Business Sydney

CONNECTING BUSINESS TO THE international EDUCATION SECTOR | Lunch with the hon aNoulack chanthivong mp

Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading, Minister for Industry and Trade, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, Minister for Building, and Minister for Corrections

Thursday, 10 August 2023

12:00 PM to 02:15 PM



Business Sydney | L6, 8 Chifley Square, Sydney



Business Sydney Members & Guests

Business Sydney and Study NSW recently hosted a business lunch with The Hon Anoulack Chantivong MP, Minister for Industry and Trade, with the focus on the international education sector to Sydney and NSW. At this lunch discussed the importance of the state's international students to the local economy and how NSW businesses can join NSW Jobs Connect for International Students, a NSW Government initiative connecting NSW employers with international students.

During the lunch, guests heard from Study NSW and Con Marchesan, Head of Client Segments from SEEK on how to maximise the opportunities to advertise jobs to international students, a reliable and diverse talent pool. It will also clarify international students work rights, and post-study work rights, which allow employers to hire recent graduates for up to 6 years without visa sponsorship. The panel, facilitated by the Hon. Phil Honeywoodwill also include insights from Zane Rebronja, Director Skilled Migration, Investment NSW and Nicole Downs, Group Director of People and Performance, Ovolo Hotels. 

There was also opening comments from the Hon. Patricia Forsythe AM, Chair, NSW International Education Advisory Board, and the vote of thanks was given by Judith Field, Board Member, Business NSW.



to come
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Special Guests:


NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading, Minister for Industry and Trade, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, Minister for Building, and Minister for Corrections

After moving to Australia from Laos with his parents and brothers when he was just six, Anoulack attended Robert Townson Primary and Robert Townson High School in Raby.

On the weekends and after school, Anoulack helped out at his family’s small grocery store where he learnt the value of hard work and the challenges of small business.

After graduation, Anoulack completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney and later undertook postgraduate studies in economics and public administration at the University of Sydney and the London School of Economics.

Before entering Parliament, Anoulack worked as an economist for 13 years and served as a councillor and later as mayor on Campbelltown City Council.

After his election as Member for Macquarie Fields in 2015, he served as Shadow Minister for Finance and Shadow Minister for Industry and Trade between 2021 and 2022.

Following the election of the Minns Labor Government in March 2023, Anoulack was appointed Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading, Minister for Industry and Trade, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, Minister for Building and Minister for Corrections.

Anoulack and his wife Anna live in South-West Sydney with their two children Audrey and Christopher.


THE HON. Patricia Forsythe AM

Chair of the International Education Advisory Board for Study NSW

Mrs Forsythe was appointed Chair of the International Education Advisory Board for Study NSW in 2017 and resumed the chair after her posting to New Zealand. 

Mrs Forsythe served as Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, 2019-2022 and Cook Islands and Niue 2019-2020.

Since returning Mrs Forsythe has been appointed to the boards of WaterNSW and the Northern Sydney Local Health District. 

She was previously the Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, a position she held since September 2006. Mrs Forsythe represented the Chamber on a number of committees across NSW Government Agencies. In addition to her role at the Sydney Chamber, she served on boards in the Government and NFP sector: Business Events Sydney; Destination NSW; Council of Macquarie University; Port Authority NSW and Cricket NSW. Mrs Forsythe was a member of the Advisory Board of Newcastle University Law and Business Faculty and was previously an Honorary Associate of the Graduate School of Government at Sydney University. Prior board appointments have included the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, Hunter Development Corporation and Hunter Medical Research Institute. 

Prior to joining the Chamber, Mrs Forsythe served as a Member of the NSW Legislative Council from 1991 to 2006. From 1995 to 2005 Mrs Forsythe served on the Opposition frontbench, in a number of shadow portfolios. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Education from the University of Newcastle and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



THE HON. Phil Honeywood

Chief Executive Officer, International Education Association of Australia

Phil has been IEAA's Chief Executive Officer since November 2011. Previously, he was a Member of the Victorian State Parliament (1988–2006), Minister for Tertiary Education, Training and Multicultural Affairs (1996–1999) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition (2002–2006). Since retiring from politics, Phil worked at Stott’s Business College and Cambridge International College. Phil is the Convener of the National Council for International Education, Chairman of the Roundtable of International Education Peak Body CEOs and a member of the Tuition Protection Service Board. He also sits on the New South Wales, Queensland and StudyPerth International Education Advisory Boards. Phil is a Board member of the Bennelong Philanthropic Foundation and the Bangarra Group Board.



Con Marchesan

Head of Client Segments | Recruitment Sector, Government Sector, SEEK Business Sales & Service

Con Marchesan leads SEEK’s client segments which include the Recruitment sector, Government sector and SEEK’s online business marketplace, SEEK Business.

Con joined Seek in 2017 after a 25-year career in the Technology sector where he held senior leadership roles leading Sales, Service Delivery, and Commercial Operations teams servicing Consumer, SME and Enterprise customers across many industry verticals. He has held roles ranging from Director of; Sales, Service Delivery and State Director with brands such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SingTel, Optus, and Vodafone, whilst commencing his career in the Retail sector with Coles Myer. Con enjoys leading environments where innovation, technology, teamwork, and employee engagement converge to enable customer centric outcomes.

Con holds a Bachelor of Economics Degree and is also a Graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors (GAIDC). Con lives in bayside Melbourne with his wife and teenage children and in his spare time he enjoys dedicating himself to coaching youth in sport.



Group Director of People and Performance, Ovolo Hotels

Nicole has been Ovolo’s Group Director of People and Performance AU, Indo & HK for the last 3 years, and has spent most her professional life in the vibrant hospitality industry. Recently commended at the HM Awards for Best Human Resources Associate, Australasia, Nicole’s experience spans a diverse portfolio of hotels and regions.

Her responsibilities include managing a wide range of complex projects with a focus on new hotel openings, training & development, communication, engagement, and transitions. She brings her experience from brands such as Accor Hotels, Mirvac Hotels, Hyatt, Hilton, Verser/Macquarie Bank to, now, Ovolo Hotels.

A passionate hotelier and people-person, Nicole has a strong belief in the people behind a company, and is dedicated to ensuring their development, career, and engagement are well looked after for all of the Ovolo people. Shiny Happy People.



Zane Rebronja

Director Skilled Migration, Investment NSW

Zane Rebronja lead the delivery of the NSW business and skilled migration program (Australia's largest state program) including pitching and promoting NSW as an ideal location to live, work and invest across key international markets.







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