2023 HEader

Want to help build stronger, more productive relationships between councils and small businesses?

This is your unique opportunity to engage directly with our powerhouse panel of speakers including, The Hon Andrea Michaels MP Minister for Small and Family Business, Bruce Bilson the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman plus Nerissa Kilvert, Small Business Commissioner and more!

The SBFC Forum will provide you with the opportunity to share your ideas on how Councils can support small businesses. You will also access information to help gain a better understanding of how the Office of the South Australian Small Business Commissioner can assist you to support small businesses in your local area.

Together we can shape the future of the SBFC initiative to re-energise the program and improve support for small businesses in South Australia.

Register here

Small Business Friendly Council Forum Program

Session one

Scene setter

Welcome and setting the scene for the afternoon’s sessions.

Session two

Minister for Small & Family Business, the Hon Andrea Michaels MP

Keynote address

Session three

Procurement opportunities

Led by the Deputy Industry Advocate, Phillip Dowsett, this session will focus on the roll out of the SA Industry Participation Plan to local government and the way the City of Salisbury is guided by the plan when making procurement decisions. You will also hear from Adelaide Plains Council about how they have upskilled local businesses so they can tender to council, increasing the prosperity of the local area.

Session four

Economic development 

This session will feature presentations by the Australian Taxation Office, the Local Government Association SA and the City of Holdfast Bay about data tools that can be utilised by local government to build economic development in their areas. The Rural City of Murray Bridge will also present, focusing on its work with Regional Development Australia.

Session five

Cutting red tape for small business

Hear from the WA Small Business Development Corporation about their highly successful Small Business Friendly Approvals Program, which sees the Corporation work with local government to  design reforms to achieve more streamlined approval processes and support local governments to implement those reforms.

Session six

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Address from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

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Small Business Friendly Council Forum Speakers

Nerissa Kilvert - South Australian Small Business Commissioner
Nerissa Kilvert

Nerissa Kilvert had been acting in the Small Business Commissioner role since September 2021 and was recently appointed South Australia’s new Small Business Commissioner for a term of three years.

Nerissa has significant leadership experience and management expertise. Her previous experience includes heading up the Regulatory Services section of Consumer and Business Services within the Attorney-General’s Department, where she provided strategic leadership and management of the division’s regulatory, policy and legislative reform responsibilities.

Session two

The Hon Andrea Michaels MP - Minister for Small and Family Business, Consumer and Business Affairs, and Arts

Andrea Michaels is the South Australian Minister for Small and Family Business, Consumer and Business Affairs, and Arts. She is also the State Member for Enfield, representing the community in Adelaide’s inner North and North-Eastern suburbs.

Andrea’s family fled war-torn Cyprus in 1974, landing in South Australia in 1976 when she was just 11 months old with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Through her parents’ hard work, commitment to family and dedication to their community, Andrea was instilled with a passion for community service. She is now the proud mother of two boys, Sebastian and Charlie, and is keen to ensure that they and their peers are also provided with ample opportunities in a strong, diverse and thriving community.

Prior to becoming a Minister, Andrea was running her own small business – a legal practice specialising in commercial law and supporting small and family businesses. She has also been Treasurer of the Law Society of SA, a company director, and a partner at industry leading law firms, as well as a chartered tax advisor and accredited family business advisor.

Andrea is passionate about promoting diversity, supporting more women to launch and grow businesses, and building safe, fair and friendly communities.

She is focused on ensuring the Government is easy to do business with, that small businesses are supported to succeed, and that the whole community has access to a thriving cultural and creative sector.

Andrea is also committed to being a strong voice for the people of Enfield.

Session three

Phillip DowsetPhillip Dowsett - The Deputy Industry Advocate
The Deputy Industry Advocate, Phillip Dowsett has been with the office since 2016. As the Deputy Industry Advocate the role supports the Industry Advocate with the strategic application of the South Australian Industry Participation Policy (SAIPP) by responsible government agencies with the objective of maximising the economic benefit to the state from government expenditure.

From an advocacy perspective, Phillip’s role is to increase the number and diversity of South Australian based businesses winning government contracts. The SAIPP and the Industry Advocate Act 2017 underpins the functions of the both the Deputy, and the Industry Advocate.

Over the last 17 years, Phillip has considerable experience in leading, managing and developing highly successful multidisciplinary teams across international divisions incorporating sales and marketing, service, operations, production and warehousing. From operating his own business through to various managing director roles, his primary responsibility was for the generation of growth, developing submissions for government tenders and managing new and existing government and private sector contracts, across the Asia Pacific region.

David CowellDavid Cowell - Economic Development Officer, Adelaide Plains Council
David Cowell a qualified motor mechanic and commenced his local government journey at the City of Charles Sturt as an Environmental Health Officer in 1992. David moved on to the Yorke Peninsula District Council for 4 years then spent 11 years as a Business Development Officer across the northern region of South Australia, while successfully managing a coastal food business, employing 24 staff over a 3 years.

David is a re-accredited APEC Certified Business Councillor and has contracted to Austrade as a Trade Start, Export Officer. Over the past 6 years David has been employed at a growth Council, Adelaide Plains, undertaking  Environmental Health, Economic Development & Project management roles.

Tanya Grover

Tanya Grover - Procurement Specialist, City of Salisbury

Tanya is a procurement professional with over 13 years of experience helping companies minimise risk and save costs. Tanya's career in procurement started in 2008 in India with a Media firm (Lintas) where she was procuring digital advertising space for clients. In 2010, Tanya decided to undertake her MBA from Strathclyde Business School (Glasglow, UK) and upon completion her Procurement career got a huge boost as she joined the EPC (Engineering Procurement & Construction) giant Fluor in 2012. In the 7 years at Fluor Tanya worked on many projects and had a huge learning curve. Tanya's career in Australia began in 2019 with the City of Salisbury and it has been a great journey so far working the public sector.

Tanya is passionate about people, leadership and successful businesses. Keeping an open mind and open-door policy for all suppliers and giving them an equal platform is very important as the first step of most procurement activities.

Tanya has a knack for making meaningful connections with audiences and a voracious appetite for helping organisations optimise their procurement portfolio. Thinking in a 360-degree manner comes to her naturally and she thrive on negotiation and stakeholder management.

When not undertaking procurement activities, she can be found creating delicious meals for her family in exchange for snuggles and travelling with family.

Session four

Michael Sedgman - Chief Executive Officer,  Rural City of Murray Bridge
Michael SedgmanMichael is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of Governance Institute Australia, a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Secretaries, holds a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Commercial Law and has extensive experience as a senior executive with expertise in strategic financial management, corporate governance and people leadership in a range of roles in both the private and public sectors.

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural City of Murray Bridge, Michael is responsible for strategic planning, stakeholder management and communications, finance and asset management, human resources, governance and major projects He is also responsible to the Council to build a proactive organisational culture to deliver a “Proud, Safe and Progressive Murray Bridge”.

Before taking up his role with the Rural City of Murray Bridge, Michael held senior roles in state and local government with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Adelaide City Council and the City of Yarra. Michael also enjoyed a short term role as the interim General Manager Corporate Services with the Rural City of Murray Bridge in 2013.

Michael has a strong personal commitment to excellence in public sector governance and the delivery of quality services to the community and regards his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Rural City of Murray Bridge as a privileged opportunity to work with the Council to deliver sound governance and the provision of high quality, cost effective services to the Murray Bridge community.

Kevin Johnson Kevin Johnson of Spendmapp (Geographia)
Kevin has a PhD in economics. He began his career in the Western Australian and then Victorian state governments. He put together an economic development policy for the rock industry, analysed labour market demands and worked on drafting instructions for new building industry legislation. He then lectured in urban economics at the University of Melbourne before forming Geografia.

Kevin devised Spendmapp and its sister application, Movemapp, to provide easier and cheaper access to big data analytics for government and small business. Over the last 2 years he has been designing a sustainable development measurement framework for UN Habitat.

Virginia Miller - Business Development Partner, City of Holdfast Bay
Virginia Miller Virginia is currently the Business Development Partner at the City of Holdfast Bay and takes a leading role in developing and implementing a range of economic development related projects that focus on industry investment, business engagement and enhancing core industry sectors across Holdfast Bay.

Virginia spent six years as a National Board Member for Economic Development Australia and continues to support the national agenda through her involvement with the South Australian EDA chapter as a nationally accredited economic development practitioner and also holds an international business counselling accreditation through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

She has a passion for the creative industries sector and conducted research with Melbourne University and the inner Melbourne councils and the impacts of urbanisation and competing needs for industrial and commercial land in central cities. As a current business owner also, she values the importance of key agencies and organisations that foster business development and resources that enhance the capacity of business and economic growth.

Brad Mathews Brad Mathews - Relationship Officer, Australian Taxation Officer
Brad Mathews is a relationship officer in the ATO Agency Access Team which was established to support eligible federal, state and local government agencies to access and use non-public data held by the Australian Business Register (ABR) .

Brad and his team have recently worked with Local Government Areas such as Lismore to support flood relief efforts and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions for validation of their COVID related grants.

Brad’s role is to ensure efficient delivery of ABRS data to our government partners and support them to gain best use of the data.

Tom CaunceTom Caunce - Local Government Association of South Australia

Tom is currently the Acting Director Policy at the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA).

In this role, Tom coordinates policy development designed to assist and advocate on behalf of councils to other levels of government. Tom also works directly on policy issues associated with housing and homelessness, regional development, economic development, and tourism.

Tom has previously worked in various roles for State Government ministers and in government departments and is a PhD graduate in political economy from the University of Adelaide.

Session five

Martin Hasselbacher, Director Policy & Advocacy, WA Small Business Development Corporation
Martin Hasselbacher

Martin has been with the SBDC since 2003 and in this time has seen many shifts in the small business policy landscape and in the sector itself, none more so than in the past three pandemic-afflicted years.

Over the past 20 years, he has provided high-level policy advice to numerous Ministers/Governments and has worked extensively with all tiers of government to improve the operating environment for the State’s small business sector.

Martin has been the Director of Policy and Advocacy since November 2013 and leads a small team of equally dedicated policy experts.

Prior to joining the SBDC, he spent seven years with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in a variety of policy roles, including in Federal-State relations. Martin has a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and the Media from Murdoch University.

Annette Brown, Senior Project and Engagement Officer, WA Small Business Development Corporation
Annette Brown

Annette has been working within the Policy and Advocacy Team of the SBDC since 2020 to deliver the Small Business Friendly (SBF) Approvals Program to 20 West Australian Local Governments.

Working alongside progressive Councils, the partnership program is making it easier to start, relocate and grow small businesses by streamlining approval processes. Win/win outcomes that result in direct savings for small business owners and improved efficiencies within local government authorities.

Over the course of her career she has worked for public and corporate media networks, two local governments, and in partnership with her husband, ran a small business.

Annette considers it a great privilege to be in a position that makes the most of her professional skill set and business experience, to help guide local governments identify and deliver reforms that will make it easier to do business in WA.

Session six

Bruce Billson - Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman 
Bruce Billson

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.

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.

Register here