The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce 

Launchs SME Initiative

In response to increasing interest from Canadian and Australian SMEs looking to expand abroad, the CACC has launched a new SME initiative this year aimed at growth minded entrepreneurs who see opportunities for their businesses in both countries.

Our SME initiative will start initially as a pilot project  in Sydney, and we will continually evolve our “offering” to best reflect the wishes of our SME members and assist them with solutions to the challenges they face in growing their businesses in a new country.

For now, the core  focus of our initiative is on providing networking opportunities to SME members both through events and topic specific roundtables. We will also explore a variety of methods to facilitate an ongoing dialogue amongst CACC SME members, as well as  mentorship opportunities with SME Committee members and ultimately, amongst SME members themselves.

Become a member of CACC SME to share your experiences,  learn from, and connect with fellow SMEs. Join here!


Our SME networking group is on LinkedIn

Networking & Events

CACC SME’s goal is to assist, encourage and facilitate open dialogue with fellow  SME members.  As a member, you will have exclusive access to CACC SME’s  LinkedIn Group where you can reach out to other CACC SME members for advice and guidance, participate in SME related  discussions and be kept up to date on all  relevant developments in Australia and Canada’s SME space.  Another way to interact with CACC SME members is through regular events organised by the CACC to promote information exchange and relationship building.

SME Member Profiling

CACC SME members will have the opportunity to profile their businesses to the CACC community  which enhances your company’s visibility and, as the CACC SME membership grows, represents a unique source of information on CACC SME members offering complimentary products or services unique to the Canadian Australian experience. CACC SME members will, as this initiative evolves, be able to participate in, and provide, CACC SME unique offerings to fellow members.

Mentoring & SME Roundtables

The CACC SME Committee is comprised of  members   from a variety of professional backgrounds with  a passion for the SME sector and the CACC mandate of facilitating trade between our two countries.

We encourage our CACC SME members to regularly contact Committee members to discuss   issues relating to members businesses and Committee Members’ areas of expertise.

Based on the interest levels of our CACC SME members, SME topic roundtables will be held to  explore relevant topics and act as networking opportunities. We foresee further “mentoring” emanating from CACC SME members themselves as membership grows.    


Michael Bacina, Piper Alderman


Michael is a Partner at Piper Alderman with over 10 years experience in dispute resolution and contract drafting for clients involved in information technology, software development, accounting and business advisory, construction and strata. Michael gives his clients a valuable advantage in commercial deal negotiation, litigation, construction, strata and insolvency matters by leveraging his experience gained in boutique and national law firms in both Sydney, Australia and Toronto, Canada.

Marc-André Hawkes, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner


Marc-André leads the commercial team for the Government of Canada in Australia. The team assists Canadian companies to pursue economic opportunities in Australia and Australian companies seeking to invest in Canada.  He previously led the commercial team at the Consulate General of Canada in Miami, Florida (2011-16) and at the Embassy of Canada in Quito, Ecuador (2006-08).  He has been part of Canada’s diplomatic corps since 2003 largely focusing on international trade files having previously worked at Accenture in IT management consulting (2000-2003) and at Microsoft in marketing and corporate finance (1998-99).  Marc-André has lived in eleven cities in seven countries on five continents.  He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa and is a  candidate for the Masters of Liberal Arts in Management from the Harvard Extension School.

Jon Fung, William Buck


Jon is the Secretary of the CACC SME Committee and can be reached at to assist with any inquiries. Hailing from Brandon Manitoba, Jon has 5 years of experience in the Business Advisory field and served on multiple not-for-profit organisations related to developing entrepreneurship and financial literacy. In January 2016  Jon moved to Sydney joining William Buck’s Business Services department focusing on assisting international corporations with establishing a business within Australia, reporting requirements and tax advice. 

Melissa Wharton, Thread

With over 20 years of experience in corporate, specialising in Human Resources & Talent Acquisition, Mel decided to start her own business venture in 2016. She is the Founder of Thread, a professional mentoring app that connects mentors with mentees - "think Tinder meets LinkedIn". Currently, Mel is the Chair of the CACC Digital Sub-Committee

Before joining the CACC, Mel previously sat on the Women in Franchising Committee, part of the Franchise Council of Australia. Originally from Vancouver, Mel studied at Ryerson University (Toronto) before relocating to Melbourne, Australia in 2007. 

Sarah Constable, Air Canada

Sarah brings over 16 years of experience in the travel and entertainment industry. As the Business Development Executive for Air Canada here in Australia, Sarah’s role is to pinpoint new opportunities and generate leads. The role also crosses over into Account Management, providing corporate travel solutions for travel between Australia and North America. With business development and account management being her main career focus, Sarah is in her comfort zone developing and maintaining strong client relationships. Sarah has also spent some time living in Canada.

Lynda Chachaty, Work Life Choices

Lynda is an award winning speaker, corporate trainer and business coach who specialises in building the skills of high performance in individuals and organisationsFounder of Work Life Choices, Lynda has received numerous prestigious awards as she collaborates and partners with leading companies around the world designing and delivering bespoke and off the shelf innovative and interactive F2F and eLearning training programs that get results. Over 30,000 people have attended her programs in the USA, UAE, UK, HK, Japan, NZ and Australia. Highly qualified NLP Master Practitioner, she also holds a Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Masters in Business, Accounting and Finance Qualifications, is a Certified Wellness Inventory Coach and DiSC Consultant. Lynda's passion also extends to Business Start-up workshops she runs every month for those considering a journey into entrepreneurship, as a founder of 3 successful businesses she knows and understands business.

Chris Beal, RFC Ambrian

Chris works with RFC Ambrian providing a full suite of financial and corporate advisory services to companies in the natural resources and energy sectors. With offices in Sydney, Perth, and London, RFC Ambrian provides a full suite of financial services from general advisory to M&A, takeovers, capital offerings, debt structuring, and IPOs, among others. Chris previously worked in technical and operating roles for Glencore Xstrata, Xstrata Nickel Australia, Taseko Mines, and Teck across Canada, Australia and the US.  Chris has experience in underground mine and open pit engineering, and specialised in planning and strategic resourcing of bulk methods and published a paper on production drilling in sublevel cave mines.

Joshua Khoddami, Neu.Capital

As a part of Neu.Capital Joshua helps established companies raise $5m -$100m of debt and equity outside the big 4 banks by placing them in front a vast universe of professional investors. He spends time with clients educating them on the non-bank funding world. Previous to this,  Joshua spent 7 years managing a digital marketing agency in Sydney that specialises in generating leads for mid-market companies. Originally from Vancouver Joshua has spent the last 8 years living and working in Sydney.

Peter Chan, Alternate Technology

Peter has over 16 years experience developing business in the Semiconductor, Electronics and Telecommunications industries in the Asia Pacific region. He has worked with technology based clients such as Intel, Chartered Semiconductors, TSMC, SIngtel, Telstra and Vodafone. Peter is the Founder of Alternate Technology, a technology based agency representing Hi-Tech companies and Start-up, developing Total Market Penetration Solution to achieve revenue growth and market domination locally, regionally and globally.

Christopher Warrick, Beachhead Management

Chris assists inward investing SME companies establish their operating presence in Australasia. Prior to this, as Managing Director, Multimap Australasia, he set up Multimap’s Asia Pac headquarters in 2004, before the global group’s sale to Microsoft in late 2007. He has over three decades’ experience in the IT and Management Consultancy industries, having worked in the UK, the US and, more recently, Australasia and the Asia Pac region. From 2002 until 2004, he was Development Director for based in their head offices in London. Before joining Multimap, he was founding Managing Director of TrackView Communications, a specialist supplier operating in the vehicle-, asset- and personnel-tracking arena. Chris is also a Co-Founder of Investrade.Info, a free collated and curated single channel market-entry platform of information, links and contacts for SMEs establishing businesses in Australia. 

Richard Figueredo, Entrepreneur

Richard is presently working as a Consultant for Canadian companies wishing to do business in Australia, and is assisting with a newly developed US Hedge fund for Australians wishing to invest in US Equities. A Professional Engineer with over 25 years of experience, Richard has worked for 10 years with international Consulting Engineering firms, involved with design, detailed engineering, procurement, and construction activities for major overseas projects (up to $400 million) in the Pulp and Paper and Chemical plant sectors. More recently, Richard spent 15 years with Multinational Chemical companies where he had active roles in developing global marketing initiatives, business development, equipment management, and overall technical coordination of projects. 

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The CACC Job Bank was created to better connect employers with skilled individuals on a working holiday visa. You can view jobs and post employment opportunities for FREE through the CACC Job Bank.

Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce - Sydney Head Office
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