10 years. In her current role, Simone is responsible for writing small business success stories, communications strategies, website support and stakeholder engagement.
Simone has also run a home-based business for over 10 years. When she’s not running around after her two young boys, she spends her spare time exercising and playing netball. Simone loves spending her weekends with her family.
Donna has been part of a busy newsroom for more than two decades. She moved to Canberra with her young family in 2017 to lead a local television newsroom and prior to that worked for a national business broadcast network along with newspapers and business magazines in the UK. She grew up in a family-owned business and married a café owner, learning first-hand the ups and downs of running a small business. Donna adores spending time with her family and loves to bake.
Communications and Media Officer
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. Madeline enjoys checking out local markets, creating origami creatures and exploring Canberra.