Black Economy Advisory Board


The Black Economy Taskforce final report recommended that an Advisory Board be established that includes members of the private and public sectors to provide strategic advice on the black economy. The Board provides advice to Treasury about the implementation of the Government’s decisions and helps identify new threats emerging in the black economy.

Private sector members bring a wide range of experience in relevant fields, including small business, taxation and accounting and have practical knowledge from a range of different industries. Public sector representatives include senior officials from Australian Border Force, the Australian Taxation Office and Treasury.

The Board meets biannually, and held its first meeting under chair Dr Michael Andrew AO in September 2018.

From January 2020 the Board is chaired by Dr Michael Schaper.

The current Black Economy Advisory Board members are: 

Board members

Dr Michael Schaper

Dr Michael Schaper, Chair

Michael is the Chief Executive Officer of the Canberra Business Chamber.

Prior to this, he served for ten years as the full-time Deputy Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, where his work had a special focus on small business, franchising, industry associations, industry codes of conduct and business liaison.

Michael has extensive experience working, advising and advocating for business. He has held key leadership roles including those of ACT Small Business Commissioner, Dean of Murdoch University Business School in Western Australia, Head of the School of Business at Bond University in Queensland, and chair of the ACT Minister’s Small & Micro-Business Advisory Council.

In 2009 he was recipient of the “National Small Business Champion Award” by the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia.

Michael is currently a Fellow and an ACT Divisional Councillor for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants. He also serves on the AICD’s national education and corporate governance advisory committees, and is a member of the governing council of the University of Canberra.

Michael holds a PhD and a Master of Commerce degree from Curtin University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia.

Pete Calleja

Pete Calleja,
Australian Tax Leader, PwC

Pete is PwC Australia's national tax leader.

Pete leads a national team of over 1000 experts advising on domestic and global corporate tax, infrastructure and M&A, tax controversy and dispute resolution, indirect tax, international assignment solutions, employment tax, outsourcing, automation and digital tax services.

Pete is also a member of the PwC Australia's financial advisory leadership team as well as PwCs global tax leadership team.

Charles Cameron

Charles Cameron,
CEO, Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association

With over 25 years' experience in the workforce solutions industry, Charles’ experience spans across economics, advocacy, risk management, lobbying, compliance and professional standards.

Before taking on the role of Chief Executive, Charles was an equity Partner with FCB, Australia's largest dedicated workplace legal and consulting firm, prior to which he founded and grew his own consulting firm which specialised in lobbying and risk management within the recruitment and staffing industry. He gained invaluable experience working with IPA, one of Australia's most established recruitment firms, where he was the Workplace Relations and Safety Manager as well as seven years working as an Advisor and Advocate for Australian Industry Group. In addition to his successful professional services career he founded a tech start up in 2006, which continues to successfully service the recruitment market today.

Charles joined the RCSA as Chief Executive in May 2016, and since that time has established the foundations for StaffSure, a workforce services certification scheme which will define professional service providers within the marketplace in Australia and New Zealand for years to come.

Charles is a Director of the World Employment Confederation and holds the position of Chair of the Federations Committee on the Executive Committee of the Board.

Charles holds a Bachelor of Economics and Graduate Diploma in Labour law.

Michael Croker

Michael Croker,
Australian Tax Leader, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Michael Croker is the Australian Tax Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. He is responsible for tax policy and advocacy work with federal and state governments and regulatory bodies. 

Prior to joining Chartered Accountants ANZ, Michael was responsible for the in-house tax technical knowledge and training function at PwC Australia in a career spanning 28 years, 21 as a Partner. He has also lectured in post-graduate tax subjects at The University of Sydney.

As well as being a member of many Australian Taxation Office consultation committees, Michael is also a member of the Board of Taxation Advisory Panel and the Minister for Revenue’s Expert Panel on Whistleblower Protection.

Wes Lambert

Wes Lambert,
CEO, Restaurant & Catering Industry Association

Wes Lambert CPA, GIA (Cert) MAICD, commenced with Restaurant & Catering in May 2019.  Most recently he served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director for Velocity Group, a retail industry holding company based in the United States.  Mr Lambert previously served as Executive Director, Secretary and Financial Controller for Pacific Restaurant Group Ltd (Kingsleys, ChopHouse, & Jamie’s Italian), Australia’s first public unlisted Full-Service Restaurant Group, from 2007 to 2012, where he was responsible for the restructure and IPO of the Group as well as securing the Master Franchise Agreement for Jamie’s Italian in Australia/NZ.

Prior to that Mr Lambert was an Investment Banker in Restaurant Capital before owning and managing multiple hospitality venues in Asia and the United States. Over the past 19 years he has honed his skills in networking, stakeholder management & reporting, governance, financial planning & analysis, strategic planning, and operations management across multiple venues in multiple jurisdictions both locally and abroad.

Mr Lambert has prior experience with R&CA, having served on both the NSW and QLD Boards of R&CA as well as serving as the Treasurer of the QLD Board and has been featured in the R&C Magazine.


Rachel Mackenzie,
Executive Director, Berries Australia Limited

Rachel Mackenzie is the Executive Officer of Berries Australia Limited (since January 2019). Berries Australia represents more than 700 growers across Australia, ranging from major horticultural enterprises and multi-site agribusinesses to local cooperatives and independent farms. Rachel has campaigned on key issues affecting the horticulture industry on a state and national level, including labour hire, ethical employment practices and consumer issues. She attended a roundtable on possible remedies for the exploitation of migrant workers hosted by the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce.

Rachel pioneered Growcom’s Fair Farms Initiative to support ethical employment practices in the Australian horticulture industry.

She received the Women in Horticulture Award at the Hort Connections 2018 National Awards for Excellence.

Previous appointments include:

  • Chief Advocate, Growcom, peak representative body for Queensland horticulture that strives for the long term growth and profitability of horticultural farms and the industry (member for a decade and acknowledged as a leader in the horticulture industry for over 12 years)
  • National Projects Manager, Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone
Peter Strong

Peter Strong,
CEO, Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia

Peter Strong is currently the CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia and has been in this role since June 2010. The role requires advocacy for the small business community and representation of issues from members to politicians and government agencies.

Peter’s current appointments include, among many:

  • Chair, Digital Business Council
  • Board Member, Australian Booksellers Association
  • Member ACCC small business consultative group
  • Member COAG Business Leaders forum
  • Member of the Australian Business Registrar board
  • Member, Australian Tax Commissioner’s small business stewardship group.

Peter has given two nationally televised speeches at the National Press Club of Australia; the first of which focused on workplace relations and red tape, and the second focused on removal of centralised decision making and empowerment of small business communities.

Peter previously worked for the World Bank and United Nations on micro economic reform in developing economies.

Dr Bradley Armstrong

Dr Bradley Armstrong PSM,
Deputy Comptroller-General and Group Manager of Customs Group,
Australian Border Force

Brad Armstrong commenced in his current role on 1 July 2019.

Prior to his current appointment, from September 2018 Brad was First Assistant Secretary, Trade and Customs Division.  He joined the Department of Home Affairs from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in February 2018 to help establish the National Counter-Foreign Interference Office.

Brad has over 20 years’ experience in government (including Australian Border Force, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Treasury, the Office of National Assessments, and a three-month Australian Federal Police secondment).  He has also worked for 11 years in the private sector (commercial banking and corporate management). 

Brad’s time in government and the private sector has included four long-term overseas assignments. This has included several postings to Indonesia, including most recently from January 2015 to January 2018. Over this time, Brad was acting Deputy Ambassador for the last eight months of his posting, he was a board member of the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, and he was Co-Chair the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice.  Brad is a fluent Indonesian speaker and has interpreted for two Australian Prime Ministers.

In 2003 he was awarded a Public Service Medal for his work following the 2002 Bali bombings. He has an Anthropology PhD from the Australian National University, a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University, and a Social Sciences Honours Degree from Curtin University.  Brad started his working career as an apprentice carpenter.

Jeremy Hirschhorn

Jeremy Hirschhorn,
Acting Second Commissioner,
Australian Taxation Office

Jeremy Hirschhorn joined the ATO in August 2014 as Chief Tax Counsel with responsibility for the Tax Counsel Network.

Since March 2015, Jeremy has been the Deputy Commissioner for Public Groups in the Public Groups and International business line. In this role he is responsible for overseeing tax administration and compliance for all public entities. Given these responsibilities, Jeremy is a regular attendee at Parliamentary hearings and committees in relation to tax matters affecting large business, including several appearances at the Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance.

Maryanne Mrakovcic

Maryanne Mrakovcic,
Deputy Secretary, Revenue Group,

In this position, Maryanne provides advice to the Government on revenue and taxation policy matters. The work of the Group includes the provision of revenue forecasts and costings of taxation policies, analysis of the economic and social effects of taxation policy proposals, undertaking consultations and advising on taxation policy options, instructing parliamentary counsel on the design of taxation laws and supporting the passage of taxation legislation through Parliament. The Group also contributes to public understanding of revenue matters through contributions to budget and other government publications.

Prior to her current role, Maryanne was Associate Secretary of the Fiscal and Economic Group at the NSW Treasury. Maryanne held this position from February 2013 to May 2016. The Fiscal and Economic Group is the NSW Government’s central source of advice on State fiscal and economic strategy and plays a key role in coordinating high-impact policy issues with state-wide economic implications. In this role, Maryanne was also responsible for the Financial Management Transformation Project involving significant reforms to financial reporting in the NSW public sector.

Prior to joining NSW Treasury, Maryanne’s career spanned 30 years with the Commonwealth Treasury including five years at the IMF.

Maryanne holds a Masters of Economics from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Economics) from the University of Sydney.

Meeting minutes