Executive Leader awarded our first Communicator of the Year honour


Kate Carnell, Australia’s Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, has been named IABC APAC Communicator of the Year – Executive Leader

Kate Carnell AO, The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, has been named our Communicator of the Year in the category of Executive Leader.

In her national role, Kate is an independent advocate for the small business community who seeks to bring together the many voices within the small business sector in a way that promotes their growth and wellbeing.  As well as communicating to government the needs of small business, she must engage and support the small business sector with information to help them survive and thrive, especially during difficult COVID-19 times.

Her robust communication strategy is key to meeting these objectives. Kate and her office utilise a broad range of tactics including speeches, official reports, media interviews, video content, social media posts and email information to support the small business sector and share advice, information, support, resources and stories  to inspire and inform business owners.

Her Payment Times and Practices Review and Supply Chain Financing Review both have produced significant results. Most notably, the recent shift to 20-day payment times by Telstra and Rio Tinto, resulting in thousands of Australian small businesses being paid on time. As part of this process Kate participated in more than 40 media interviews, which resulted in 486 mentions across TV, radio, print and online.

She presented at more than 20 events including the Global Thought Leadership Summit, the National Franchise Convention and the APEC SME Productivity and Performance Forum. “I would like to thank the International Association of Business Communicators for this wonderful award. I am really appreciative and surprised that such an august body with such great members would award me for such an honour,” she said. “We do live in very different times; COVID-19 has affected the way we all live but the impact it has on small businesses has been particularly severe.”

She said that never has there been a more important time for business communications so any communication approaches have to be multi-faceted and multi-pronged. As Australia’s inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate is in the fourth year of her five-year term. Her office has the legislative powers needed to effectively influence Australia’s lawmakers; ensuring legislation and regulations are in place to help small businesses grow. Congratulations to Kate and we hope her example inspires other Asia Pacific business leaders to understand the power of prioritising communication.