Big and small business rely on each other and a thriving business sector is good for the community by creating economic activity and jobs.
Jennifer and Peter will be discussing a range of policies such as education, training and skills and how our workplaces are changing, as well as tax and economic policies for a stronger Australia and the important relationship between big and small business.
CEO Council of Small Business of Australia
Peter Strong is the CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia and has been in this role since June 2010. The role requires advocacy for the Small Business community and representation of issues from members to politicians and government agencies. Peter participates in various advisory groups to the Australian government including: Chairman of Treasury’s Business Advisory Forum on Standard Business Reporting (SBR); a Board member of the SBR Board; a member of the Australian Tax Commissioners small business advisory group; member of the ATO’s specialist advisory group on the GST; the ACCC’s small business advisory forum; the Business Advisory Forum for ASIC; various business related groups with Prime Minister & Cabinet, Treasury, DFAT and the Department of Innovation.
In the past, Peter has been the Deputy Chairman of the Small Business Advisory Committee; a participant on the COAG Business Leaders Forum; an attendee at the 2012 Tax Summit and Economic Forums; participant in various round tables on industry issues including the motor industry, superannuation and finance.
Peter owned and managed Smiths Alternative Bookshop in Canberra from 2005 to 2013. The shop was also the headquarters of COSBOA from 2010 to March 2013. During that time Peter established a wine bar and cafe in the shop and created a name for the shop as an events hub.
Prior to these, Peter has operated as a consultant to government agencies, the World Bank and the United Nations mainly on issues to do with economic reform, business development, training, change management and industry restructuring. This included work in the old Soviet Union as the mass retrenchment expert in the Central Asian states; a microeconomic reform expert in Turkey assisting that country prepare for entry to the European union; work in China assisting the government set up support networks for women in small business; and in Vietnam working on business incubators.
Prio to this, Peter worked for the federal government from 1977 to 1995 in employement, industry restructuring, training and workplace relations.
JENNIFER WESTACOTT AO
Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia
The Business Council of Australia is the nation’s premier business organisation, advocating for a stronger and fairer society through a more prosperous Australia.
Jennifer Westacott AO has served as Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia since 2011, bringing a unique combination of extensive policy experience in both the public and private sectors.
Under her leadership, the Business Council tirelessly champions meaningful policies that strengthen the ability of businesses to grow the economy for the benefit of all Australians.
Jennifer built her career in the public sector, working in senior leadership positions in the NSW and Victorian governments across housing, education, and infrastructure, planning and natural resources.
As a senior partner at KPMG, Jennifer advised major corporations on climate change and sustainability and advised governments across Australia on significant reform priorities.
Jennifer has an unrivalled understanding of how the public and private sectors intersect and can work together to achieve the best outcomes in the national interest.
Since 2013, Jennifer has served as the Chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia and is a Non Executive Director of Wesfarmers Limited.
She is the Australian Co-chair of the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum, the Co-Patron of Pride in Diversity, and the Co-Chair of the Australia Sino One Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership (ASA100).
In 2018, Jennifer was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales and in 2017 received an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) from her alma mater. She was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics.