Meet the team

Robyn Hobbs OAM, NSW Small Business Commissioner

A photo of Robyn Hobbs OAM, NSW Small Business Commissioner

I've been lucky to spend my career in a number of different sectors including the arts, business, community services, social welfare, media and government. I've worked in senior roles for the State Chamber of Commerce, Sydney Opera House, the City of Sydney and the City of Parramatta. And in 1983 I founded Carols in the Domain.

I know small businesses are vital to our economy and because I've also run several of them I know exactly what it takes, and how stressful and isolating it can be.

My job is to support small businesses in NSW by giving them the tools and advice they need and by speaking up within government about the issues small businesses face.

Alexandra Geddes, Director of Advocacy

A photo of Alexandra Geddes, Director of Advocacy

My father ran small businesses. I know what small business owners and their families put into their businesses. Seeing my father build something from nothing gave me the drive that I've put into my own career.

I trained as a lawyer and a policy specialist, starting in an international law firm then moving into government. I've advised on international trade and innovation policy and worked in portfolios including Trade & Investment, planning, education, and finance.

Now my job is to improve the ways government interacts with small businesses and to help small businesses that have suffered unfair practices.

Candace Barron, Director of the Dispute Resolution Unit

A photo of Candace Barron, Director of the Dispute Resolution Unit

My background is in the law, starting out in the law department of an international computer company. I've worked in the public and private sectors, including developing a private commercial mediation practice.

As a professional mediator I've seen thousands of disputes and mediated hundreds in retail leases, franchises, commercial matters, family matters, business partnerships, and matters between businesses and government.

I know how quickly and completely a dispute can derail a small business, not just because of the costs of lawyers and lost business, but because of the time a dispute takes.

My job is to run the Dispute Resolution Unit. Our officers are neutral and able to facilitate resolutions between a small business and another business of any size, or between a small business and government.

We don't take sides. We help you think about the best solution for your issue. In 2013 we helped 90% of parties sort things out and saved NSW businesses more than $60 million by providing advice and information as well as informal and formal dispute resolution.