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About the Commissioner

About the Small Business Commissioner

John Chapman was first appointed Small Business Commissioner in 2014 and was reappointed for a further four years in 2017.  

The role of Small Business Commissioner, under the Small Business Commissioner Act 2011, includes alternative dispute resolution for business disputes, providing information to small businesses and advocating on their behalf.  

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In addition, he is responsible for the administration of the, Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995, the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018 and he also oversees the Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 2009. He has responsibilities under a number of other Acts including the Fair Trading Act 1987, Late Payment of Government Debts (Interest) Act 2013, and the Local Government Act 1999. In the past 12 months, responsibilities for commercial leasing issues have been included in the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020.

He brings to the role extensive experience at senior executive level in public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He is an experienced board director and was an interim Director of TAFESA in 2018 and is a member of the Federal Government’s Small Business Advisory Group (2019).  He is also a fellow and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He completed a Masters of Business Administration at the Adelaide University Graduate School of Business in 2004.  

John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Trade Association of South Australia for over eight years between 2005 and 2014 where he played the lead role in assisting members in the areas of advocacy at state and federal levels, industrial relations, industry information, and environmental education. He was responsible for the MTA’s Registered Training Organisation and Group Training Scheme which employed more than 550 apprentices and trainees.

He has held a number of board positions including:

  • President of Group Training Australia (SA);
  • Founding Director of Auto Skills Australia – the automotive industry’s national training body; and
  • Councillor on the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
  • Interim TAFESA Director April 2018 – December 2018

Before joining the MTA, he was the General Manager – International Business at Business SA and held a number of executive positions with, Insurance Australia Group.

Earlier career history has included senior experience within the South Australian Government including as an Executive Director in the Department of Premier and Cabinet with responsibilities for all economic related cabinet items, policies and policy implementation including major projects.

John has also worked as a Chief of Staff to former SA Premier Hon. John Olsen as well as Deputy Premier and Treasurer Hon. Stephen Baker.

As a journalist, John worked with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation specialising in finance, political and industrial reporting for both radio and TV.

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