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The Queensland Small Business Advisory Council (QSBAC) is the voice of small business in Queensland. The members of QSBAC provide advice on issues and opportunities affecting small business to the Honourable Lance McCallum MP, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development.
Council membership reflects the breadth and depth of small business in Queensland, with members coming from a wide range of industries and locations. Membership also represents a balance of voices from women in business, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business, culturally and linguistically diverse business and social enterprise.
Expressions of interest
With current QSBAC member appointments expiring on 30 March 2024, the Department is seeking expressions of interest from individuals who are Queensland small business owners interested in being a voice for small business.
Through an expression of interest, applicants will:
- be selected based on their skills and lived experience as a small business owner and their ability to advocate for their industry and community
- be required to demonstrate their influence and action in their community with a focus on achievements that show support for local issues and solutions
- need to demonstrate connection to their nominated industry, such as membership of networks and associations
- need to identify what they see as the top 3 challenges for their industry and community along with views on how to work with government to address these.
The Department is seeking representation from a diverse range of regions, cultural backgrounds and industries. Find out more about what is involved and to register your interest.
Expressions of interest will be accepted up to 12 noon, Thursday 28 March 2024.
Council members meet 4 times per year, including in regional locations.
Current Council members
The Honourable Lance McCallum MP, Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development (Chair)
A born and bred Queenslander, the Honourable Lance McCallum was elected to the Queensland Parliament in March 2020, representing the Ipswich-based seat of Bundamba.
In December 2023, Mr McCallum became the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development after previously serving Queenslanders as the Assistant Minister for Energy.
Small business is a critical contributor to Queensland's nation leading, post-pandemic economic recovery with more than 448,000 family-owned enterprises creating jobs for almost half of the State's private sector workforce.
Mr McCallum is a strong believer in a fair go and is passionate about the value of workforce education, skills and training in supporting small businesses in Queensland to thrive.
The Miles Government's record investment in Vocational Education and Training – including free TAFE – recognises when small businesses prosper, they provide good, secure jobs for Queenslanders which strengthens the social and economic wellbeing of the entire State.
Minister McCallum is a proud member of the Gubbi Gubbi Nation, a McKinnon Scholar and holds a Master of Sustainability and Climate Policy.
Queensland is home to more than 448,000 small businesses that are at the core of every industry sector. They are in every community in every region, represent over 97% of businesses statewide, and employ approximately 44% of all private sector workers. Lance is passionate about small business being front and centre of the Queensland Government's plans for economic recovery.
Mr Gerard Byrne, Townsville Consulting Services, Townsville
Gerard is a multi-award-winning business growth specialist and the owner of Townsville Consulting Services. He consults to SMEs and NFPs across varying industries in business planning, business resilience and continuity planning, marketing, digital technology, and social media.
Over recent years, Gerard has been assisting small businesses impacted by COVID-19, and natural disasters, to access services, well-being support, pivot their businesses and become more resilient. He is a highly regarded and longstanding mentor in the Queensland Government's Mentoring for Growth Program.
For his work in supporting small businesses, especially following natural disasters, Gerard has received a Queensland Premier's Award, Prime Minister's Leadership Award, and a CPA Australia's President's Award. He is also an in-demand sessional lecturer in the James Cook University's MBA program (e.g. Leadership and Project Management).
Gerard has had a long involvement in First Nation and Multicultural Communities and Businesses in Australia, especially North Queensland and the Northern Territory. His university industry placement was with the Palm Island Community, and when he graduated, he was appointed to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra, and in the following year to the Northern Territory.
He annually presents a serious of workshops in North Queensland on grants writing, tender writing, capability statements, and governance to First Nation businesses and community groups.
Ms Tiffany English, Access Offshoring, Carindale
With a robust career in business improvement and change management, Tiffany has honed her expertise in aligning systems, software and people to foster sustainable growth within organisations. Her strategic acumen ensures that business owners and leaders navigate the right path with well-defined objectives, empowering them to thrive in dynamic economic landscapes.
Tiffany's dedication to holistic growth is further underscored by her role as the CEO of multiple organisations, where she leverages her extensive education, including multiple business degrees and an MBA, to spearhead initiatives focused on creating businesses with enduring, sustainable growth. Her leadership reflects a comprehensive approach that not only drives organisational success but also champions the betterment of communities and society at large.
Beyond her professional endeavours, Tiffany is committed to bridging the gap for small businesses. Further, Tiffany is driven by a profound philanthropic passion that extends its impact both within the small business sector and the broader community. Notably, her advocacy for domestic violence charities underscores a commitment to addressing societal challenges and contributing to positive change.
Ms Sarah Graham-Hooper, Hospitality Consultant
Sarah and Nicholas have sold their La Vida Restaurant and are now working as hospitality consultants on the Sunshine Coast under their company, Graham & Hooper Pty Ltd. Currently, Sarah is managing the Gusto Riverfront Restaurant.
Sarah has recently become a member of the Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce.
Mr Laurie Johansen, RPS Fire, Barmaryee (near Yeppoon)
For over 19 years, Laurie has been operating businesses in the construction and services industries. This includes 5 years as a sole trader, 12 years as a small business owner and experience in the agriculture and mining industries.
Laurie is passionate about using the latest technology to run and automate his small fire protection business, RPS Fire. He is a strong believer in small business owners getting access to the right advice and is a strong advocate for start-up businesses receiving quality training and mentoring.
Laurie has trained 1 apprentice through their Certificate III in in Fire Protection and is halfway through training a second apprentice in the same qualification.
Laurie's business allows him to connect with all types of businesses and to hear about the issues facing small businesses in Central Queensland. Laurie offers advice and support to new businesses and entrepreneurs, and was a member of the Central Queensland Regional Community Forums. Laurie had been a passionate volunteer at his local Yeppoon Surf Life Saving Club for 14 years, including 4 years as Club Captain.
Dr Dipak Paudyal, APAC Geospatial, Brisbane CBD
Dipak is the Chief Scientist and Managing Director/owner of APAC Geospatial. APAC was established to deliver high-end remote sensing and geospatial Al software and services to users. Dipak is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the University of Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Dipak's background is the application of remote sensing technology for solving real world issues. He advises on best practice uses for this technology to maximise the potential of earth observation data, including the use of drones in agriculture and time-crucial flood monitoring using publicly available imagery.
Dipak strives to contribute to the development of innovative business approaches in space-based industries and sees opportunities for Queensland small businesses to play a strong part in this emerging field.
Mr Murray Saylor, Tagai Management Consultants, Greater Brisbane area
Murray is a procurement supply chain, supplier diversity and community development professional. He has over 20 years of leadership experience working within the public service and the resource sector. Murray believes in maximising opportunities to make a difference and respecting his Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
In 2014, Murray founded the award-winning Goodna company Tagai Management Consultants (TMC), providing market-leading procurement, business advisory, community and stakeholder engagement services in Australia and the Asia/Pacific region. TMC has been awarded the Ipswich Business Excellence Award for business innovation and Supply Nation Emerging Indigenous Exporter of the year award.
Murray is an Australian Defence Medal recipient. Murray is an Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Council member and Queensland Performing Arts Trustee. Murray brings a culture-based methodology to supporting diversity sector businesses and a wealth of knowledge in successful growth strategies and innovative solutions.
Mr Tony Sharp, Substation33, Kingston
Tony is the founder of Substation33, a social enterprise that provides meaningful work and skills development to its workers. The enterprise creates employment pathways for vulnerable job seekers through recycling electronic waste.
Tony oversees the daily operations at Substation33, which diverts waste from landfill and delivers digital devices to disadvantaged people in the local community. His passion is to create sustainable social enterprises that create opportunities for people to work in a supportive environment as they develop required skills and behaviours.
Tony is the founder and Chair of the Social Enterprise Network Logan, past Director of the Queensland Social Enterprise Council and Secretary for INNOV8 Logan. Between 2018 and 2020 Tony was the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the Griffith University Yunus Centre.
Ms Alison Shaw, Tambo Teddies, Tambo
Alison co-owns and manages Tambo Teddies, creating hand-crafted sheep skin teddy bears in the middle of the outback, for customers all over the world. Alison has identified innovative solutions that have driven the business forward. In partnership with Multicultural Development Australia, she opened a regional sewing hub for Tambo Teddies in Toowoomba, employing members of the local migrant communities to help increase production to meet demand and provide important employment opportunities.
On top of her small business experience, Alison has a diverse background in economic development, the arts, and tourism at local government level. Alison is the principal and founder of The Right Grant, offering specialist submission/grant writing services. Alison has worked to support businesses in remote regions by identifying funding opportunities and assisting time-poor businesses to complete submissions.
Ms Petina Tieman, Managing Director of Complete Business Solutions (AUS) Pty Ltd; Australian Women In Business Pty Ltd; Holiday Letting Cairns Pty Ltd; Cairns Business Hub
Petina Tieman, a proud Aboriginal woman, is a highly recognised small business specialist with extensive expertise in fostering the growth of regional and remote businesses. Her dedicated career reflects an unwavering commitment to empowering entrepreneurs towards lasting economic success.
As a mentor and coach, Petina champions sustainable business practices and innovation. Her specialised programs provide essential insights and skills crucial for robust business development, catering specifically to micro and small businesses facing budget constraints, limited resources, a lack of operational and compliance knowledge.
Combining cultural reverence, expert industry knowledge and contemporary business acumen, Petina's guidance resonates across diverse entrepreneurial backgrounds. Her advocacy for inclusivity and knack for merging traditional wisdom with modern principles establish her as an influential figure in small business and Indigenous business development across Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. Serving on various Government Boards and Industry Advisory Groups underscores her commitment to advocacy.
Petina's career boasts holding 14 qualifications, recognition by over 30 awards, global keynote speaking engagements, media accolades, many successful business ventures, and she has co-authored 2 women's empowerment books. She owns and operates several businesses, exemplifying her resilience despite regional challenges, health issues, and the impact of COVID and floods. She stands as a guiding beacon, drawing from her experiences to support other micro and small business owners through their hardships.
Ms Dominique Lamb, Queensland Small Business Commissioner (Ex-officio member)
Dominique Lamb assumed the role of Small Business Commissioner in December 2022. With a robust background in industrial relations and employment law, she brings a unique blend of legal expertise and advocacy skills to her position.
Dominique's primary objective is to enhance the operating environment for small businesses in Queensland and to reduce the time and costs associated with resolving disputes involving small business. In her capacity as Commissioner, Dominique has embarked on a proactive engagement strategy, collaborating closely with governmental bodies, industry organisations, and regional stakeholders. One of Dominique's notable achievements has been the significant expansion of the Small Business Friendly (SBF) Program, which now boasts participation from 47 Councils. Additionally, she has taken proactive steps to establish 3 new roundtables, providing platforms for industry representatives and regional stakeholders to voice their concerns and contribute to policy discussions.
Beyond her professional endeavours, Dominique is deeply committed to social causes, particularly those addressing domestic and family violence.
Ms Heidi Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Business Chamber Queensland (Ex-officio member)
Heidi Cooper is the Chief Executive Officer of the Business Chamber Queensland (BCQ). Heidi has dedicated her career to the advancement of business and is a passionate advocate for the strategic growth of Queensland.
With over 20 years' experience in law, corporate affairs and policy making, Heidi has successfully driven strategies for major companies with strong growth agendas and significant customer and community relationships. She has specialised in leading sustainable business initiatives with a key focus on economic growth, job creation, education, sustainability and community engagement.
Heidi has worked across a diverse range of industries and has held board positions and senior roles in infrastructure, energy, education and training, agriculture, and not-for-profit sectors. She is also a member of the Jobs Queensland Board and the Brisbane Festival Giving Committee.
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Better Regulation Taskforce
The Council previously established the former Better Regulation Taskforce as a sub-committee to provide advice on opportunities to improve regulation for small business in Queensland.