The new leadership at Canberra Business Chamber is poised to drive a positive outcome for business in the ACT and for the ACT economy.
Mr Glenn Keys, elected as the new Chair of Canberra Business Chamber in March 2015 and Ms Robyn Hendry, who will move into the CEO role from late May 2015, are both looking forward to tackling some of the economic and other issues facing the private sector.
Since he has taken over the leadership of the territory’s peak business lobby group, Mr Keys has made it clear that, despite recent economic gloom, there are plenty of opportunities for local businesses to grow in Canberra in the current climate.
He believes that the key to overcoming downturns caused by cuts to the public service is to capitalise on the smart industries already in Canberra and to turn local companies into leaders in their fields.
As Co-founder of Aspen Medical and 2015 ACT Australian of the Year, Glenn Keys knows what he is talking about. He started Aspen Medical from the kitchen table of his Canberra home and has built it, over the last 12 years, to a global business with over 2000 employees located around the world.
Glenn recognises that over the next five to ten years there is going to be an enormous amount of development taking place in Canberra that will present opportunities for local businesses. Projects like light rail, the redevelopment of the entertainment area around the casino, and urban renewal including construction along the Northbourne Avenue corridor. Entrepreneurs and business owners in Canberra and the region just need to work out how to take advantage of these projects to support and grow their own businesses.
Glenn also believes that there are great opportunities for the city in applying smart technology – to transport, to energy and to the way we do business across government and the private sector. Canberra already has many highquality smart industries led by companies like Seeing Machines, Windlab, Datapod, eWay and others who are leveraging off a smart workforce and a strong research/education sector.
An increasing number of these and other businesses have been able to protect themselves from cuts to public sector employment and procurement by diversifying and adopting a global outlook, growing their businesses outside the ACT.
Mr Keys said there would be three main areas of focus in his leadership of the chamber: supporting all businesses, large and small, with a unified voice; social enterprise, such as taking advantage of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and creating opportunities for those with a disability to get more involved in businesses; and making Canberra a more attractive destination for tourists and businesses.
Glenn’s vision for Canberra’s future is matched by that of incoming Chief Executive Officer Robyn Hendry who hopes to tackle some of the challenges facing the territory’s sluggish economy.
Ms Hendry sees many new opportunities coming from the recent merger of Canberra Business Council and the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Canberra Business Chamber now offers a single strong voice for business in Canberra and the region. Ms Hendry said she hoped to work with Chamber members and the government to tackle economic issues and diminish the ACT’s vulnerability in the future.
Robyn agrees that it’s a matter of Canberra harnessing its strengths and forging a new path forward, based on an educated workforce, world-class research and learning institutions and innovative entrepreneurs.
In addition, pursuing big picture projects in Canberra like Capital Metro, a new national convention centre and the City to the Lake initiative will contribute to Canberra being a richer city and a more vibrant community.
Ms Hendry has a vision for Canberra as a city on the move with the potential, in our next century, to be the envy of the world.
Federal Budget Breakfast
13 May 2015 @ Parliament House 7.00am – 9.00am
ACT Budget Breakfast
3 June 2015 @ National Press Club 7.00am – 9.00am
Robyn Hendry, CEO
Canberra Business Chamber