29th Annual SEAANZ Conference

Conference Overview

The 29th Annual SEAANZ Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia, on 10-12 August 2016. A video overview of the highly successful Conference appears below.

General Presentations

Day One, Plenary Session: "Finding Your Everest"

John Kazanas, Everest Summiteer, Author, Business Coach and Motivational Speaker

John is a motivational speaker, business coach and Everest summiteer who has climbed extensively throughout the world and is a qualified climbing instructor through the Australian Climbing Instructors Association (ACIA). He is the author of the book "Reaching For Everest - An inspirational book on climbing Mount Everest and pushing boundaries in life".

John has worked over many years to help people achieve new performance levels by showing them how to set incredible new goals, overcome their fears, use visualisation techniques, raise pain barriers, build personal resilience and create positive outcomes. He has spoken extensively at various events including CEO forums, not for profit events, national conferences and University leadership courses.

John has also spent more than 20 years in senior corporate roles to Director level in sales, marketing, innovation and general management with organisations including AGL, Bendix, ME Bank, Vileda, Spotless, Goodyear and more recently with St John Ambulance. He is qualified with an MBA from RMIT University and has taught on a sessional basis at Swinburne University.

Presentation: "Climbing Your Mount Everest". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day One: "Unfair Contracts, a game changer"

Michael Schaper, Deputy Chairman, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Michael’s work has a special focus on small business, franchising, industry associations and business liaison with the national competition and consumer protection regulator. Dr Schaper was first appointed in July 2008.

A previous president of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia & New Zealand, he has also previously served as Small Business Commissioner for the Australian Capital Territory, chairperson of the ACT Small & Micro-Business Advisory Council and a director of the International Council for Small Business. In 2009 he was recipient of the ‘National Small Business Champion Award’ by the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia.

Michael has previously managed a community small business centre; been an adviser to government at both state and federal level; and held lecturing, professorial and dean roles at a number of Australian universities. He is currently an Adjunct Professor with Curtin University and a senior honorary research fellow at the University of Western Australia, and chairs the advisory board of Griffith University's Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence. He holds a PhD and a Master of Commerce, as well as a Bachelor of Arts. His latest books are Entrepreneurship & Small Business: Asia-Pacific and Governments, SMEs and Entrepreneurship Development. Dr Schaper is a member of the ACCC’s enforcement and adjudication committees.

Presentation: "Unfair Contract Terms". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day One: "Grant Ready – Show me the money!"

Matthew Fletcher, General Manager, GrantReady

Matthew Fletcher is General Manager of GrantReady, a private consulting firm that works to help businesses understand the many government grants available to them. Matthew joined GrantReady after spending time in a Senior Advisor role to a Federal Senator and his background spans business, government and not-for-profit roles. His experience in these areas gives Matthew a unique insight into how grants can help businesses, community groups and government build winning partnerships.

Presentation: "Business Grants and Assistance Explained". Download the PowerPoint here.



Day Two: "The Art of Social Selling on LinkedIn"

Alex Pirouz, Founder, Linkfluencer

Alex Pirouz is an entrepreneur, journalist and founder of Linkfluencer: the world’s leading online community for LinkedIn training as recognized by Inc and Huffington Post magazine. He founded the business in 2013 with the aim to change and transform the way business owners and entrepreneurs market their business by leveraging the power of LinkedIn. In a little over two years Linkfluencer has now educated over 10,000 businesses in 30 countries across 55 industries. Linkfluencer was recently rated by Anthill Magazine as one of the top 100 most innovative companies for 2015 and won the people’s choice awards. Alex is also a columnist for Huffington Post, Hub Spot and Entrepreneur magazine. He’s been featured in over 50 media publications and is a regular judge at conferences around the world. The focus of his presentation will be to help you discover the full potential of LinkedIn and show you how to use it to generate media, leads and partnership opportunities for your company!

Presentation: "The Art of Social Selling on LinkedIn". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day Two: "Working for our future, modernising workplace relations in Australia"

Tim Mazzarol, Winthrop Professor, UWA Business School

Tim Mazzarol is a Winthrop Professor within the UWA Business School where he specialises in marketing, strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation. He is a Qualified Practising Market Researcher (QPMR), an affiliate Professor at the Burgundy School of Business, Groupe ESC Dijon Bourgogne, France, as well as an Adjunct Professor with the University of the South Pacific. Tim is the interim Editor in Chief of the SEAANZ journal “Small Enterprise Research” and a member of the Editorial Advisory and Review Boards of the “International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research” and the “Journal of Small Business Management”. He has published several books or book chapters and numerous academic papers in international journals in the fields of marketing, small business, entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy. He is a reviewer for several academic journals and publishers. Tim is the Director of the Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit (CERU) at UWA as well as the President of SEAANZ and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation (CEMI). In this presentation Tim outlines some of the key things to consider when seeking to publish academic research in the peer reviewed literature.

Presentation: "Working for our future, modernising workplace relations in Australia". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day Two: "The emerging grassroots enterprise movement in remote Aboriginal communities"


Laura Egan, Founder, Enterprise Learning Projects. Download the PowerPoint here.

Professor Dennis Foley, University of Newcastle. "The Dark Side of Aboriginal Entrepreneurship/Enterprise". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day Two: "Aligning Innovation to Strategy"

Janett Egber, Manager, Strategic Partnerships, NabLabs

Janett Egber has over 15 years’ professional experience across innovation, business development, strategic partnerships, strategic marketing, customer insights, segmentation and market research.  

Janett’s passion lies in innovation, intrapreneurship and collaboration, particularly in the area of small business and the ecosystem that can support and enable their growth.

For the past nine years, Janett has held Senior Manager roles at two of Australia’s largest banks, NAB and ANZ. In early 2015 Janett joined the newly formed Innovation Lab at NAB, called ‘NabLabs’.  NAB Labs is an innovation hub that is focused on the rapid experimentation and commercialisation of customer-led innovation.  

Before joining NAB Labs, Janett managed National relationships across Industry Groups and Strategic Partnerships for the Small Business Division at NAB and prior to joining the Financial Services Industry, Janett worked for two leading market research agencies in Australia, TNS and Roy Morgan Research.

Janett holds a Masters of Marketing from Melbourne Business School and her undergraduate degree is in Statistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

margin-right 15px; Jonathon Wolfe, Director, Wrays Solutions

Jonathon has 25 years’ experience in industry as the CEO of start up and fast growth businesses. He applies this experience and business expertise in a variety of consulting roles and a number of new ventures. He has been responsible for developing the strategy and direction of many organisations, built new organisations and turned around existing ones. He has implemented practical innovation systems and commercial Intellectual Property Strategys. As the leader of Wrays Solutions he has a wealth of experience and contacts to help clients and partners achieve their commercial goals.

Presentation: "Aligning Innovation to Strategy". Download the PowerPoint here.



Day Three: "The people behind small business: The Roy Morgan Looking Glass"

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan Research

Michele Levine has been chief executive officer of Roy Morgan Research since 1992.

With over 30 years’ experience as a researcher, Michele has been responsible for thousands of surveys, including some of the largest research projects ever undertaken in Australia, many of which continue to play a crucial role in shaping our society today.

Driven by an insatiable curiosity about people and what makes them tick, as well as a fundamental belief in the empowering value of information, Michele was instrumental in developing Roy Morgan Single Source, the world’s leading consumer study based on over 50,000 interviews a year, and the Roy Morgan Business Survey. 

With a passion for Australian culture, education and the arts, Michele is Chair of the Malthouse Theatre Board, where she provides leadership in strategic planning, philanthropy and corporate engagement. She also serves on the Australian Made Campaign Board of Directors, where her expertise in buyer behaviour and the Australian marketplace is greatly valued.

A staunch believer in social justice, Michele is an Ambassador for the Menzies School of Health Research, advocating for their work in closing the gap in health and education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

In her roles as Honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute for Business and Economics at The University of Queensland, and member of the Advisory Board of the Melbourne Business School’s Centre for Business Analytics, Michele strives to connect industry with university research.

Presentation: "The people behind small business". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day Three, Panel Discussion: "What rights do small business people enjoy under human rights law?"

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with a five year appointment. She was Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12 and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-7. She is a former Barrister and a Governor of the College of Law. Professor Triggs has combined an academic career with international commercial legal practice and has advised the Australian and other governments and international organisations on international legal and trade disputes. Her focus at the Commission is on the implementation in Australian law of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and to work with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights. Professor Triggs is the author of many books and papers on international law, including International Law, Contemporary Principles and Practices (2nd Ed, 2011).

Presentation: "What rights do small business people enjoy under human rights law?" Download the PowerPoint here.

Day Three: "Small Business Experience Hitchhikers Guide"

Judy O’Connell, Assistant Commissioner, Small Business, Australian Taxation Office

Judy O’Connell has extensive managerial and technical experience in tax administration with a public service career at the Tax Office of over 30 years.  During this time Judy has worked across many business areas prior to being appointed to Assistant Commissioner for Small Business in July 2009.

 Judy’s role includes membership of a number of cross government agency and community consultation groups including the Federal Regulatory Agency Group, and the Small Business Liaison Group, both of which bring together broad expertise and ideas to improve the Small Business experience.  Judy also leads the Small Business Fix-it Squads which allow stakeholders to consult and work on small business life-cycle events to fix problems identified from the perspective of the small business owner.  Through these and other forums Judy provides representation as a key executive driving the Reinvention blueprint for small business owners which will improve and transform their experience when dealing with the ATO.

Judy lists as a highlight of her career as being posted to the OECD where she led the International Tax Dialogue.  In this role Judy was the key liaison representative between the OECD and the IMF, the World Bank and a number of national revenue agencies.

Judy has extensive experience working with small businesses through her roles in the Tax Office and sits on various internal and external committees and forums responsible for improving the experience of Small Business.  Judy is also the ATO Senior Liaison for the Small Business Minister.

Presentation: "Small Business Experience Hitchhikers Guide". Download the PowerPoint here.

Day Three, Plenary Session: "Grand Finale"

Presentation: "The Chocolatier and the Village People". Download the PowerPoint here.

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