Kate Carnell named first Small Business Ombudsman

Kate Carnell with Martin Laverty and Dr Tom Calma at a 2014 event

Kate Carnell has been named as the inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Guild executive director David Quilty has welcomed the appointment and says the Guild congratulates Carnell.

“The Pharmacy Guild congratulates Kate Carnell on her appointment as Small Business Ombudsman and thanks her for her significant contribution to a range of key policy agendas for small businesses while she was CEO of ACCI,” he says.

“With her vast experience in politics and business including as a former pharmacy owner, Kate brings to her new role a wealth of relevant insights and a proven ability to deliver practical results.

“We wish Kate every success and look forward to continue working closely with her in the interests of the Guild’s small business members.”

Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, announced the appointment today. She says the appointment fulfils a key Government election commitment to establish an independent Ombudsman with real powers to act as a:

  • Commonwealth advocate for small businesses and family enterprises;
  • concierge for dispute resolution service to allow businesses to resolve disputes without resorting to costly litigation; and
  • contributor to the development of small business Commonwealth laws and regulations.

Carnell will commence the new role on 11 March for a five year period.

Carnell, who ran her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister, is well-positioned to translate the voices of small Australian businesses and family enterprises into targeted policy messages for Government, says the Minister.

Carnell has held the position of CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2014, which represents more than 300,000 businesses across Australia.

She is the former CEO of beyondblue, the Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Australian General Practice Network. She was the first woman to become the National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Today’s appointment is a major win for small business owners who will have access to advice and support, and an independent advocate to ensure the Government creates the right conditions for small businesses to grow, says O’Dwyer.

Pictured: Carnell with Martin Laverty and Dr Tom Calma at a 2014 event

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