Australian Chamber Business Leaders Summit | 18-19 September 2018

Globalisation coupled with the rise of digital technology has dramatically transformed the way we do business, both at home and abroad. We are now operating in a global market place and are competing against other countries for our share of work and business opportunities.

What role can employers play in creating opportunities for the workers of tomorrow?  What role can industry and regulators play in making energy more affordable? How can we reform our system so that it delivers the cooperative, productive and harmonious workplaces that Australia needs? What can business groups and industry leaders do to secure Australia’s future prosperity? And, when many voices are battling to be heard by Government – what can organisations like the Australian Chamber do to cut through the noise?

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Leaders Summit brings together Australian Chamber members, Government, opposition, regulators and business leaders to discuss and debate the answers to these questions and more.

The exclusive members’ Summit took place on 18 – 19 September at Parliament House in Canberra and featured a range of panel discussions and keynotes, a cocktail reception and sit-down luncheon.


  • Jeremy Johnson, President, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry


  • The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy

9.00 am | PANEL – KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON: Making Energy more affordable and accessible

  • The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy
  • The Hon Mark Butler MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
  • Paula Conboy, Chair, Australian Energy Regulator
  • John Pierce AO, Chairman, Australian Energy Market Commission
  • Rod Sims, Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Mark Stone AM, Chair, Australian Chamber Sustainability Committee

9.50 am – 10.20 am | PANEL – Google on how digital is driving the future of Australian SMBs

  • Richard Flanagan, Head of Small Business Marketing, Google Australia and New Zealand
  • Margaret Hennessy, DOGUE
  • Basil Karam, Life Interiors
  • Jill Tucker, Erilan Mastectomy Collection
  • David Koch, Kochie Business Builders

10.20 am | ADDRESS

  • The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women

10.40 am | MORNING TEA

11.10 am | PANEL – THE BALANCING ACT: What our workforce needs for the nation to prosper

  • The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Theresa Moltoni OAM, Chair, Australian Chamber Workplace Relations Committee
  • Tom Roberts, Director of Industrial and Social Policy, ACTU
  • A.F. (Tony) Shepherd AO, Prominent Businessman and Former President of the Business Council of Australia
  • Nigel Ward, CEO & Director Workplace, Australian Business Lawyers and Advisors

12.00 pm | ADDRESS

  • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education

12.10 pm | PANEL – INVESTING IN TOMORROW: Why vocational training is critical

  • Senator the Hon Doug Cameron, Shadow Minister for Skills TAFE and Apprenticeships
  • John Hart, Chair, Tourism Training Australia
  • Professor Peter Noonan, Professor of Tertiary Education Policy, Mitchell Institute
  • Denita Wawn, Chair, Australian Chamber Employment, Education & Training Committee


  • Chris Richardson, Partner, Deloitte Access Economics

2.20 pm | PANEL – CAMPAIGN CUT THROUGH: The business of politics

  • Sue Cato, Principal, Cato & Clegg
  • Dr Phil Ireland GAICD, Chair, Getup
  • Michael Photios, Chairman, PremierState
  • Andrew Plumley, Government Engagement and Public Policy Professional
  • James Pearson, CEO, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry


  • Senator Cory Bernadi, Senator for South Australia
  • Senator Pauline Hanson, Senator for Queensland
  • Senator David Leyonhjelm, Senator for New South Wales
  • Senator Rex Patrick, Senator for South Australia
  • Don Rankin, Chair, Australian Chamber Economics Committee

4.00 pm | SUMMIT CLOSE

Event Speakers

  • Senator the Hon Kim Carr

  • Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

  • Aisling Finch, Google

  • Jeremy Johnson

  • The Hon Angus Taylor MP

  • The Hon Mark Butler MP

  • Paula Conboy

  • John Pierce AO

  • Rod Sims

  • Mark Stone AM

  • Rich Flanagan, Google

  • Margaret Hennessy of DOGUE

  • Basil Karam of Life Interiors

  • Jill Tucker of Erilan Mastectomy Collection

  • David Koch, Channel 7

  • The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

  • The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

  • Theresa Moltoni OAM

  • Tom Roberts

  • Tony Shepherd AO

  • Nigel Ward

  • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

  • Senator the Hon Doug Cameron

  • John Hart

  • Professor Peter Noonan

  • Denita Wawn

  • Chris Richardson

  • Sue Cato

  • Dr Phil Ireland GAICD

  • Michael Photios

  • Andrew Plumley

    PANEL | CAMPAIGN CUT THROUGH: The business of politics
    2.20pm – 3.10pm

    Andrew Plumley is a government engagement and public policy professional who has worked in media and politics for over 20 years.

    He has extensive experience in public affairs and strategy development, communications, stakeholder engagement and advocacy to national and state governments.

    Prior to joining Willard, Andrew headed the government affairs and strategic policy functions for Australia’s largest pharmaceutical company and was elected to the select Government Working Group at Medicines Australia.

    A former ministerial chief of staff and media adviser in state government, Andrew has broad policy experience in health, education, information technology, commerce, finance, agriculture, disability and industrial relations, demonstrating an ability to master diverse and complex issues and make them understandable to decision-makers and the media.

    Andrew has worked in the press gallery in the NSW Parliament and as a news presenter and journalist in Sydney and Brisbane.


    Andrew Plumley

  • James Pearson

  • Senator Cory Bernardi

  • Senator Pauline Hanson

  • Senator David Leyonhjelm

  • Senator Rex Patrick

  • Don Rankin

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