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COSBOA ready for future growth


Last week, the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Council Day with excellent member engagement, policy discussion and the endorsement of future strategic plans.


Held at the CPA offices in Canberra, guest speakers included Acting Chair of the Productivity Commission Alex Robson, Federal Political Correspondent at The Australian newspaper Sarah Ison, and Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil.


Leading businesses and COSBOA partners in attendance included the Commonwealth Bank, Square, Telstra, American Express, CISCO, Intuit and Your Leasing Co.


As the only federal peak body dedicated solely to advancing small business in Australia, the COSBOA Board has the vital duty of overseeing the small business voice in Australia.


To this end, COSBOA is delighted to welcome two new and highly accomplished directors to the Board:

  • Ann Davey: Chief Executive Officer at Massage & Myotherapy Australia.

  • Adele Sutton: Head of Legal & Policy at Direct Selling Australia.

The leadership team is now comprised of nine industry members also including:

  • Matthew Addison: Executive Director and former CEO of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and COSBOA Chair.

  • Christine Pope: Director at the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and COSBOA Treasurer.

  • Wes Lambert: Director of the Australian Foodservice Advocacy Body and COSBOA Deputy Chair.

  • Jos de Bruin: Previous CEO of Master Grocers Australia Ltd.

  • Andrew Ngeow: President of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA.

  • Ben Kearney: CEO of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA).

  • Simon Foster: President of Digital Service Providers ANZ (DSPANZ) and General Manager eInvoicing at Xero.

Matthew Addison, Chair of COSBOA, expressed his enthusiasm for the diverse and experienced directors steering the organisation. He emphasised the critical nature of the times, with industrial relations reform, cybersecurity, technological advancements, workforce challenges, and increasing business costs at the forefront of small business concerns.


Addison stressed that leveraging the collective skills and knowledge of these leaders would be pivotal in COSBOA's ongoing advocacy for small businesses' betterment, thus contributing to the nation's economic prosperity.


"I'm excited to see what we can achieve for all Australian small businesses," said Addison.


Rural Business Leader bids farewell


Following seven years of dedicated service, Elizabeth Skirving, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Business Tasmania and outgoing Deputy Chair of COSBOA, concluded her significant contribution to the organisation. Her role was instrumental in guiding COSBOA through the complex policy landscape, particularly concerning rural small businesses.


She played a vital part in addressing the challenges they face, including those arising from natural disasters, the pandemic, and mental health and well-being issues. Elizabeth also spearheaded the successful delivery of a multitude of COSBOA Summits during her tenure, ensuring key topics were prioritised for discussion at these industry-defining events.


Addison expressed his gratitude, saying, "On behalf of our Board, CEO, members, and small businesses across Australia, I would like to personally thank Elizabeth for her invaluable service to COSBOA. Her hands-on approach and profound experience, especially in the realm of rural small businesses, have been indispensable."


Following the AGM, COSBOA convened a Council Meeting, providing members with an update from the CEO on recent initiatives such as the Cyber Wardens program, the Future Female Entrepreneur Program, and the new Enterprising ME. Policy matters and challenges, including industrial relations reform, productivity enhancement, workforce training, and migration, were discussed in detail, forming the bedrock of future advocacy and strategic planning for small businesses.


Find out more about the COSBOA Leadership team, by visiting: https://www.cosboa.org.au/leadershipteam

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