Advisory Board

Our advisory board members are already members of the SmartCompany community but as members of the SmartCompany advisory board, they will offer guidance, advice, feedback and inspiration to our publishing team.

Our advisory board members are Matt Barrie, founder and chief executive of Freelancer; Penny Spencer, founder and managing director of Spencer Travel; Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business of Australia; and Kosmas Smyrnios, professor of family business entrepreneurship at RMIT University. SmartCompany editor Cara Waters will chair the board.

Matt Barrie, Freelancer

Matt Barrie is an award-winning entrepreneur, technologist and lecturer, and the man behind the world’s largest outsourcing network, More than 14 million people are registered as users of and the company turned over close to $12 million in the first half of 2014.

Barrie launched in 2009, having acquired the website along with a number of other sites in what was a fragmented outsourcing marketplace, and floated the company in November 2013. Previously, Barrie founded Sensory Networks, a vendor of high-performance network security processors, which was acquired by Intel in 2013.

Barrie is an adjunct associate professor at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney, where he teaches in cryptography and technology entrepreneurship.

Penny Spencer, Spencer Travel

Penny Spencer has over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry and is a successful entrepreneur and leader.

Spencer launched her first business, Spencer Travel, in 1998 and now manages five companies under the Spencer Group of Companies. Spencer Travel turns over more than $42 million annually and was been named the Best Corporate Travel Agency in Australia in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Spencer has also been regularly honoured in her own right, including as one of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs in 2014.

Spencer is a member of various business organisations, including Entrepreneurs Organisation, and is the driving force behind not-for-profit organisation TIME (Travel Industry Mentor Experience), which is dedicated to support upcoming travel industry professionals. Spencer is also chair of Spencer Travel Swim Safe, a not-for-profit association that teaches children from disadvantages areas how to swim.

Peter Strong, COSBOA

Peter Strong is the executive director of the Council of the Small Business of Australia, the peak representative body for Australia’s 2 million small businesses. Strong speaks to the media on all issues affecting small business and is a regular contributor to SmartCompany.

A former small business owner himself, Strong has spent more than a decade advocating for the needs of the small business community. He is a former member of the Council of Australian Government’s Business Advisory Forum, a foundation member of the National Retail Council under the former Labor government, former deputy chairman of the government’s Small Business Advisory Committee and has participating in various advisory groups to the Australian government, including with the Australian Tax Office, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Kosmas Smyrnios, RMIT

Kosmas Smyrnios is a professor of family business and entrepreneurship in the School of Management at RMIT University and a regular judge in the SmartCompany-Crowe Horwath annual Smart50 Awards.

Smyrnios is an expert in family business and SMEs and has written more than 100 international and national research papers in the fields of marketing, psychology, management and accounting.

In between teaching and speaking to the media about SMEs, family business and entrepreneurship, Smyrnios is a foundation associate editor of the Journal of Family Business Strategy and a former associate editor of the Family Business Review journal. He is also a former member of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy.


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