postheadericon About Us

Organisation: Business Horsham
Executive Administrator: Wendy Mitchell
Chairperson: Brian O'Connor
Secretary: Wendy Mitchell
Mobile: 0418 266 310
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 924, Horsham. Vic. 3400.

2016/2017 Executive Committee

Chairperson:  Brian O'Connor

brian oconnor for website

Business Experience & Background:

  • Born and raised in Horsham
  • Manager WDEA Employment Horsham/Stawell since 2011
  • 18 years experience in employment services
  • Cert IV in Social & Community Services
  • Former member and treasurer ACE Victoria (Australian Competitive Employment)

Brian's passions and interests:

  • My Family
  • Creating employment opportunities
  • Good customer service
  • Living in a supportive community


Vice Chairperson:  Bill Schmidt

bill schmidt

Business Experience & Background:

  • Manager Axis Worx - we provide supported employment to people with a disability.  I have been the manager at Axis Worx for 5 1/2 years and have been employed with Community Axis Employment Inc (CAEI) for over 10 years.

Bill's passions and interests:

  • I would like to see more opportunities for people with a disability to gain employment in the open market.  I would also like to see local businesses supporting services like Axis Worx by offeering sub contracting work.
  • Football - I coach the Wimmera 16's Rebel Squad and Assistant Coach for the Wimmera Interleague Team.
  • Watching my children in their sporting activities
  • General Fitness




Treasurer:  Michelle O'Connell

michelle oconnell

Business Experience & background:

  • CPA employed in a local public practice.
  • Sessional Lecturer at a Regional University
  • Operations Manager & Business Analyst in the Financial Services arm of a major bank

Michelle's passions and interests:

  • Living in a vibrant community
  • Supporting my sons in their sporting pursuits
  • Working with small business owners within the community
  • As the daughter of a local grain grower excited about the Agricultural Industry


Minute Secretary: Vacant


Executive Administrator & Secretary: Wendy Mitchell

wendy 2nd shot - cropped 100 x 113

Business Experience & background:

  • Executive Administrator of Business Horsham (2011 to current)
  • owned & operated two retail businesses for 21 years from 1989 to 2011
  • prior to business ownership all roles included administration and sales since 1977

Wendy's passions and interests:

  • my family
  • small business success
  • development of Horsham
  • people and their individual successes in life
  • positive attitudes
  • sharing experiences & learning from them
  • the homeless
  • personal development



Industry Sector Representatives:

Industry Sector Rep:  Andrea Cross

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Business Experience & background:

  • Partnership with husband in Shane Cross Builders for over 20 years.
  • Owner/Operator of Across Events Management from 2004 to 2014.
  • Founded Stuck for eWords in February 2015 as well as opened a farmstay cottage for guests to the area.
  • Been involved with Business Horsham since 2006 in varying roles from Admin Assistant to Chairperson.  Currently holding the position of Vice-Chairperson for the next 2 terms.

Andrea's passions and interests:
People in business. Having recently decided to share her love for creative writing, Andrea uses her vast experience of opening new businesses to support people in business.  She enjoys listening to peoples stories and she conjures up creative content for websites, brochures and promotional material.  Like she says #itsallaboutthewords!

Andrea is also passionate about young people in the region.  As a mother of three teen and post teen sons, she involves herself rigorously at Horsham College and is regularly asked to present to secondary schools in the region to enable students to best prepare themselves for the workforce.  Each year she mentors a young person through the Horsham Show's Young Leader Awards using the philosophy that making a difference to one person can have a lasting impact.




Professional Services Sector Rep:  Brian Watts

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Business experience & background:

  • Partner in Watts Price Accountants

Brian's passions and interests:
Currently in the 8th year on the executive, Vice chair for 3 years prior to 2 years as Chairperson.
Brian has a strong interest in business development and improvement.
Brian as training co-ordinator, has driven niche training presentations over this period since 2009. This role has involved sourceing releveant presenters typically not seen in rural areas. Listed are the presenters Brian has sourced to present in Horsham.

  • Marketing - Ryll Burgin
  • Sales Psychology - Dr John Gora
  • Front Desk Superstar by Skillpath
  • Empowering Staff - Ken Wright
  • Motivational Speaker - Bruce Sullivan

Prompted by the question by former chairperson Allison Roberts, "Does our accounting firm have access to business attitiudes?" Brian has driven the biannual Business Horsham Business Sentiment Survey since 2009 Feedback from this survey has been used to provide objective data on a range of contemporary topics relevant to the business community. Brian has represented Business Horsham on a number of HRCC committees and community forums.



 Service Industry Sector Rep: Marc Ampt

marc ampt for website
Business Experience & background:

  • Business Banking Specialist at Commonwealth Bank
  • Lieutenant at Horsham Fire Brigade (CFA)

Marc's passions and interests:

  • Volunteering in the community
  • Delveoping my team and my customers
  • Networking and building a supportive community



Manufacturing Industry Sector Rep:  Pauline Schmidt

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Business Experience & background:

  • Owner/Operator of Horsham Concrete since 1998 with husband Jack.
  • Pauline previously worked at University of Ballarat in administration for 14 years

Pauline's passions and interests:

  • Cohesiveness within the business community of Horsham to enable best outcomes for our town and district
  • My Family
  • My business - Horsham Concrete - and our concrete family
  • Great coffee!!!


Home Based Industry Sector Rep: David Bowe

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Business Experience & background:

  • Developing his own Video & Photography business
  • Previously employed as Executive Administration Support Officer with Wimmera Uniting Care
  • Community volunteer & employed in many area including:
    • Retail
    • Hospitality
    • Welfare
    • Employmnet
    • Community Services
    • Youth
    • Sport
    • Entertainment

David's passions and interests:

  • Youth - supporting the opportuntiies to improve employment and education in an attempt to retain our youth...who are a voice and our leaders of tomorrow
  • Business & Community - supporting, maintaining growth and ensuring a sustainable enviromnet to create a safe place to live and work whilst providing great opportunities for all.
  • Local Government - supports our municipality through regular attendance at most council meetings since mid 2005.  David enjoys attending council initiated community events, forums and information sessions on various issues as they arise (i.e. new town hall project, Horsham bypass and emergency information.  Since 2012, David has been a member of Victorian Local Governance Association.
  • Videoing & Photography - capturing the moment!  Whether it's covering football matches, special functions or community events, David and his camera will be there.  Known as 'Crockett' to his friends and colleagues, David aptly named his business 'Give Crock a Dial' to Capture, Relive and Cherish.


Professional Services Industry Sector Rep: Chris Overman

chris overman compressed

Business Experience & background:

  • Axis Employment - Marketing Consultant
  • Tradelink Plumbing Supplies for 10 years, 4 as Manager
  • Qualified Butcher
  • Various roles in Hospitality Industry

Chris's passions and interests:

  • Family - providing a stable and healty life for my family and to ensure there is plenty of opportunity for their development in schooling, sport and healthy living in Horsham district
  • The Outdoors and Camping
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Food



Retail Industry Sector Rep: Graham Keay

graham keay

Business Experience & background:

  • 10 Years in Clark Rubber
  • 28 Years Fire Management and Firefighter with CFA

Graham's passions and interests:

  • Family
  • Business Success
  • Providing good service
  • Computer technology in general
  • Tennis & Clycing



Service Industry Sector Rep: Robin Barber

robin barber

Business Experience & background:

  • Building Design Consultant since 1986

Robin's passions and interests:

  • Horsham and how the city can/should grow and develop
  • I enjoy most sports
  • Gardening
  • Watching my kids grow, develop, get married and have kids of their own