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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 MBA at University of Warwick UK, and before that a Bachelor of Applied Science at 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, and strives to build organisation cultures of meritocracy to overcome biases and discrimination.  

As an independent director, Karen brings governance and engagement skills in highly complex environments, and 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 ability deliver solutions across business and technology based requirements. Chris is an influencer who develops and implements effective strategies, operating plans and successfully delivers 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 and 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 would like to bring his talents to ABSIA to offer a consultative approach to members and to work 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’ experience as a project manager with CSC and MYOB. Mike takes great pride in providing accurate solutions connecting business with accountants and government.

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 with the meeting of the 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, understanding of the history and need to work with government by the software industry, in order to maintain pace and keep up with the growing demands and pressures by the Australian consumer.

 

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 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 case, Ian played a key role in establishing these bodies.  He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has twice been a Company Secretary. 

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 is critical role as a service provider to industry and recognises the consequences of its decisions on Australian software developers.

 

Deanne Windsor 
Director

Pendragon Consultants Pty Ltd

Contact: deanne.windsor@absia.asn.au

Deanne brings more than 25 years of payroll experience to her role on the board with a primary focus on the Single Touch Payroll (STP) initiative. 

Deanne has extensive knowledge and experience in the SAP payroll functionality. Deanne’s clients have included large businesses from different market segments including retail, mining, education, financial institutions, primary industries, utility and service industries. Deanne’s role is to bridge the gap between business operations and the technical solution. Payroll is her passion.

Deanne is re-nominating as her 2 year term as ABSIA director expires. In her time as director, Deanne has led the Payroll Special Interest Group and is the primary liaison with ATO for the Single Touch Payroll initiative. The level and style of engagement, both with members and with ATO, has advanced the design for STP - for the benefit of the entire industry, and attracted new members to ABSIA. Her strong advocacy on behalf of our payroll members has resulted in more detailed design and assistance for DSPs to understand how to navigate the STP requirements.  Deanne also represented our members earlier this year at the Senate Economics Inquiry into non-payment of Superannuation Guarantee, highlighting how our industry plays a vital role in supporting businesses to comply. Deanne has also expanded ABSIA's engagement with members and government partners through ABSIA's online collaboration forum: openly sharing her STP knowledge and ideas.

Deanne's primary reason for re-nomination is to continue to build the advocacy momentum on behalf of members and industry for Single Touch Payroll.

 

David Field
Director

Ozedi

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 has 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. 

Contact: david.field@absia.asn.au

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 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.