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Board members

Our board members bring the Victorian Chamber years of business and industry expertise from a variety of sectors.

Adrian Kloeden

Adrian Kloeden


Adrian Kloeden is an independent Director and Chairman. He is currently President of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of the Aquasure group of companies and a Director of The Smith Family. He is a senior executive leadership coach in companies, government, the professions and NFPs. 

Adrian’s management experience covers a wide variety of industries, including forestry, agribusiness, manufacturing, distribution, retail, research and development, brand management, technology, e-commerce, defence and tourism and transport. He has held CEO or leadership positions in large and small public and private companies and a government related organisation and has operated in many regions of the world.

He graduated in science from the Australian National University and holds a master’s degree in business from the London Business School. He has an Honorary Doctorate from Deakin University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Karyn Sobels

Karyn Sobels

Past President 

Karyn Sobels was appointed President of the Victorian Chamber on 14 November 2019, following three years as Deputy President. Karyn has more than 30 years’ experience in the Retail, Telecommunications and Banking sectors.

Karyn is a founding Director of the Australian Business Growth Fund and a Board Member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where she Chairs the Economics and Industry Committee. Other Directorships include publishing company Riskinfo, the Telstra Licensee Association, University College and business advisors SKS Hub Pty.

As a business owner and Chair of Victorian Chamber’s Small Business Taskforce, she has a significant appreciation for the challenges and opportunities faced by SMEs. Karyn holds a BA, a Masters in Commercial Law and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jeremy Blackshaw

Jeremy Blackshaw

Deputy President

Jeremy has recently been appointed as MinterEllison's International Managing Partner. Prior to this, he headed the firm's Mergers & Acquisitions practice and was the Melbourne Office Managing Partner. 

He has extensive corporate practice, advising in multiple jurisdictions across industry sectors such as energy, infrastructure, financial services, health and consumer brands, and energy. 
Jeremy is a director of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chair of Linden New Art, Inc. He has lectured in takeover law and regularly presents on legal issues.


Brendan Britten

Brendan is the Managing Partner of Pitcher Partners Melbourne. Joining the Firm as a Graduate, he brings more than 25 years extensive experience advising businesses on their financial strategy. In addition to leading Pitcher Partners and its 750 people, he provides services to several large family businesses and sits on a number of client Advisory Boards and Finance Committees.

Helen Fairclough

Helen Fairclough

Helen Fairclough is the Chief Operating Officer of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Helen is a highly skilled executive leader, strategist and innovator with expertise in transformation and change management, design thinking, financial management, HR technology, and employee engagement.

During the past three decades Helen has built an impressive global career spanning several continents and a variety of roles in both B2B and B2C environments. Helen has assisted businesses from start-ups to Fortune 3 companies in a diverse cross-section of industries including retail, advertising, government sector, creative arts, hospitality, insurance, law, manufacturing and energy. She has worked in the UK, Europe and the US, returning home to Melbourne in 2014 to join the MCEC team as Director of People and Culture.

Following the devastating impact of the 2020 COVID crisis on Victoria’s tourism and events industry, Helen stepped into the role of Director of Business Relaunch for MCEC, designing and implementing a new operations model that incorporates agile mindset & principles and lean process improvement to generate new opportunities and revenue streams for the business. Her success in this role combined with her wealth of experience in innovation, people leadership and at the executive table saw her promoted to Chief Operating Officer at MCEC in June 2021.

Helen is a Non-Executive Director of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Executive Council Member of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and member of the Australian American Chamber Commerce Board (San Francisco, USA). As a long-time Chamber member, she is a passionate advocate for supporting businesses to continually improve and innovate. Helen pursued a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University and, never one to waste a good crisis, has become an expert on transforming disruption into opportunity.

When she’s not attending board meetings or driving institutional innovation, you’ll find her in the front row at a gig or exploring Melbourne’s eclectic culinary culture (usually in a fabulous pair of shoes.) 

Kate Mannix Web

Kate Mannix

Kate Mannix was appointed CEO at AFS & Associates in 2017 after working at the firm for 10 years in audit and corporate services. In her tenure at AFS Kate has seen the formation of the share registry department and considerable growth of the regional firm.

Prior to working at AFS, Kate gained experience at PwC and Blockbuster Australia as Director of Finance, where she oversaw large scale and highly technical changes.

With her is passion for building business capability and opportunity in Regional Victoria, Kate joined the Victorian Chamber as a Regional Chairperson in Bendigo in January 2021 and was a co-chair of the Vic Chamber 2021 Cost and Ease of Doing Business in Victoria taskforce.

Kate is an active part of the Bendigo community and a member of both the Bendigo Health Fundraising Advisory Board and Bendigo Regional AICD Committee.  

Kylie Warne

Kylie Warne

A trusted advisor, executive, Board Chair and Non-Executive Director with over 20 years experience in driving growth, bringing the voice of the customer into the boardroom and using data to drive decisions.

Kylie is independent Chair of the Regional Development Advisory Committee (RDAC), the Victorian government’s peak regional development policy advisory body and a board member of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is particularly passionate about regional economic growth and prosperity.

Kylie founded award-winning marketing and communications consultancy, Brand Bureau, in 2006, followed by martech startup, GetSetGo, in 2018.

She brings a wealth of knowledge in transforming organisations through the power of effective governance, marketing and branding, stakeholder relationships and innovation.

Kylie was the Victorian Government’s inaugural Chair of the Barwon Regional Partnership and, prior to becoming Chair, a member of RDAC.

She’s a Life Member and the longest serving President of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, where she served as a board director for ten years.

Kylie has also held non-executive director positions with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Bannockburn and District Connected Communities and Volunteering Geelong.

She was a member of the Victorian Government’s Expert Advisory Panel for Rural and Regional Students and an advisory committee member of the Federal Government’s Geelong Region Jobs and Investment Taskforce.

Kylie enjoys politics, swimming, camping and, most of all, raising her two beautiful sons.

Carlene Wilson

Carlene Wilson

Carlene joined the University of Melbourne as Director, Policy and Government Relations in March 2015. Carlene has extensive experience managing corporate affairs across the corporate, government, and non-government sectors. Carlene was previously Manager Public Policy at BHP and prior to that, she spent 10 years at ANZ Banking Group as the Senior Manager Government and Regulatory Affairs. 

She has also worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia’s Embassy in Washington DC. Carlene began her career as a policy adviser to a number of ministers in the NSW State Government in the portfolios of health, education, youth affairs, and training. 

She has served on the Board of the Early Learning Association Australia and joined the Board of the Victorian Chamber in 2021. 

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