A RED FERRARI, red lipstick, red shoes, red-hot fashion and ready dancers combined in Brisbane recently to raise funds for the vital Women’s Legal Service (WLS) organisation helping women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

One of WLS’s biggest initiatives is its helpline – a free service provided by Queensland lawyers who work voluntarily to provide free legal and welfare assistance to Queensland women and children at risk from domestic violence.

The problem is, according to Hanworth House director Marisa Vecchio, “for every call answered, another goes unanswered”.

“As ambassador for Women’s Legal Service Queensland for over four years, I am incredibly proud of the important role that WLS plays in assisting women and children who are impacted by domestic violence,” Ms Vecchio said. 

“Thank you to Ferrari Driven Women which, on International Womens Day (IWD) on March 8 dedicated their fashion to assisting this great cause.”

Part of the funding of this helpline is the Dancing CEOs – each year Brisbane’s leading CEOs swap the boardroom for the Brisbane City Hall dance floor in front of 1,000 guests to support the prevention of domestic violence.

Michelle Delamont, a doctor at Wesley Breast Clinic, is one of this year’s Dancing CEOs and attended the IWD Ferrari Driven Women’s Event – and now she is fundraising a targeted $15,000 through the Dancing CEOs website for the WLS cause, with over $11,000 raised so far.

Almost $7000 of that has been raised by the Dancing Daiquiris group and the Ferrari raffle at the IWD event.

“The IWD Ferrari Driven Women’s Event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the drive and motivation of Brisbane women, not only in their careers and personal lives but in additionally reaching out to benefit causes which improve the communities in which they live,” Ms Vecchio said. 

“We are so grateful for the support shown by Ferrari Brisbane Showroom and PDPR Marketing and Creative who hosted the Ferrari Driven Women event with attendees donating up to $1,650 to support this wonderful cause.”



TECHNOLOGYONE, Australia’s largest enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, has appointed Clifford Rosenberg as an independent, non-executive director.

TechnologyOne executive chairman, Adrian Di Marco said, “TechnologyOne has previously discussed our board renewal process and our plans to increase the size of our board with the addition of four new independent directors by 2019.

“We added Dr Jane Andrews in 2016 and Sharon Doyle in 2018 and today we added our third independent director, Clifford Rosenberg.

“The addition of Cliff expands our board to now have a majority of independent non-executive directors, as part of our ongoing commitment to the board renewal process. 

“Cliff brings extensive experience leading innovation and change through executive and directorial roles in ASX-listed companies in the rapidly changing fields of technology and online media,” Mr Di Marco said.

As the former managing director of Linkedin for Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, Mr Rosenberg started the Australian office in 2009 and oversaw the expansion of Linkedin in Australia from 1 million members in 2009 to more than 8 million members in 2017.

Previously, he was managing director at Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand, and prior to that role he was the founder and managing director of iTouch Australia NZ, where he grew the Australian office to one of the largest mobile content and application providers in Australia.

Rosenberg said the board appointment was an exceptional opportunity to contribute to an iconic ASX-listed SaaS company, such as TechnologyOne. 

“TechnologyOne goes from strength to strength, climbing the ranks of the ASX200 with a valuation of more than $2.3 billion whilst rapidly scaling its global SaaS business,” Mr Rosenberg said.

“I am delighted to join the TechnologyOne board during this exciting time for the SaaS business and look forward to working with Mr Di Marco and his team in making a substantial contribution to its sustained growth,” he said.

Mr Rosenberg has more than seven years’ experience on the boards of publicly listed companies. His directorships include Afterpay Touch Group (ASX: APT), Nearmap (ASX: NEA), and A2B Australia Limited (ASX:A2B).

He was also a non-executive director with Dimmi – an online reservations company bought by Tripadvisor.com in May 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science (Hons) from the University of Cape Town and a Masters of Science (Hons) from the Universitat Ben Gurion Ba-Negev.

Mr Di Marco said, “TechnologyOne continues its commitment to taking a measured and progressive approach to the board renewal process, scouting outstanding calibre candidates like Cliff, to preserve our high-performance culture.

“We plan to announce our fourth independent director later this calendar year”.



EXPRESSIONS AUSTRALIA founder Emma McNeilly took home the 2018 Business Excellence Award at The AusMumpreneur Awards in Melbourne recently.

Ms McNeilly started as a one-woman operation, working with a handful of schools and now, Expressions has grown into a national brand and trusted name in the fundraising industry. 

“Expressions is Australia’s most loved tea towel fundraising company,” Ms McNeilly said. “We began in 1999 as a one-woman operation and have grown into a thriving business of working women who are proud to help raise funds for community organisations across Australia.”

To date Expressions has worked on more than 18,500 community fundraising projects, helping raise millions of dollars for schools and community groups in every corner of Australia. The products bring an easy, creative and sugar-free solution to vital school and community fundraising.

“We have close to three million tea towels, aprons and bags in kitchens and keepsake boxes in every corner of Australia and around the world,” Ms McNeilly said. “Over 1300 schools and childcare centres trust us each year with their precious artwork, ranging from large city schools to tiny remote communities.

“To accomplish this, I employ a team of five people to manage different aspects of the business, we have embraced the effective use of digital and online technologies which allows us to work together nationally between Sydney, Margaret River in WA, Tasmania and Burleigh Heads in South East Queensland.

“Expressions provides a win for everyone involved at every stage of the process. Funds raised, proud children, delighted clients and a healthy business. The tea towels are celebratory and inclusive, and the business has a genuine feel good factor.

“The sentimentality of children being surrounded by their friends and favourite teachers creates a warm and fuzzy for all, they have become a tradition for so many of our clients,” she said.

“We really focus on customer service, and I understand from first-hand experience how precious volunteers’ hours are. Fundraising plays a vital role for grass roots communities, so we strive to ensure our projects are easy to run, everything is supplied, and in turn everybody loves them.

“We have thousands of glowing testimonials. A testament to our service is a near perfect Net Promoter score. Half of our annual workload is repeat bookings and hundreds of coordinators and organisations have worked with us over many years.

“Our practical products make a lasting memento and the designs encompass a real sense of community, so they sell well for our clients.”

AusMumpreneur Network co-founder. Peace Mitchell said, “We are delighted that Emma has won this award, she has created an outstanding business and is an inspirational role model and ambassador for mums in business everywhere.” 

Emma McNeilly has worked in fundraising for over 20 years and has served as a volunteer on many committees for 15 years. She has a rich understanding of the very important and far reaching world of vital community fundraising from both sides of the fence.

Ms McNeilly is now taking that wealth of experience and has formed a niche communications agency - Progeny Communications - which brings brands together with Australia's most powerful consumer: mums.

“Mothers are making the purchasing decisions for most of Australia's households and we are connecting with them, where they are – right at the heart of grassroots communities,” Ms McNeilly said.


Emma McNeilly’s tips for SMEs

-    Put the customer at the forefront of all your business decisions, put yourself in their shoes and plan from there.
-    Document all your procedures so it’s easy to train, then hire people that are better at something than you are and let them do their job.
-    It’s okay to ask for help – the key to balance (for me) was learning to let go and embracing the art of delegation.
-    In the business or at home, outsource if you can, hire a cleaner, engage a bookkeeper, whatever works. There’s lots of talented people out there, so when and if you can, share the load.


RECOGNISING the increase in tunnelling projects all over the world, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon has welcomed CK Tsang as a key member of its infrastructure business in Australia.

Mr Tsang has joined the company as technical director for infrastructure, and brings 20 years of experience in the industry. 

As a project manager and director of tunnelling, metro and highway projects, he has worked on many world-renowned tunnelling projects. These include using the world’s biggest subsea tunnel boring machine (TBM) for the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link project in Hong Kong, and the world’s longest immersed tunnel (6km) linking two man-made islands for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge project in China.

A leading specialist in civil and geotechnical engineering for drill and blast tunnelling, TBM tunnels and immersed tube tunnels, Mr Tsang’s focus at Aurecon will be on the development and delivery of innovative, timely and cost-effective tunnel solutions for clients in Australia.

“CK brings some very specific skills and experience to our organisation, and to our clients,” Aurecon tunnel design director Harry Asche said. “He will play a key role in delivering technical excellence, as well as help solve project challenges using innovative design, so that tunnels can connect communities and commercial operations all over the world.”   

Mr Tsang said he was joining Aurecon with a high appreciation of the critical role that tunnels play in the ongoing delivery and maintenance of infrastructure for the modern world.



FORMER Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, was named Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA)’s Small Business Champion at the recent Vodafone National Small Business Summit.

Ms James was presented the award by Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA and Mark McKenzie, ACAPMA CEO and chair of COSBOA, for her outstanding support to the small business community.

Mr Strong said over the past five years, Ms James had remained committed to removing red tape in workplace regulation, proving instrumental in regulating new penalty rates for small businesses and their employees. She also facilitated the launch of a dedicated helpline for small businesses to access workplace relations advice. 

“Usually, we look for people that champion a specific agenda or policy, not only in the small business industry, but across the board; however, this year’s pick was a very obvious one,” Mr McKenzie said. “This year we are giving it to a regulator.

“When you are an advocate, you look for a cooperative approach with regulators, ones that have enough punch to scare your membership in terms of managing the industry, but who also show a willingness to work with you. That’s why we chose Natalie James,” Mr McKenzie said.

COSBOA acknowledged Ms James’ “tireless work” during her time as Fair Work Ombudsman, changing the approach of the organisation to have a better understanding of small business owners and the way they operate.

Natalie James said it was a pleasant surprise to be acknowledged by COSBOA.

“I was genuinely surprised when Peter called to offer me this award, because I didn’t think of myself as a small business champion,” Ms James said. “Ultimately, what we all want and what is good for society is sustainable businesses, which means compliant businesses.

“It’s not fair for compliant businesses to be competing against those who aren’t doing the right thing, particularly those who are deliberately not doing the right thing as a business model and profiting from exploiting vulnerable workers.

“So it was incidental that I was also supporting businesses, especially small businesses, who are so very reliant on sources of advice from industry associations and government.”

Mr Strong said, “Ms James was always willing to listen; she used her position to influence change and was supportive and available to work with COSBOA and small businesses.

“The creation of the Small Business Helpline has been instrumental in providing advice on workplace relations.

“For four years, Natalie presented at the National Small Business Summit, speaking openly to small business leaders and representatives.We wish Natalie the very best in her next move and are proud to name her as a champion of small business for 2018,” Mr Strong said.




A FIFTH Community Consultative Committee (CCC) has been established by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for Inland Rail, appointing prominent former Scenic Rim Mayor, John Brent lead its work.

 Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said long-serving former Scenic Rim Mayor Mr Brent has been appointed as the chair and 16 committee members have been selected from the local community through an independently-run process. 

“We welcome the appointment of Mr Brent for the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton CCC,” Mr McCormack said. “It is great to see ARTC's ongoing commitment to genuine community engagement for the once-in-a-generation Inland Rail project.

“Together with the ARTC, we are committed to delivering Inland Rail and are working with communities and land-owners along the route to ensure local knowledge informs the planning of the project,” Mr McCormack said.

Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said ARTC was committed to delivering a fit-for-purpose solution which delivers positive social, environmental and economic outcomes for landowners and community.

“The Australian Government has committed $9.3 billion to deliver Inland Rail. We are determined to realise the economic opportunities of this important project,” Senator Cormann said.

The first meeting of the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton CCC is expected to be held in November.

More information about the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton project is available at https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/K2ARB


ELO LIFE SYSTEMS Inc. has attracted Mario G. Pennisi to join as a resident director of its Australian subsidiary, located on the premises of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Gardens Point Campus in Brisbane.

Elo-Australia is primarily focused on developing novel plant-based protein alternatives using its flagship ARCUS genome editing technology and multi-crop expertise.

“The demand for protein is growing faster than the ability to produce it in a reliable and sustainable manner,” Mr Pennisi said. “It is a milestone event to have the likes of Elo Life Systems establish a presence here in Australia, and I look forward to assisting them and the many Australian enterprises that will ultimately work with them to address this real challenge.” 

Mario Pennisi has more than 30 years experience in managing and growing commercial operations in the life sciences industry. He is a member of committees and advisory groups including the University of Queensland Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Faculty Board and Schools of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Industry Advisory Board.

Mr Pennisi is a government-appointed member of the QUT Council, the chairman of Griffith University’s Clinical Trials Advisory Committee and a member of the Queensland Government Biofutures Industry Advisory Group.

“We are excited to have Mario join Elo at this critical stage of growth in the company,” Elo Life Systems CEO Fayaz Khazi said.

“With Mario’s keen interest in innovation, his experience and his insight in translational sciences, we hope to advance Elo’s mission of improving human health and wellness by forming strategic collaborations of high calibre within the Australian food and agriculture sectors.

“Mario is one of those rare talents who can help us bridge the gap between human health and agriculture.”

Mr Pennisi currently serves as the CEO of Life Sciences Queensland Limited. Prior to moving into this role, he was the CEO of Queensland Clinical Trials Network Inc.



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