Become a Member

Our Board

The Hon. Bruce Billson, President

As a Treasury portfolio Cabinet Minister, Bruce spearheaded that Abbott Government’s SME agenda to ‘energise enterprise’, leading the formulation of the 2015 Federal Budget's Jobs and Small Business package and a series of pro-small business/pro-competitiveness reforms.

Since retiring as an undefeated 7-term member of the Australian House of Representatives in 2016, Bruce has developed a portfolio of interests all geared to supporting SME success.

Bruce is founder and principal of Agile Advisory; an independent NED for SME 'challenger' financier, Judo Bank; Special Counsel to Royce Communications; Director of Small Business & Enterprise with the Deakin University's Business School; Independent Director of the Australian Property Institute and Board Member of SEM (South East Melbourne group of councils).

Matt McDonald, Vice-President

Matt is Chief Executive Officer of Searoad Ferries, Australia’s busiest car and passenger ferry service operating between Queenscliff and Sorrento.

Matt has expertise and experience in strategic planning, business development, marketing and communications. Matt holds a Masters of Business Administration, is a qualified Ships Master and Marine Biologist and was previously captain of Luxury Super Yachts.

Through his time at Searoad Ferries, Matt has transformed the once traditional transport business into a flourishing tourism operation which transports over 800,000 passengers per year.

Tracey Cooper, Secretary

Tracey Cooper is a seasoned company director. As Chairman, she led the establishment of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism board having being appointed after serving for a term on the Murray Regional Tourism Board. She has several non-executive director positions spanning tourism, education and sports.

Tracey also holds a position on the Visitor Economy Ministerial Advisory Committee. Her extensive executive experience includes the Tourism, Professional Services, Technology and Venture Capital sectors. Tracey has a B.Com, Master of Management and Master of Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Shannon Smit, Treasurer

Shannon is Director of SMART Business Solutions, which under her leadership has become the Mornington Peninsula's most awarded accounting firm, with a reputation for working proactively with clients to help them manage their tax obligations and grow their wealth. Shannon has also owned several successful businesses and property developments, so she understands the challenges business owners face.

Shannon career has spanned global firms in New York, Prague, Amsterdam and Melbourne, before she settled back on the Peninsula and set up SMART Business Solutions in 2007. She wanted to give local business owners to access an advisor with extensive global expertise, without having to travel to the city. On the weekends you'll find her organising fundraising events for her children's school or sporting clubs.

Mal Hart, Board Member

Mal Hart is the Director and Owner of Hart Marine Boat Builders. Hart Marine are master boat builders specialising in the manufacture of pilot boats, patrol and SAR vessels built to the self-righting ORC design by Pantocarene France. Hart Marine has built more than 150 boats with over two million man hours and are recognised as one of Australia's most experienced and best equipped advanced composite boat yards. 

Mal carries on a maritime family tradition that boasts 6 generations of sea faring and boat building. Growing up within the Port of Hastings, Mal was introduced to boats at a very early age. Mal started Hart Marine 28 years ago and has developed the company into the internationally renowned first class boat yard it is today, employing almost 100 staff members in Mornington.

Chris Procter, Board Member

Chris is the Chief Executive Officer of Sealite, an international designer and manufacturer of marine and aviation navigation aids. The company is headquartered in Somerville and has manufacturing and office locations in the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore.

Chris is also Vice-President of the Industrial Members Committee of IALA, an international organization that is responsible for the guidelines and recommendations of maritime navigation worldwide to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost effective while protecting the environment.

A Mornington Peninsula resident for more than 20 years, Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Melbourne University and a Masters of Marketing.