Business Sydney


We work together to reshape our City, your business and our lives. 

Our curated forums have been developed to address the critical issues facing business and Sydney.

From exclusive boardroom lunches for our Sydney Firsts members to roundtable and panel discussions, our online and face-to-face programme will stimulate your mind and inspire action as we work together to reshape our city and your business.

See our most recent events here.

Our 2021 Programme addresses the five key areas that support the growth of Sydney as a global city.

What it takes to build a great city from local and state infrastructure, transport and mobility, reform to public spaces and arts and culture.

Key drivers of economic growth, fiscal and monetary policy, finance and funding infrastructure, climate change and Sydney’s 24-hour economy.

Topics include digitisation, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

Explores issues surrounding changes to how and where we work, labour force dynamics, skills and education and training.

Designed for corporate affairs professionals to hear from industry and government leaders on policy, communication, media and stakeholder engagement.

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. Don Harwin MLC

Tuesday, 18 May 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

The Hon. Don Harwin MLC was appointed New South Wales (NSW) Special Minister of State, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Public Service and Employee Relations and Minister for the Arts in April 2019.

Minister Harwin previously served as Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts in the previous term of Government.

Since his election to NSW Parliament in 1999, Minister Harwin served as President of the New South Wales Legislative Council and on numerous committees.

He also served on the executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association before his appointment as a Minister in the Berejiklian Government.

Minister Harwin has a strong passion for arts, screen and culture, and has overseen unprecedented investment in cultural infrastructure both in metropolitan areas and in regional communities in NSW.

Mr Harwin has a strong interest in issues relating to the LGBTIQ communities as well as psephology and political history. He has authored chapters in several books about politics in the state of New South Wales.

Visit here for more information.

Arts and culture make a significant economic and social contribution to Sydney and the State. From iconic cultural institutions such as Sydney Modern, Sydney Opera House and the Powerhouse Museum to international events including Vivid and Hamilton large and small scale places, spaces and events make a difference to the State and local communities.

Join us and the Minister for Arts and Aboriginal Affairs, The Hon Don Harwin MLC to hear and discuss insights on the Governments’ plans to support and leverage arts and culture to enhance the economy and life and livability in Sydney.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

The Hon Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. Rob Stokes MP

Thursday, 27 May 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Rob is the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, where he is focussed on promoting development throughout NSW that improves people's lives into the future, as well as protecting, restoring and building our State’s public spaces and parklands.

Rob is an environmental lawyer and has read sustainable urban development at Oxford and completed a PhD in planning law under a Commonwealth Scholarship. 

Insights on the government’s progress and plans for accelerating planning approvals and enhancing the planning framework to drive economic recovery and growth.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney


Boardroom Lunch with The Hon. John Barilaro MP

Tuesday 1 June 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Deputy Premier, NSW

Minister for Regional NSW

Minister for Trade and Industry

John Barilaro was born and raised in regional NSW which is the driving force behind his passion for serving regional and remote communities.

He is the son of Italian migrants and cites his close relationship with his father Domenico for instilling in him the work ethic and passion for serving the community that drives him today.

John was born and raised in the beautiful Monaro where he still resides with his wife Deanna and his three daughters.

He is proudly the Member for Monaro and has seen the region grow and prosper since he was a councillor on Queanbeyan council in 2008

He wants to see the rest of the State prosper like his electorate and works tirelessly to visit every corner of regional NSW to meet with constituents and ensure their needs and concerns are being addressed in NSW Parliament.

John is the Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Trade and Industry. He is committed to building a safer and stronger regional NSW by guaranteeing jobs in the bush and ensuring a strong economy in the wake of drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19.

As a former chippy and small business owner, John has a deep understanding of the skilled and diverse workforce regional NSW has to offer.

He has used his firsthand experience in business, knowledge from traveling the State for many years and his portfolio areas to inform the Regional Vision, a 20 year economic blueprint for regional NSW, which will see country towns boom.

John understands the importance of our natural resources sector and is determined to establish NSW as the number one destination for investment in mining, creating valuable jobs for our regional communities and economic stimulus.

He knows that a strong regional NSW underpins a strong national economy which is why he is actively driving the regional renaissance, where country towns are reborn as thriving metropolitan hubs where people want to live, work, study and raise a family.

John’s legacy to NSW includes legislating the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund is spent entirely in regional NSW and securing the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund, which has funded more than 2,100 projects, with projects in every single regional LGA in the State.

The Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund invests in infrastructure that will produce long-term economic benefits to regional communities in priority areas including Special Activation Precincts, digital connectivity, water security, freight and transport.

The achievement he prides most is establishing the Department of Regional NSW where he has decentralised most of the agency, putting highly skilled public sector jobs in the regions and ensuring the people who represent constituents in the bush actually live there.

John has based his successful career as Deputy Premier off the back of his commitment to turning country towns into world-class regional metropolitan and cosmopolitan hubs and he will not rest until people living in regional NSW have access to the same quality facilities as their peers in the city.


As NSW forges ahead with economic recovery, the prosperity and growth of regional NSW has never been more critical. There are opportunities for a demographic shift and relocation of businesses and jobs. Join us for a Sydney First Boardroom Briefing to hear more about the growth implications for investment in infrastructure, education, agriculture and tourism with the Deputy Premier, The Hon John Barilaro who will give am update on the State of Regional NSW and regional growth strategies.

Date: Tuesday 13 April 2021 

Time: 12.30 pm - 2.00 pm

Venue: Business Sydney, Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom lunch with the hon. melinda pavey mp

Wednesday, 7 July 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Melinda Pavey is the New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing, appointed in April 2019 under the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government. 

Minister Pavey has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly since 2015, representing the seat of Oxley for The Nationals. 

Melinda previously served as the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight. (2017-2019) and was the first woman to hold this Ministerial position. She was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council (2002-2015). She also served as the Shadow spokesperson for Emergency Services and the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health. 

Melinda’s career began in radio journalism at 2UW in Sydney. In 1988, she moved into politics as a media officer for Matt Singleton, the then NSW Minister for Administrative Services. Over the next decade, she worked for a number of MPs, including Deputy Premier Wal Murray (1990–1993), Minister for Consumer Affairs Wendy Machin (1993–1994) and National Party leader Ian Armstrong (1994–1997).

Melinda grew up on a dairy farm in regional Victoria. She has two children and enjoys surf lifesaving, netball and bike riding. As a country girl, Melinda is passionate about advocating for rural communities and issues that matter to families across the state.

Progress and plans on delivering affordable and diversity housing as well as the management of Crown Land.

Date: Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Time: 12:30 pm  - 2.00 pm 

Venue: Business Sydney, Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. Victor Dominello MP

Tuesday, 13 July 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Minister for Customer Service

Victor is a senior Minister in the New South Wales Government. He has held various portfolios over the last decade including Aboriginal Affairs, Innovation and Finance.

In 2019, he was appointed the inaugural Minister for Customer Service. With a key focus on digital transformation.

Victor firmly believes that the use of real-time data and technology are the most powerful ways to improve quality of life and reduce suffering.

Victor is a member of the crisis cabinet that has led the NSW response to Covid. He has had a particular focus on delivering digital solutions such as the Service NSW check in feature and real time data analysis to inform the state’s response. 

During his time in the portfolio Victor has been the driving force behind the roll out of the Digital Driver Licence, the establishment of the $1.6b Digital Restart Fund and the rapid expansion of Service NSW app, including the introduction of new functionality such as QR code check in’s and notification of Covid test results. 

Plans and progress of the NSW Government on Digitising Government with Speed particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Date: Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Time: 12:30 pm - 2.00 pm

Venue: Business Sydney, Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Lunch Briefing With Simon Draper, CEO, Infrastructure NSW 

Thursday, 15 July 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Chief Executive Officer and Co-ordinator General, Infrastructure NSW

Simon joined Infrastructure NSW in April 2019. Within Government, Simon has previously served as Secretary of the Department of Industry, Deputy Secretary, Economic Policy Group at the Department of Premier and Cabinet and as a Tribunal Member at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Prior to joining Government, Simon has extensive senior executive management experience in infrastructure and utility companies. He is a former CEO of Lumo Energy, Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Airport in New Zealand, General Manager Commercial at Integral Energy and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Territory Airports.

Simon has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Sydney University, a Master of Business (Finance) from UTS and has completed the Company Directors Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Delivery of the NSW Government’s infrastructure strategy and the development of future infrastructure priorities.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Lunch Briefing With Anita Mitchell, CEO, Place making NSW

Wednesday, 21 July 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Chief Executive, Placemaking NSW

NSW Government | Department of Planning, Industry & Environment 

Anita Mitchell has over 25 years’ experience in executive management, sustainability, social impact and corporate assurance spanning energy, water, waste, property and construction in both the public and private sectors. In January 2021, Anita joined the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as the inaugural Chief Executive of Placemaking NSW and now leads the teams responsible for managing and transforming some of Sydney’s most treasured places, including The Rocks, Darling Harbour and Sydney Olympic Park, as well as key locations in the Hunter and Central Coast regions of New South Wales. 

From 2010 to 2016, Anita led the environmental and social sustainability strategy for Lendlease’s $6 billion Barangaroo South development in Sydney, delivering world’s best practice sustainable design and health and wellness initiatives for Australia’s first certified carbon neutral precinct. In July 2016, Anita was appointed Lendlease’s Head of Sustainability - Europe. From London, she steered the development of sustainability strategies for over A$50 billion of development, investment and construction activity in the United Kingdom and Italy. In 2019, Anita returned to Australia to join the corporate assurance team developing Lendlease’s Risk Appetite Framework.

Anita previously managed sustainability and environmental programs for one of Australia’s largest energy distributors, as well as the country’s largest water authority and waste management network operator. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science, a Master of Environmental Management and an MBA – completed under full scholarship as “Australia’s top emerging leader and MBA scholar” selected by The University of Sydney and AFR BOSS magazine in 2012.

Sydney First Boardroom Lunch

Insights on the plans and progress of maximising the economic and place value of key precincts including The Rocks, Darling Harbour and Sydney Olympic Park

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Sarah Hill

lunch briefing with Dr Sarah Hill, Deputy Secretary, NSW Treasury

Thursday, 05 August 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Chief Executive Officer, Western Parkland City Authority

Deputy Secretary, NSW Treasury

Dr Sarah Hill has a great passion for creating thriving cities. 

As CEO of the Western Parkland City Authority, Sarah is delivering the vision for ‘a metropolis of three cities’, a vision she co-created as the inaugural CEO of the Greater Sydney Commission, to fundamentally change the way we think and plan for Greater Sydney.

Sarah led the Commission to develop new ways of engaging with citizens, to measure and monitor key planning outcomes and to better align growth with infrastructure through new methods such as Australia’s first Place-Based Infrastructure Compact. 

With this legacy, Sarah is well-placed to lead the Western Parkland City Authority in its ambition to build a city in a parkland: Australia’s newest citizen-centric city and its smartest and most sustainable. A place that will attract national and international investment, deliver high quality jobs and education, and drive economic recovery in NSW and Australia. 

Sarah will continue to build on the strong culture of collaboration she fostered at the Commission and during her time at Hill PDA Consulting and in London, though partnering with local councils, NSW Government agencies, the community and industry to deliver the Western Parkland City.

Sarah has a strong focus on the economics of cities and the feasibility of development, completing her Doctoral thesis on the topic in 2018. 

Sarah is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. She is a Fellow and a past-President of the NSW Division of the Planning Institute of Australia. She has received numerous professional awards locally and internationally, including the 2015 NSW and 2016 PIA Australian Planner of the Year.

Insights on the vision and progress of the delivery of the Western Parkland City and how it can create opportunities and benefit for Sydney and the State as a whole.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. Andrew constance MP

Monday, 09 August 2021, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Minister for Transport and Roads

Update on the progress of the NSW Future Transport Strategy including the impact and opportunities presented by the Covid-19 pandemic on passenger mobility and freight.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney



Thursday, 12 August 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Cheif Executive Officer, Investment NSW

Insights on how business and government can collaborate to attract investment, drive industry and enhance innovation.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. David Elliott MP

Tuesday, 24 August 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Various years Delegate, NSW State Council of the Liberal Party. 2007 to 2011 President, Hills Valley Branch of the Liberal Party. 1997 to 2003 Vice President, Dundas Branch of the Liberal Party. 1992 to 1996 Secretary, Bennelong FEC of the Liberal Party.

2009 to 2017 Director, Castle Hill RSL Group. 2009 to 2011 Director, Life Education Australia. 2008 to 2011 Member, Sydney Chamber of Commerce. 2006 to 2007 Member, Law Society Professional Standards.

Australian Defence Medal, Australian Army, 2007. Centenary award, Commonwealth of Australia, 2001. Australian Service Medal (Bougainville), Australian Army, 2000.

Master of Arts (MA), Charles Sturt University, 2000. Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GradCertPubPol), University of New England, 1995. Direct Entry Officers Course, Royal Military College (Duntroon), 1995. Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Western Sydney, 1993.

January 2008 to March 2011 Chief Executive Officer, Civil Contractors Federation. December 2006 to January 2008 Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Australian Hotels Association. January 2004 to December 2006 Executive Officer, Australian Hotels Association. December 2000 to January 2004 Manager, St John Ambulance (NSW).

January 2000 to December 2000 Captain, Australian Army – Peace Keeping. February 1999 to December 1999 Campaign Director, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. April 1997 to December 1998 Press Secretary to the Hon Peter Collins QC MP. January 1995 to April 1997 Captain, Australian Army.

Insights on the progress and plans on the NSW Governments’ Securing the State and Local Communities particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch with the Hon. Matthew Kean MP

Wednesday, 1 September 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Minister for Energy and Environment

Matt Kean entered Parliament in 2011 and spent his early years advocating for stronger mental health policy. 

Elevated to the NSW Cabinet in 2017, he was appointed Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation in 2017.

Following the 2019 NSW election, he was appointed Minister for Energy and Environment.

Since this appointment, Kean has added substantial expanses of land to the NSW National Parks’ Estate, beating and then doubling acquisition targets which will mean an extra 400,000 hectares (over five per cent) will be added by the end of 2022.

An outspoken critic of “climate denialism” he has campaigned for greater and national action on climate change, particularly in the wake of the 2019-20 bushfires.

Championing a more progressive set of energy and climate policies in the Liberal Party, he has argued that the centre of Australian politics needs to reclaim its voice in the political debate.

In 2020, he delivered the biggest renewable energy policy in Australia’s history.

The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap: a 20-year plan for NSW’s energy infrastructure that incentivises private investment in renewable energy while simultaneously reducing emissions and lowering electricity bills for the families and businesses of NSW.

He has shown that when politicians make a concerted effort to find common ground and put aside tribal and ideological differences, real and lasting reform can be achieved. 

Overview on the NSW Government’s plans to be a leader in clean energy including how business and government can collaborate to enhance investment and delivery of the electricity roadmap and net zero plan.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

lunch briefing with Dr Cathy Foley, Australia's chief scientist

Thursday, 9 September 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Australia's Chief Scientist

Dr Foley commenced as Australia’s ninth Chief Scientist in January 2021.

Dr Foley has a passion for advancing scientific research and has held various roles, including member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, President of the Australian Institute of Physics, President of Science and Technology Australia, Editor-in-Chief of Superconductor Science and Technology journal and Council Member for Questacon.

Dr Foley is an inspiration to women in STEM across the globe and is committed to tackling gender equality and diversity in the science sector. Throughout her career she has strived to create an environment that embraces the full human potential of both men and women for wellbeing and economic benefit and for equality.


Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney


lunch briefing with Rob Sharp, Secretary, Transport for NSW

Wednesday, 15 September 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Secretary, Transport for NSW

Insights on the State’s transport strategic and delivery priorities including the potential impact and opportunities of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. Damien Tudehope MP

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Minister for Finance and Small Business

Damien resides in the Hills District and grew up in the Moss Vale area before attending the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws in 1978. 

Prior to being elected to the NSW Parliament, Damien was a partner in his own law firm, O’Hara and Company Solicitors, for thirty years. Damien has also been a small business owner, primarily in the childcare sector and was the Chief of Staff to the former Attorney-General Greg Smith.

Damien was elected to the seat of Epping in 2015 with the second highest primary vote in the history of the electorate. 

In March 2019, Damien was elected to the Legislative Council and was appointed as the Minister of Finance and Small Business. 

In April 2020, Damien was appointed as Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

In July 2020, Damien was appointed as Leader of the House in the Legislative Council.


Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch With the Hon. Dr Geoff Lee MP

Thursday, 28 October 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly

Member for Parramatta

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education

Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans

Dr Geoff Lee MP is the Member for Parramatta, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, and Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans.

He is committed to delivering world class skills and education for the people of New South Wales. He is a passionate advocate for Western Sydney and its diverse communities.

Minister Lee is also the driving force behind the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to Parramatta, with more than $5 billion committed to build vital infrastructure over the next 4 years - infrastructure that will greatly improve the lives of the people of Parramatta for generations to come.

He was first elected as the State Member for Parramatta in 2011 and returned in both 2015 and 2019. This is the first time in 60 years the State seat of Parramatta has been held by a Liberal Party member for three consecutive terms.

Minister Lee has both Australian and Chinese ancestry. His paternal grandfather originated from the providence of Zhongshan, Southern China and moved to Australia in the 1920s. His maternal ancestors are of English and Scottish descent arriving in Australia early in the 1800s.

Prior to entering politics, Minister Lee was an award winning business owner, TAFE teacher, lecturer and later the Associate Dean at the Western Sydney University. His research and publications cover small business, online learning and adult education.

As a past business owner, Minister Lee continues to champion small business as a key driver of innovation, economic growth and local jobs. His academic career has reinforced his passion and strong advocacy for lifelong learning.

Minister Lee holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) from Hawkesbury Agricultural College, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Business Administration from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Insights on NSW Government initiatives to support the building the knowledge economy.

Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney

Boardroom Lunch With The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP

Thursday, 4 November 2021, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Premier of New South Wales

Gladys was first elected to the NSW Parliament as Member for Willoughby on 22 March 2003.

She was elected Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party on 23 January 2017 and sworn in as the 45th Premier of New South Wales. On 23 March 2019, Gladys was elected as Premier of New South Wales when the Liberals & Nationals won the 2019 state election. It was a historic election victory which secured a third term for the Liberals & Nationals for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Gladys had previously served as Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations in the Baird Government since April 2015. Prior to that, she was appointed Minister for Transport following the election of the O’Farrell Government in March 2011 and served in that role for four years.

She is a Master of Commerce graduate from UNSW and prior to entering Parliament worked as a General Manager for one of Australia’s largest financial institutions. Gladys has also completed studies in Government and Public Administration (B.A., Uni. Syd).

Gladys lives in Northbridge and has had a life-long association with the local area.


Venue: Level 23, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney


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