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COSBOA board adds diverse experience with 2 appointments


The nine-member leadership group is ideal to tackle challenges facing the small business sector, the body says.

By Philip King 12 minute read

Small business body COSBOA has parted company with long-time deputy chair Elizabeth Skirving and brought two directors to the board.

Ann Davey (pictured left), CEO at Massage & Myotherapy Australia, and Adele Sutton (right), the head of legal and policy at Direct Selling Australia, joined the nine-member leadership group at the recent AGM in Canberra.

Chair of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia Matthew Addison said the diverse make-up of the board was ideal to tackle challenges facing the sector, from industrial relations reform to cybersecurity, from technological advancements to rising costs.


“I'm excited to see what we can achieve for all Australian small businesses,” said Mr Addison.

Ms Sutton was an experienced regulatory lawyer who moved to Direct Selling Australia in 2018, where she advocated at the state and federal level for its 50 members and the 350,000 independent contractors.

Her legal career took in privacy, trade, competition and consumer law, and she was also a registered migration agent. She was currently appointed to standing consultative committees of the ATO and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Ms Davey had been part of the senior management team at Massage & Myotherapy Australia for 14 years, where she worked closely with the board to further the interests of its 8,500 members.

“Ann values collaboration and relationship building and strives to achieve excellence in organisational management and creating a better workplace for team members and the business to thrive,” COSBOA said.

Mr Addison paid tribute to Ms Skirving, who left the body after seven years. The CEO of Rural Business Tasmania had been instrumental in guiding COSBOA through the policy landscape as well as playing a vital part in addressing the challenges from natural disasters and the pandemic.

“Her hands-on approach and profound experience, especially in the realm of rural small businesses, have been indispensable,” Mr Addison said.

As well as Ms Sutton and Ms Davey, the leadership team now comprises:

  • Matthew Addison: COSBOA chair and former CEO of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.
  • Christine Pope: COSBOA treasurer and director at the Australian Traditional Medicine Society.
  • Wes Lambert: COSBOA deputy chair and director of the Australian Foodservice Advocacy Body.
  • Jos de Bruin: previous CEO of Master Grocers Australia.
  • Andrew Ngeow: president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA.
  • Ben Kearney: CEO of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association.
  • Simon Foster: president of Digital Service Providers ANZ and general manager of e-invoicing at Xero.

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Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

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