New appointments will strengthen brand Canberra, Local business and economy


Canberra Business Chamber is gearing up to deliver two programs in partnership with the ACT Government that will be essential to the future strength of the local economy.

The Chamber announced today the appointment of two highly experienced professionals to lead the Brand Canberra and Capital Metro Business Link programs.

“We are very excited to have found such strong candidates for these program manager roles,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry said.

Ben Maguire returns to Canberra to take the reins of the Capital Metro Business Link Program. This program is designed to ensure local businesses can maximise opportunities created by the Capital Metro project. It will help keep investment in the ACT and enhance local business capacity and skills.

Mr Maguire’s most recent role was as Chief Executive of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre in Longreach. He was educated and raised in the Canberra region and previously worked for AGL Energy in sales and marketing, franchise development and business improvement programs.

He has run his own business and this year was appointed Co-Deputy Chairman of Regional Development Australia for the Southern Inland Region and is a Member of the Council of the National Museum of Australia. Ben is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and volunteers with the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Mr Maguire has a Masters in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

The ACT has much to offer as a business, investment and travel destination and it will be Debra Surman’s job as the Brand Canberra Program Manager to tell the rest of Australia and the world about its numerous positive attributes.

When she takes up the role in early 2016, Ms Surman will develop a range of strategies to establish marketing and partnerships for Brand Canberra and continue its development within Canberra, the wider region, nationally and internationally. This program aims to maximise the economic and community benefits of Brand Canberra and ensure it is flexible and effective in achieving its strategic objectives.

Ms Surman is a strategic marketing and brand development specialist with more than 15 years’ experience in marketing and management roles in the legal and financial services sectors. She has worked as the Corporate Communications Manager for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth and was Business Development and Marketing Manager of the Australian Securities Exchange.

Debra holds a Masters of Business in Marketing and a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Science. She is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, a member of the University of Technology Sydney’s Post-graduate Business Alumni and a member of Queensland University of Technology’s Business Alumni.

“Ben and Debra’s expertise means they will hit the ground running in 2016 and get these programs off to a flying start,” Ms Hendry said.

Media Contact: Robyn Hendry, CEO Canberra Business Chamber 0418 462 151