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Karen Lay-Brew
President and Chair

Independent Director

Contact: karen.lay-brew@absia.asn.au

Karen has over 30 years of C-level Executive leadership experience in multi-national corporations Microsoft, Honeywell, BHP Billiton and Coopers & Lybrand, having worked overseas for 20 years. 

She completed an MBA at The University of Warwick in the UK and a Bachelor of Applied Science at the Queensland University of Technology on information systems and services. Karen is a trusted advisor, executive coach and mentor to senior leaders and women in leadership. Karen strives to build organisational cultures of meritocracy to overcome biases and discrimination.  

As an independent director, Karen brings governance and engagement skills in highly complex environments. Karen presents objective viewpoints to facilitate and intervene on highly charged issues.

 

Chris Howard
Vice President and Deputy-Chair

ADP

Contact: chris.howard@absia.asn.au

Chris is a senior business and technology leader with the ability to deliver solutions across business and technology-based requirements. Chris is an influencer who develops and implements effective strategies an operating plans as well as successfully delivering business benefits across a wide range of industries.

Chris brings over 31 years of experience in delivering technology solutions ranging from infrastructure and operations, application development and integration, enterprise architecture, program and project delivery. He has been accountable for the end-to-end delivery of technology solutions that support business outcomes.

Chris joined ADP in November 2016. He is a member of the local executive leadership team and has direct accountability for business and technology leadership including infrastructure, print and data centre operations, business project delivery and customer support.

Prior to ADP, Chris held roles with:

  •  Hitachi Data Systems as the National Solutions Consulting Office Manager 
  •  SP AusNet (Now AusNet Services) Manager of ICT Business Office 
  •  Management consultant with Oakton 
  •  IT Director with the Victorian State Revenue Office 
  •  Head of Enterprise Systems with Insurance Australia Group

Chris offers a consultative approach to ABSIA members and works collectively to gain the best possible outcomes in complex and challenging environments. 

 

Mike Behling 
Director and Secretary

MYOB

Contact:mike.behling@absia.asn.au

Mike has over 28 years of experience as a project manager with CSC and MYOB. Mike takes great pride in providing accurate solutions to connect businesses with accountants and governments.

Mike has worked on projects developing software to meet future client needs and government requirements, including working with the ELS lodgement systems provided by the ATO for Tax agents. Mike has had hands-on experience in meeting the needs of a rapidly changing business environment in Australia with the evolution of such technology seeing it now replaced by Standard Business Reporting methods.

Mike brings to the board a wealth of knowledge, an understanding of the history and need to collaborate between the government and the software industry in order to maintain the pace and keep up with the growing demands and pressures from Australian consumers.

 

Simon Foster
Director and Treasurer

Squirrel Street

Contact: simon.foster@absia.asn.au

With technology experience dating back to the early days of the internet, Simon lays claim to working on SaaS products before the term had been coined, experimenting with distributed Microsoft Office 95 during the first cable modem trials in the UK in 1996. Simon has held management roles in leading technology companies including DoubleClick, Mercury Interactive (HP), Lycos Europe (Bertelsmann) and BlueCentral. Simon is founder and CEO of Squirrel Street (formerly Shoeboxed Australia), and Treasurer of the Australian Computer Society (NSW Branch).

Simon graduated from the University of New South Wales with a BSc in Computer Science and is a Member of the Australian Computer Society and a Certified Professional. He lives in Sydney’s North Shore with his wife, Carron, and three children.

 

Ian Gibson
Director 

SuperChoice Services Pty Ltd

Contact: ian.gibson@absia.asn.au

Ian Gibson is the Chief Information Officer for SuperChoice Services Pty Limited, a market leader in cloud-based superannuation management and clearinghouse software, where he has been transforming the technology business. 

Ian has held several senior executive and CIO roles, co-founded a boutique consulting firm and worked with several technology start-ups. He was also a Partner in Accenture’s Strategy practice where he focused on business and IT-enabled strategy and organisational change.

In terms of Board experience, Ian is currently Chairman of the Gateway Operators’ association, GATE, and a Non-executive director of the Gateway Network Governance Body (GNGB). In both cases, Ian played a key role in establishing these bodies. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a Company Secretary twice. 

Ian has more recently been an active member of the ABSIA Technical Advisory Committee.

Ian’s focus with ABSIA is ensuring that the software development industry has a strong voice within Government and in particular, in the technical direction taken by the ATO.  He is passionate about ensuring the ATO understands its critical role as a service provider to industry and recognises the consequences of its decisions on Australian software developers.

 

David Field
Director

Ozedi

Contact: david.field@absia.asn.au

David brings to the board extensive experience in business system design across 30 different industries.

David has represented the software industry and small business in consultative groups run by the ATO and was the designer of the Super Stream Contributions Hub website. David has extensive knowledge of the Federal Governments Super Stream technology and had significant involvement in the Digital Business Council in 2016.

David is the Founding Director and Chief Technical Officer at Landmark Software Pty Ltd, and Director of Ozedi Holdings Pty Ltd. 

 

Matthew Prouse
Director

Xero

Matthew Prouse has been working in the accounting and business technology space for the past 12.5 years. A graduate of the Murdoch Business School, Matthew spent 8 years in public practice in Western Australia before joining Xero in 2013 and moving to Melbourne.

For the past few years, Matthew has worked very closely with Xero’s Australian and Global leadership teams in a variety of capacities. Matthew has extensive experience working with national accounting firms, financial planning dealer groups and key government and industry stakeholders.

Matthew was instrumental in the release of Xero Tax in Australia and the global release of the Xero practice platform - Xero HQ. Matthew is currently responsible for regional product prioritisation and AU partner product strategy in the tax agent and B2G space for Xero.

In recent months, Matthew has been central to Xero’s efforts to support ABSIA and the Data Coalition to bring an SBR like framework to the United States. Matthew has recently presented to the US Congress and the White House Office of Management of the Budget and continues to actively support the Data Coalition and Xero’s efforts to simplify B2G and B2B compliance in the United States.

Matthew brings significant not-for-profit experience and has previously served multiple terms on the management or executive committees of numerous organisations including the WA Circus School, CircusWA, the Australia Council funded Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (Financial, Risk & Audit Committee), and the board of management of the Joondalup Art Gallery.

Matthew has extensive experience with strategic planning, grant applications and acquittal, government and industry stakeholder management and succession planning. He has co-ordinated symposiums, run national conferences, successfully lobbied State and Federal Government and helped create dynamic, lasting partnerships within and across industries.   

An accomplished presenter, keynote speaker and panellist, Matthew brings a wide range of technical and business skills to the ABSIA board and is excited by the massive opportunity to grow the ABSIA membership and represent the thriving ecosystem of independent business software developers and the professional industries they support.

 

Michael Ross
Director

MessageXchange

Michael Ross has over 25-years working in the technology sector, specialising in B2B messaging networks, eInvoicing, EDI, SuperStream, and SBR. He has co-founded several successful businesses including MessageXchange and more recently, Colladium. 

MessageXchange is a leading cloud services company providing SaaS Gateways and B2B integration. Recently launched, Colladium is a cloud-platform providing sourcing-to-pay functionality for business relationship management as a free service to a rapidly growing range of businesses. 

Michael has been actively involved with the implementation of the SuperStream network and the Digital Business Council's eInvoice Framework for Australian businesses and Government. 

He is currently serving as a director of the Gateway Network Governance Body. Michael brings a wealth of experience from the start-up technology sector working with small businesses, large corporates and government. He has a PhD in Human Factors psychology, and previous experience working as a management consultant at Price Waterhouse.