KATE Carnell will be Australia’s inaugural small business and family enterprise ombudsman, being appointed in February by Small Business minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

Ms Carnell will commence the new role on 11 March for a five year period.

Ms O’Dwyer said Ms Carnell brought extensive experience and knowledge to the role of Ombudsman.

Ms Carnell, who ran her own small businesses for 15 years before becoming ACT Chief Minister, is well-positioned to translate the voices of small Australian businesses and family enterprises into targeted policy messages for Government.

Ms Carnell has held the position of chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2014, which represents more than 300,000 businesses across Australia.

She is the former chief executive of beyondblue, the Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Australian General Practice Network.

She is a pharmacist by profession and was the first female to become the National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott congratulated Ms Carnell on her appointment, saying she had been unwavering in her dedication to building an environment where businesses of all sizes can succeed to grow our economy and create employment opportunities in her role as ACCI chief executive.

“[Her] appointment to this important role reflects in part the impact she has had on shaping business policy,” he said.