Future Leaders Program

The Board of Canberra Business Chamber implemented its inaugural “Future Leaders Program” in 2015 in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). This program has been designed to develop young leaders by providing them with an opportunity to develop their skills and supporting them to take up Board Directorships in the future.

In partnership with AICD and through a mentoring arrangement with an existing Board Member of the Chamber, the successful individual will undertake a program that aims to offer development in relation to board governance, processes and decision making including attending Board meetings as an observer enabling the individual to gain practical experience and apply the theoretical skills gained from the AICD program.

This program runs for a 12 month period (commencing February) and is envisaged that, at the end of the program, the successful applicant will understand the workings of a Board and have developed skills to seek a Board Directorship or undertake further training in Board Directorship should you wish to do so.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions that have been imposed throughout the year, the CBC Board has made a decision to postpone the appointment of the next Future Leader until 2021.

2019 Future Leader

Alan Tse
Co-founder and CFO, Altina Drinks

Alan Tse is the co-founder of Altina Drinks, an award-winning Canberra start up that has created a new class of drinks – Zero Proof Craft Cocktails that pack a punch without the alcohol. They are on a mission to make alcohol free drinking fun, exciting and accessible.

Alan’s official title is CFO, but really it’s CXO. Together with co-founder and CEO, Dr Christina DeLay, they look after all facets of the business and are constantly shifting between operation and strategic gears. They have turned an idea into their full time job in less than 18 months.

Since founding the business in May 2018, they have successfully crowdfunded $27,000 from the Canberra community, received more than $50,000 in funding from government agencies and their products are being sold in 12 retail shops around Canberra/NSW region.

Alan believes their success is based on hard work, savvy business acumen and having supportive mentors. Prior to founding Altina Drinks, Alan completed Bachelor of Economics (Hons) and has worked in both public and private sector – 4.5 years at The Treasury in tax policy costing and 2.5 years at Synergy Group Consulting in data visualisation. He is currently completing the Chartered Accountants Program and is an affiliate of AICD.

Previous Future Leaders


Elise Apolloni
Pharmacist, Capital Chemist

Highly awarded, respected and skilled local businesswomen Elise Apolloni will add to her many abilities by spending a year increasing her understanding of board governance as the 2018 Canberra Business Chamber Future Leader.

Ms Apolloni was selected for the 2018 Future Leaders Program by the Chamber Board from a very strong field. Ms Apolloni has worked in pharmacies since she was 14-years-old and today she is a partner and pharmacist at both Capital Chemist Wanniassa and Capital Chemist Kambah. She was named the 2017 Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and is the first Credentialed Pharmacist Diabetes Educator based and accredited in the ACT.

“For the last few years, I have become increasingly interested in governance and have undertaken some training with AICD to further my knowledge. The Future Leaders Program will further my experience in this area and give me a chance to observe the theory I have learnt at the AICD.”


Sarah Rajic
Co-Founder and Director, Capital Recruit

Sarah Rajic is the co-founder of Capital Recruit and General Manager of Staff Check.

Capital Recruit specialises in corporate recruitment including accounting, human resources, communication and marketing, sales and administration across government and the business community in the ACT. Since its inception two years ago, it has grown significantly and recently began managing volume recruitment processes in government.  Staff Check is a leading supplier of security vetting services, providing personnel security services to government and business.

Sarah commenced her career in 2000 in accounting recruitment in Canberra.  For the past eight years, she has managed recruitment teams and branches across Canberra and Sydney.  In August 2014, Sarah founded Capital Recruit with Glen Heward.  Sarah was appointed General Manager to Staff Check mid 2016 to assist with the client management, strategy and leadership.

Sarah has a Diploma in Business and is accredited with the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA).  She regularly presents for CPA Australia on recruitment best practice, industry updates, leadership and career development.  Sarah has also been a facilitator for the Mums Exercise Group of Australian (Canberra), plays basketball and enjoys running.  In addition, Sarah is a founding and active member of the Canberra Giant Hearts.


Alicia Shepard
Operations Manager, ONTHEGO Sports

Born and raised in Canberra, Alicia still remains one of Canberra’s biggest advocates for growing a young business and a young family, which is exactly what Alicia does everyday.

Alicia considers herself as an extremely multi-skilled woman, in business and in life. Her work experience is in retail, sales and operations in industries such as residential and commercial furniture, architectural products and now operating locally born, globally dominating ONTHEGO® Sports, specialising in custom made sportswear. Her previous and current worlds, as well as being involved in the fitness industry demonstrates her to develop a high level of client and supplier collaboration and maintain a large client network in Canberra, interstate and around the world.

Her business passion is in business growth and development. She has always been employed in the private sector, and almost 3 years ago made the wise decision to join a local Canberra “start-up”, ONTHEGO® Sports. Her role here is challenging and enables her to mature her business acumen.