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.
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.
Alex has small business roots and almost 10 years of public policy experience with a strong focus on business, economics, and international trade. He worked at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam from 2015-17 advocating for Australia’s trade and investment interests. After returning to Australia, he focused on business policy, particularly cutting red tape and supporting business digitisation. He joined ASBFEO in March 2020 and leads a great team of four.
A qualified personal trainer and strength coach, Alex also operates a nano-business as a sole trader, which he is trying to take digital. In his spare time, he loves spending time outdoors with his two young kids.
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.
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.
Genevieve grew up working in her family’s business, and went on to own and operate a successful small business herself. She also has a diverse history in the public service, working in research, evaluation, policy and administration in the areas of employment, national security, family law and defence.
Like many small business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Genevieve to reconsider her future. She made the difficult decision to leave her business behind, but is excited her choice has led her to ASBFEO where she can channel her passion and energy to advocate for small businesses on a national level.
Outside of work, Genevieve teaches ballet, and enjoys reading, cooking and writing.
Luke has previously worked in many hospitality small businesses across Victoria’s Yarra Valley, working at wineries, breweries, restaurants and bars. Luke recently completed his Masters in International Relations which saw him focus on trade, diplomacy and large scale global projects.
He enjoys the wide range of work he is able to do at ASBFEO and is excited to continue to advocate for small businesses and family enterprises.
In his spare time Luke enjoys spending time with friends, cooking too much food for those friends, reading and getting outdoors.
Growing up in small farming communities, Paul is passionate about the importance of small business to rural Australia.
Paul joins the ASBFEO team with a background in financial analysis in the agricultural industry, where he worked with tech start-ups to implement agricultural software.
He has an educational background in economics and international business. Outside of work, Paul enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors.
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
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
Nicole recently joined the Assistance Team after working in a small business for three years, where she applied her problem solving and organisational skills to initiate some key changes to grow the business. Like many people in small business she wore many hats and experienced firsthand the many challenges that small businesses face on a day to day basis.
Nicole has postgraduate qualifications in Art History and Curatorship. She has worked in commercial and non-commercial galleries and worked in arts administration both in local government and at the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is on the Board of the Canberra Potters Society. Nicole is passionate about the visual arts. She also enjoys being outside and being active, with early morning walks, weekend hikes and midweek yoga.
Case Management Officer
Grace has worked in small businesses since moving back to Canberra 16 years ago and has co-owned and operated her own small business for the last 13 years. Covid-19 was a catalyst for the closure of her small business, however Grace is excited to be able to bring the knowledge and experience she has gained during those years to her role with the Assistance team.
When she isn’t in the office, Grace enjoys aerial sports, yoga, reading and spending time with her family and friends
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, 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.
Outside of work, Jeff loves hiking with his Blue Heeler puppy while listening to science and history podcasts, reading books, watching sports and spending time at the beach.
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.
Social Media and Marketing Officer
Brogan has worked in the communications space for over 5 years and leapt into the social media management space in 2018. In his current role, Brogan is responsible for creating engaging content for the ASBFEO social media channels, the curation of content for the monthly newsletter, web-support and stakeholder engagement.
Together with his partner, Brogan also runs a YouTube channel and Facebook page called 'Capital Food Adventure'. There they create fun videos with a food focus, with the hopes of encouraging more people to support their local restaurants, cafes and bars.