SEAANZ Life Members

The award of SEAANZ Life Member is granted to those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the work of SEAANZ and its mission of advancing research, education, policy and practice in the field of small enterprise. This distinguished list of SEAANZ Life Members represents those who have made SEAANZ and the wider cause of enhancing our understanding of small firms and improving their ability to operate what it is today.

Professor John Breen

Professor Breen was President of SEAANZ 1997-1999. A champion of small business research he founded the Small Business Research Unit at Victoria University. John has a distinguished academic career and published many papers and books in the field of small business management. Currently Professor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business at Victoria University in Melbourne. John was also the Director of the Centre for Tourism and Services Research at Victoria University. He has been the recipient of a prestigious national teaching award for Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year, granted by the National Business and Higher Education Round Table.   


Professor Brian Gibson

Professor Gibson was a pioneer of SEAANZ and served as President of SEAANZ 2010-2012. He was also Editor of the SEAANZ journal "Small Enterprise Research" (2005-2007), and continued to serve as a consulting Editor (2010-2013) for several years. He was awarded the prestigious Wilford White Fellowship from the International Council of Small Business (ICSB). Brian's career as an academic includes positions with the University of Newcastle NSW, Murdoch University WA, University of New England NSW, Rangsit University Thailand and TOP Education Institute Sydney. 


Professor Scott Holmes

Professor Holmes was President of SEAANZ 1993-1995 and the founding Editor of the SEAANZ Journal "Small Enterprise Research" (1992), and was joint Editor (1996-1998). He has also been a member of the ICSB Board and has published extensively in the field of small business management. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious "Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year" by the Business Higher Education Round Table. In 2012 he received the Excellence in Innovation Award for development of a course for improving the budget integrity of the NSW Health Department's clinical managers. His academic career has been spent for many years at the University of Newcastle where he held several senior positions. In 2014 he was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&D) at the University of Western Sydney.


Professor Richard McMahon

Professor McMahon was President of SEAANZ 1991-1993 and a joint Editor of the SEAANZ journal "Small Enterprise Research" (1993-1994). He has a distinguished career as an academic with numerous publications in the field of small business management. Richard was actively involved with the development of small business research in Australia, including financial management of SMEs. He worked closely with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to help develop the Business Longitudinal Survey (BLS) in the 1990s. A Professor at Flinders University in South Australia, Richard also served on the board and as a Senior Vice President of the ICSB, as well as holding Editorial Advisory roles with the "Journal of Small Business Management", "International Small Business Journal" and the "Small Enterprise Research" journal.


Professor Geoffrey Meredith (deceased)

Professor Meredith has been recognised as the founding father of small business and entrepreneurship research and education within Australia. His pioneering work at the University of New England in the 1970s helped to lay the foundations for the today's vibrant community of entrepreneurship and small business scholars. He was the first President of SEAANZ 1987-1989 and the charter outlined in the first constitution remains as relevant today as it did back in the late 1980s. Sadly Geoff passed away on 28 October 2014 aged 83 years. He was a true pioneer of small business research in Australia and a founding father of SEAANZ. He will be fondly remembered by all of us who share his passion for small enterprise.


Ralph U Penning

Mr Ralph Penning is a practitioner member of SEAANZ who is the Principal of R.U. Penning & Associates based in Auckland New Zealand. This is a small business consultancy Ralph founded in 1979. A long-term member of SEAANZ, he has held positions as a Director of the SEAANZ Board. Ralph has also been actively involved in the support of small business through the Independent Business Foundation (IBF), an independent not-for-profit organisation focused on the support of small businesses in New Zealand. He was the Trustee of the IBF from 1996-2012. In addition, Ralph has been the Director of Business Professional Services Limited, a privately held, not-for-profit management services support business founded in 1986. He is also an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, UK. Ralph has extensive experience in executive and governance roles covering trade and professional associations, and charitable trusts in the health and social services sectors. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators UK, an Accredited Management Mentor Fellow, and a Registered Trustee with the New Zealand Trustees' Association. 


Anthony Stephenson

Mr Anthony Stephenson is the Director of Training and Professional Development at IMAT NZ Ltd, a small privately owned Management Consulting business based in Auckland, New Zealand. Founded in 1983 it provides Mentoring services and Business Development support and training to small firms within New Zealand and overseas. Anthony has been a long-term member of SEAANZ and is also a representative from the educator and practitioner sides of the SEAANZ community. He was Quality Manager at SGS, a large publicly listed company from 1988-1991, and Director of Technology at the Manukau Institute of Technology 1997-1999. He founded IMAT in 1983 and has successfully grown the company into a major provider of internationally accredited training. In 2003 he also became Director of the Institute of Accredited Business Consultants (IABC), which focuses on professional skills development and certification. Anthony has been a long-term and active member of SEAANZ and has held positions as a Director on the SEAANZ board. He is currently also a Business Mentor and Executive Director of the New Zealand Organisation for Quality (NZOQ).