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, 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.
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.
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 executive assistant to two senior executives and office administration and enjoys stand-up paddle boarding.
Bree graduated college in 2017 and jumped straight into administration work for a small business in Canberra before starting with the ASBFEO. Bree comes from a small, family-owned business and understands the challenges and rewards of running a small business. She loves working in a team environment with a focus on achieving business goals. On the weekends, Bree enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing oztag and walking with her dogs.
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 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 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 examining contracting practices and policies in the building and construction industry and how they can be improved to assist small business participants.
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.
As a Policy Analyst Rob is able to draw on many years of experience in the Senate Committee Office. Rob was responsible for reports on a range of subjects covering industry, employment and taxation. Rob has also worked in his own business providing secretariat support to government agencies and running inquiry secretariats that reported back to government. In his spare time Rob travels regularly to visit family in Switzerland which also very conveniently allows him to pursue his passion for cycling through the French Alps.
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.
Ada's extensive research experience through a previous career in the academic sector brings a diverse viewpoint to research projects in the ASBFEO office. In her spare time, Ada enjoys trail running and reading.
Dr Peter Hughes
Peter has worked on family-run farms, in academia overseas, for CSIRO and has 14 years of regulatory experience in the public service. Having strong family ties to small business and regional areas, he is committed to helping small businesses across Australia resolve disputes.
Outside of work, Peter spends time in his garden and enjoys marathon canoeing.
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.
Kelly is passionate about resolving conflict and joined the ASBFEO to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Kelly has 13 years’ experience in the public service and, prior to this, worked for a small business. Outside of work, Kelly likes to spend her time with her partner and two girls, exercising and walking her dog.
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
Daniel brings a wide range of experience and skills to the Assistance team. He has coordinated various country offices of CARE Australia, conducted research for a member of Parliament, consulted for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on human trafficking, served as an advisor for human rights in the Prime Minister’s Department in Malaysia, combatted human trafficking in South East Asia and ran his own human rights law firm where he was the litigation partner.
When he isn’t trying to save the world, he supports his family in an inter-generational blended household, cooks to make everyone happy, tinkers with bikes and coaches community soccer.
Case Management Officer
Matthew joins the team with a background in hospitality, delivery services, call centres and was most recently a teacher of high school mathematics and science. Matthew has owned (and worked in) various farming enterprises and enjoys keeping fit, gaming and spending time with the kids.
Communications and Media
Communications and Media Manager
Skye has over 35 years’ experience in media, public relations and marketing. She has held senior communication management positions in private enterprise, and the not-for-profit and public sectors.
A journalist by profession, Skye moved into public relations after writing for country newspapers for five years. She has worked in the communications industry in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
Communications and Marketing Officer
Simone has worked in communications/marketing roles in the public service for the past seven years. In her current role, Simone is responsible for writing small business success stories, communications strategies, website support and stakeholder engagement.
Simone has run a home-based wedding invitation business for the past nine years. When she’s not running around after her two young boys, she spends her (little) spare time making invitations.
Simone also enjoys exercising, playing netball and 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.