The Hon Bruce Billson
The Hon Bruce Billson earned the reputation as the tireless and forward looking ‘Monash Peninsula Campus champion’, through the kind of focus, dedication and persistence that led him to be known as a ‘champion of small business’ and ‘Australia’s best Minister for Small Business’.
As a Federal Cabinet Minister, Mr Billson spearheaded the Abbott Government’s SME agenda to ‘energise enterprise’ leading the formulation of the 2015 Federal Budget's Jobs and Small Business package to boost entrepreneurship and reforms to competition policy and law, unfair contract terms, employee share schemes, crowd-sourced equity funding and industry codes for franchising and food and grocery supply.
Mr Billson was elected for seven terms as the Federal Member for Dunkley and spent over 20 years as a parliamentarian, including as a Cabinet Minister responsible for small business policy, competition policy and consumer affairs in the Treasury portfolio. Mr Billson also served as Minister for Veteran’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.
This public policy and political experience enabled Mr Billson to spearhead a ‘renaissance’ plan for the Peninsula campus, with successive Campus Directors, Professor Phillip Steele and Professor Leon Piterman, securing new clinically-based degree courses for the campus, additional student load, joint University and Government infrastructure funding and significant capital works commitments.
For a decade, Mr Billson has been an active and positive contributor to the Monash Peninsula and was inaugural chair of the campus community advisory council, challenging a succession of Vice-Chancellors and leaders of the Campus with his bold vision, views that aspirations could be lifted and ambition for Monash Peninsula.
After 20 years in public life and having co-owned a small retail and gallery business with wife Kate, Mr Billson continues to support the success of other small businesses as founder/principal of strategic advisory firm, Agile Advisory; Executive Chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia, non-executive director of 'challenger bank' Judo Capital, Deakin University’s Director of Enterprise and chair of the Deakin/IPA SME Research Centre advisory council.
He is also a Board member of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and patron of several ex-service organisations. Mr Billson has a Master’s degree in Business Leadership, Graduate Diploma of Management and a Bachelor of Business. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.