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Board of Directors                                                                                

Bruce Billson, Executive Chairman

Bruce Billson has been the Member for Dunkley since 1996 having been elected seven times. He has announced that he will not be contesting the next election. He has held numerous portfolios in government and opposition, including most recently as Minister for Small Business from September 2013 to September 2015.

He was the Shadow Cabinet Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs from December 2009 September 2013. Bruce's Shadow Ministerial roles between 2007 and 2009 included Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and Sustainable Development and Cities. He was the Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence from 2006 to 2007 in the Howard Government.

Bruce was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia in March 2016.

 Michael Paul, Director

Michael Paul is the founder of PACK & SEND and has been the CEO of the company since its incorporation in February 1993. Under Michael's guidance and leadership, PACK & SEND has developed into an international logistics franchise company offering complete parcel, freight and packaging solutions through multiple sales channels.


Jason Gehrke

 Jason Gehrke, Director

Jason has 20 years' experience in franchising and has worked at franchisee, franchisor and advisor level during this time.  His firm, Franchise Advisory Centre, advises both franchisors and franchisees on pre-entry considerations as well as on sector best practice across a range of issues.  It also conducts specialised education workshops and seminars for franchisors and franchisees throughout Australia and overseas.


Photo courtesy of Studio 60

Stephen Giles, Director

Stephen is a partner with Norton Rose Fulbright. He has been a member of the Franchise Council of Australia almost since its inception, was founding secretary and is a former President of the Victorian Chapter, served as chairman of the FCA in 1998 and from 2000 - 2007, and has been a national director of the FCA since 1997, handling the portfolio of Industry Regulation and Government Relations.

Jim Cornish

Sara Pantaleo, Director

Sara Pantaleo is the Chief Executive Officer of La Porchetta, Australasia's largest, franchised, licensed, à-la-carte restaurant group. Sara is a former Franchise Woman of the Year (2010) and a Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Victorian finalist (2012).

In 1996, when Sara joined La Porchetta, there were only 12 restaurants in Australia and she was instrumental in driving growth to more than 70 across Australia and New Zealand today. Sara achieved this by building corporate systems and process that enabled the company to expand without compromising its core family values and culture.


Ralph Edwards

Ralph Edwards, Director

Ralph Edwards is a champion of small business. Having spent the last 25 years owning and operating a variety of businesses, all of which are still in operation today, Ralph's understanding of the challenges business owners face helps to guide the FCA Board.

For eight years Ralph owned and successfully managed Bright Eyes Sunglass Stores Australia. He took the existing business from 80 to 140 franchisees and in that time improved franchisee margins and profitability, making Bright Eyes one of Australia's largest sunglass retail networks.


Warren Ballantyne, Director, QLD/NT State Chapter President

Warren Ballantyne is the founder, owner and managing director of Gutter-Vac the world's first and largest gutter cleaning franchise; revolutionising the gutter cleaning industry.

Warren invented and developed the gutter vacuuming technology in 1995 and commenced franchising in 2000. Gutter-Vac now has around 50 franchises across 7 Australian States and Territories and is in the process of expanding its franchise system into North America (launch set for Fall 2015).

Warren is also the founder, owner and managing director of Ballantyne Safety a height safety concept that was created by Warren in 1995 to compliment the Gutter-Vac operating system. Ballantyne Safety's range of temporary roof safety equipment provides workers across Australia with a fast and effective method to safely work at heights.

Warren is also the chairman of Gutter-Vac International Pty Ltd and the Chief Operating Officer of Gutter-Vac LLC (the North American franchise company).

Warren has enjoyed serving on FCA's Queensland State Chapter for five years and is dedicated to franchising in Australia and abroad.

Mark Langford

Rose Vis, Director, SA State President

Rose Vis is the Co-Founder and director of V.I.P. Home Services, a company established in South Australia in 1972, and the first home services company in Australia to franchise in 1979. Today, V.I.P. has more than 1,100 franchisees across Australia and New Zealand in home cleaning, lawns and gardens maintenance and commercial cleaning.

V.I.P. won the FCA Franchise System of the Year (entry capital under $50,000) in 1998.

Rose was the proud winner of the Franchise Woman of the Year 2005 for SA, and in 2012 she was recognised by the Franchise Council of Australia for her contribution to Franchising.

V.I.P. has been a member of the Franchise Council of Australia since its inception in 1983, and Rose has served on the committee of the FCA South Australia for the past ten years.

Sean O'Donnell, NSW/ACT State President

Sean has been actively involved with the FCA and franchising for more than a decade. He has a prominent profile in the sector and is a long standing member of the NSW/ACT Chapter of the FCA.

Professionally, Sean is a partner at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers. Sean is a leading franchise and dispute resolution lawyer with many years experience resolving disputes and litigation throughout Australia.  He is a well known litigator and is the preferred dispute lawyer for many national franchisors when a serious issue arises. Sean also acts for master-franchisees and franchisees and has assisted many franchisees, sometimes on a pro bono basis, to provide advice and help resolve franchise disputes.


Maria Robinson, Director, VIC/TAS State President


Tamra Seaton, Director, WA State President

Tamra is a director of law firm, MDS Legal. She practices in the area of franchising and licensing law and the related areas of competition, trade practices compliance, intellectual property and commercial property law.

Tamra's franchising work includes the establishment and ongoing administration, development and corporate governance of state, national and international franchise schemes and also the sale and acquisition of franchise networks. She counts several large franchisors among her long-term clients as well as several new and emerging franchise systems. Tamra also advises and acts for master franchisees and franchisees.

Tamra has been on the Committee of the WA Chapter of the Franchise Council of Australia for approximately 10 years.

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