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Meet the COSBOA Team

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Luke Achterstraat

Chief Executive Officer

Luke Achterstraat has over a decade of experience in policy, advocacy and government. He has advised two federal government ministers and appeared before parliamentary inquiries on behalf of both federal and state industry groups. Most recently he was the NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia and was also appointed by the NSW Government as the inaugural Chair of the NSW Expert Housing Advisory Panel. Luke is passionate about small business, having helped co-found and lead the talent disruption business Commtract. His grandfather emigrated to Australia from the Netherlands in 1951 and started a small business, a legacy that helps inform Luke on the vital role small businesses play in building livelihoods and communities across Australia.

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Matthew Addison

Chair and Director

Matthew Addison is the Executive director and previous CEO of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. He trained as a Chartered Accountant in Practice which led to establishing his own small business accounting practice from 1993 until 2008. He has worked intensely with small business, advisers to small business, the tax office and multi-levels of government as an advocate and stakeholder voice. 

Elizabeth Skirving
Elizabeth Skirving

Deputy Chair and Director

 

Elizabeth has been Chief Executive Officer of Rural Business Tasmania since 2006 and also holds down an extensive board directorship portfolio. Her current portfolio includes Deputy Chair, Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (National peak advocacy body), Director of Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group, Director of Tasmanian Small Business Council and as an Industry representative of Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) Advisory Board.

Christine Pope

Director and Treasurer

Christine Pope is a Director and Treasurer of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society and holds formal qualifications in Commerce (B. Comm UNSW) and Health Sciences (B. Health Science Comp Med 2010). She was elected to the COSBOA Board in 2019. The Australian Traditional Medicine Society represents over 10,000 practitioners of natural medicine around Australia.

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Andrew Ngeow  

Director 

 

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Jos de Bruin

Director

 

Jos was the previous CEO of Master Grocers Australia Ltd leading a nationally registered industry organisation dedicated to supporting the needs of independently owned supermarkets, bottleshops, timber and hardware businesses, and other retail outlet owners.

Ben Kearney

Director

 

Ben Kearney is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association (ALNA), the peak national industry body for Australia’s newsagents and lottery agents, and influential authority on small business. Having spent more than 10 years at ALNA, Ben has been instrumental in some of the biggest legislative changes to help ALNAs members...

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Wes Lambert

Director

Wes is the former CEO of the 2020 Association of the Year, Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA), the national industry association representing the interests of more than 48,000 restaurants, cafés, and catering businesses across Australia. Wes is IFRS CPA Qualified, a Fellow of the Governance Institute, recently earned his Certified Association Executive accreditation and for over 20 years, has progressively built his executive-level change management, lobbying, negotiation, governance, finance & accounting experience in diverse roles across multiple industries and sectors around the globe and enjoys the art of deal-making. He was also named an AuSAE Influencer for 2020.

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Simon Foster

Full Bio - Click Here

Director

Currently President of DSPANZ, and a Director since 2016. Professionally, GM Product – eInvoicing at Xero, and previously ran a small technology business, Shoeboxed Australia, from 2010 until selling in 2020.  I therefore have direct experience of the challenges of small business both as an owner and as a service provider.  I am also Treasurer of the Pearcey Foundation (Australian ICT public policy non-profit), hold several governance roles at OpenPeppol (global eInvoicing standards & governance body), sit on the Commonwealth Business Registry Service Strategic Council, co-chair the ATO DSP Strategic Working Group and co-chair the ANZ Peppol All Stakeholders Working Group.
Australian small businesses lead the world in adoption of business management software such as cloud accounting.  Driven by ATO compliance activity like eTax, Superstream and STP, most small businesses are online courtesy of effective communications from their trusted advisors - bookkeepers, accountants and industry associations.  There is more work to be done as government and enterprise undertake digital transformation sometimes ignoring the impact to small businesses.  

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