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The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) is a not-for-profit organisation whose focus is to build and strengthen trade and business connections between Australia and Canada. The Chamber is pleased to present the volunteer members of the CACC Board of Directors.

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Introducing the CACC Board

Jack Cowin


Jack started out in Toronto, Canada selling insurance but always had a clear desire to get into his own business, to have control over his own destiny. Jack moved to Australia at the age of 26 and opened his first KFC store in 1969 Jack is now the chairman and managing director of the CFAL group of companies which has sales revenue of $1.4 billion and net shareholders funds of $600 million. Jack is also the owner of Hungry Jacks, the Burger King master franchise holder for Australia, with 360 restaurants and five manufacturing plants which produce frozen meat products and processed vegetables for the supermarket and food service industry and exports to 26 countries for which it has won several Australian Export Awards.

Mike McGrath


Mike McGrath currently sits on PwC’s Global Advisory Leadership Team as the Managing Partner of Finance & Investments. Mike also has global accountability for PwC’s Managed Services Business as well as the firm’s Global Delivery Network of Acceleration and Delivery Centres. Previously Mike was the Managing Partner of Clients & Markets at PwC Australia.

With more than 30 years of industry experience, Mike has worked in the telecommunications, consulting, and information technology sectors across the European, Asia-Pacific, and North American markets. Prior to his transition to PwC, Mike was a Vice-President at Bell Canada. He has led Consumer and Business P&L’s and has worked in the IT, strategy, networks, operations, product management and sales and marketing arenas.

Steven Blackburn


Currently Partner, Risk Advisory with Ashurst. With nearly 20 years’ experience, Steve is a recognised global expert in financial crime prevention, risk management and compliance. He has deep knowledge of and experience with risk management and compliance in heavily regulated environments across sectors, including financial services, hospitality and gaming and superannuation/wealth management industries.

A former lawyer, his expertise includes addressing issues relating anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, sanctions and anti-bribery and corruption across 22 jurisdictions. He has represented employers and the financial services, hospitality and gaming industries, before senior government committees, regulators and Royal Commissions in several jurisdictions, including Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom.

Lesley Gillespie OAM


Lesley is the co-founder, along with her husband Roger, of Bakers Delight. It started with one bakery in 1980 in Hawthorn Victoria and is now across New Zealand, Canada and the United States, with over 700 bakeries. After leading the company in an active executive role, she and Roger handed the running of the business to their children in 2017. She remains on the Board.
Giving back is important and through the Gillespie Family Foundation established by Roger and Lesley in 2013 it has been able to support a number of philanthropic endeavours with the World Mosquito Program (a Monash initiative) and Breast Cancer Network of Australia being the most prominent. Over the years Lesley has served on a variety of boards and community committees: her current focus continues in the education sector where she chairs the Swinburne University Business School Advisory Board and well as sitting on the Loreto Toorak Girls’ School Board. She is also on the Board of the Institute of Public Affairs – a think tank focused on freedom of speech. Lesley holds a BSc Hons and Dip Ed (Monash University), Honorary Doctor of Business (Swinburne University) and Honorary Doctor of Law (Monash University).

Mike Bacina


Michael is a Partner in Piper Alderman’s Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain Group based in Sydney. Michael advises companies dealing with Digital Law: the intersection of cutting edge technology, automation and innovation. As a former software developer, Michael has a rare combination of technical, regulatory and legal skills which he leverages to assist his clients.

Michael works with Fintech, Regtech, Blockchain, digital asset projects from enterprise level deployments bringing technology to existing business models, scale-ups , start-up ventures, cryptocurrency payment providers, crypto-asset exchanges, RegTech, InsurTech, PropTech and compliance for other technology deployments.

Since founding and exiting a successful IT business in the early 2000s, Michael has maintained an active involvement in software development. He is knowledgeable in the workings of (and legal issues surrounding) digital currencies and digital assets, blockchain projects, smart contract issues as well as FinTech and RegTech projects.

Diane Belliveau


Diane brings over 20 years of experience in international business development and financial services, as well as proven leadership skills. She joined EDC in 1999 as a Financial Services Manager and led multiple financing transactions focused in the infrastructure sector. She is also a champion of supporting small and mid sized business with creative financing solutions. In 2010 Diane was appointed Regional Manager for Mexico, then for Africa, based in Ottawa. In 2014, she moved to Québec City to take on the leadership of the Québec City office as District Manager, covering Eastern Québec, where her team excelled and ranked consistently one of EDC’s top performing teams in Canada. Prior to joining EDC, Diane worked with ABN AMRO Bank in Miami in the Latin American Telecom Finance & Advisory Team. Diane holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management (US) and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Ottawa.

Doug Carmichael


Doug was appointed CEO of Commonwealth Bank Group Super in 2010 until his retirement in August 2019. During that time, Doug and his team supported the Trustee Board in the development and execution of strategies which sustain the financial well-being of 75,000 past and present employees of the Group. His introduction to the superannuation industry was through his time at Australian Administration Services where he served as GM Strategic Operations and Risk Management in the mid-2000’s. Doug gained broad financial services management experience in a number of roles with TD Bank in Canada and Australia and with Citigroup in Australia. He is also a Director of the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce.

Brendan Clark


Brendan Clark is a director of the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce and a partner of MinterEllison, one of Australia’s largest law firms. He has over two decades' experience advising on M&A transactions, project developments, financings and a range of commercial transactions and regulatory matters in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors in Australia and abroad.

As the Managing Partner - International, he oversees MinterEllison's international markets strategy, its foreign offices and its engagement with foreign firms and networks.

Caroline Cox


BA (Hons), MA, LLB, BCL

Caroline was appointed Chief Legal, Governance and External Affairs Officer in November 2020 with global accountabilities for Legal, Governance, Ethics and Compliance, Internal Audit and Advisory, Communications, Corporate and Government Affairs and Sustainability and Public Policy. Caroline joined BHP in 2015 as Vice President, Legal and was appointed Group General Counsel & Company Secretary in 2016. Prior to BHP, Caroline was a Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, a firm she was with for 11 years, specialising in cross-border transactions, disputes and regulatory investigations. Earlier in her career, Caroline was a solicitor at the Canadian law firm, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt and clerked for Judges at the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of Queen’s Bench.

Greg McNab


Greg McNab is a former mechanical engineer and partner in the Securities Group of the international law firm Dentons' Toronto office. Greg’s practice includes working with financial services, resource and energy companies both domestically and internationally, with a large portion of that work involving opportunities between Canada and Australia. Dentons is one of the largest law firms in the world with offices all around the world in major finance centres.

Jean-Étienne Leroux


Jean-Étienne Leroux is Managing Director – Australia & New Zealand for CDPQ Sydney. He is responsible for all infrastructure activities in Australia and New Zealand. As head of the region, he also takes an active part in positioning CDPQ as a partner of choice across all asset classes, in promoting CDPQ’s brand image in the region and in representing the organization with the financial and business community, as well as with key stakeholders. Mr. Leroux is also responsible for the Sydney office, where he has been based since 2015.

Mike Pyke


Mike is Head of Institutional Capital and responsible for MA Asset Management’s capital partnerships. He has been with MA Financial Group since 2013 and previously led MA’s IR and strategy function.

Prior to joining Moelis, Mike was at Citi bank. Before starting his financial services career, Mike represented the Sydney Swan’s in the Australian Football League – winning a premiership in 2012. He also played professional rugby in Europe and represented Canada at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Mike holds a Master of Commerce (finance) from The University of Sydney.

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