COSBOA signs seasoned strategist Luke Achterstraat to lead as CEO

Luke Achterstraat, Chief Executive Officer at COSBOA
Luke Achterstraat, Chief Executive Officer at COSBOA

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) has appointed Luke Achterstraat as its new Chief Executive Officer. Luke brings to the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia a wealth of experience in various leadership capacities within membership organisations, small business management, advocacy, and policy development.

Why was Luke tapped to lead COSBOA?

Luke has previously served as the NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, held the position of Chair of the Expert Housing Advisory Panel for the NSW Government and has worked in a series of senior advisory roles in the Federal Government, including for the ministers for trade, investment, tourism and international education.

The Board was impressed by Luke’s commitment to ensuring small businesses in Australia are not left behind, and his overall passion to work with small business owners, industry associations and government to address critical challenges affecting the sector such as skills gaps, supply chain bottlenecks, reducing regulatory burdens and the threat of cyber crime.

Matthew Addison, Chair of COSBOA
Matthew Addison, Chair of COSBOA

Matthew Addison, Chair of COSBOA, said the rigorous recruitment process has resulted in a new CEO who will steer the organisation through a challenging period for Australian small businesses. “Luke will bring fresh perspectives to the table, which will benefit our members, partners, and stakeholders, as well as help to achieve COSBOA’s goals. We are excited to have him onboard and believe that he will be a valuable addition to our team,” said Addison.

What does Luke bring to COSBOA in the role?

In reflecting on his new role at COSBOA, Achterstraat said he will leverage his significant professional experience and his personal history with small business in Australia. “Starting my career with a federal employer group and then in Federal Government has given me hands-on experience in understanding policy development and working with different stakeholders.”

“More recently, running a state division of a large industry body has allowed me to work closely with a member community to represent and deliver to their concerns. I will bring all this experience to COSBOA. From a personal perspective, my grandparents came to Australia in the 1950s and started their own small business to create a livelihood for our family; I know first-hand the joys and challenges of running a small business,” Achterstraat added.

“I see the opportunity as an honour and responsibility. The small businesses represented by COSBOA’s members have the potential to be a key part of the solution to drive growth, productivity and prosperity for the economy. I aspire to make sure small business is front and centre of every policy discussion at a time when they have never been more important.”

Luke commences on 30 May 2023, with his initial priority to connect with members of COSBOA to understand their sectors, priorities and needs on behalf of small business.