The Sydney Program

1 May 2018

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The Masters

Who are the Master Entrepreneurs?

They are proven performers with a desire to give back.

Our Master Entrepreneurs have successfully developed, grown local and global businesses across diverse industries. These Masters are powerhouses of entrepreneurial knowledge. They are well connected in local and international business communities and can give you a huge advantage.


Jonathan Herrman | Chair of North Sydney Innovation Network

Master Ecosystem Networker-Leader & Serial Investor

After an early career as an Engineer in telecommunications, Jono diversified via an MBA into a variety of roles: HR + M&A roles at Telstra, running Engineering workshops, being the original family representative in the sale of a family business, running a coworking space and for the last 11 years involved in all things startup. Jono is a devotee of the Australian startup & innovation scene, especially supporting efforts to network members of this ecosystem on Sydney’s north shore. He also helps run a startup more directly as Chairman of Squirrel Street, formerly Shoeboxed Australia, which is pioneering work in eInvoicing in Australia. Jono is also passionate about family office issues, specifically in the fields of family dynamics, philanthropy and the move by younger generations in ‘high wealth families’, into higher risk assets. Jono invests in venture capital funds and directly in startups both in Australia and Israel, also actively supporting closer ties between the two technology and investment communities. 

Trena Blair | Founder, FD Global Connections

Master of Global Connections

Trena Blair, Master of Global Connections, Founder of FD Global Connections. Trena is a global citizen who has worked in the US, Asia and Australia over the past two decades and now prepares companies to launch into the US market and vice versa. Trena has founded two start-ups and worked across financial services (payments), travel, telecommunication, IT, the Arts, education, luxury retail and not-for-profit sectors.

Riley Batchelor | CEO, Masterly

Master Serial Entrepreneur and Master of Learning

Riley is a tech entrepreneur and start-up advisor who has founded five technology start-ups over the past 13 years. He is the founder of business accelerator EduGrowth and has launched and grown start-ups in education, e-commerce, home services, fashion and media.

Peter James | Master of the Masters, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor

Master of the Masters

Peter James Master of the Masters, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor, was instrumental in growing computer giant iiNet as its long-time Director and was actively involved in its $1.5 billion sale to TPG. He is one of Australia’s computing pioneers and has extensive executive experience across a range of publicly listed and private companies, particularly in emerging technologies, digital disruption, e-commerce and media. Peter travels extensively and reviews innovation and consumer trends, in the US and Asia and is a successful investor in a number of digital media and technology businesses in Australia and the States.

Fiona O'Donnell | Founding Shareholder, Foundation Early Learning

Master of Growth

Fiona O’Donnell is the Founding shareholder of Foundation Early Learning. Partnering her experience and passion with Private Equity, she has built a business to scale and is poised for sale. Fiona has demonstrated her ability to scale Early Education and Care to over 50 Services and without losing the Passion for Quality and Innovation. Fiona is the Founder of Action Research – Playing with Gratitude – improving the wellbeing of children across Australia. Fiona’s global business is in agricultural holdings.

Our Past Master Entrepreneurs

Alex Pirouz, Master of Online Growth, CEO Linkfluencer

Julian Tertini, Master Retailer, Founder of Freedom Furniture and Fantastic Furniture

Brand Hoff, Master of IT, Director of ICT Australia and Founder of TOWER Software

Anne O’Donnell, Master of Finance, Australian Ethical Investment MD

Bill Mobbs, Master of Healthcare, Founder of ITL Limited

Mark McConnell, Master of Serial Entrepreneurship

Col Alexander, Master of Development, MD and CEO of CIC Australia

Kate Carnell, Master of Non-Profits and CEO of Beyond Blue

Ralph Wilson, Master of Manufacturing and CEO of Willow 

Linton Staples, Master Cooperative Research Centres and CEO of Animal Control Laboratories

Geoff Cosgriff, Master Director and CEO of lnfocos

Tom Henderson, Master of Sustainable Building, and MD Jigsaw Housing

Murray Rankin, Master of IT Security and CEO Rankin Securities

John Hindmarsh, Master Developer, Chairman Hindmarsh

David Maxwell, Master of Government/Private Partnerships, Director of Riverview Group

Glenn Dickens, Master Serial Entrepreneur and Inventor of Dolby Headsets

Michelle Melbourne, Master of Human Research Management and Co-Founder Intelledox

Ron Murray, Master of Transport, Founder of Murrays Coaches, Buses and Limousines

Jason Hart, Master of Silicon Valley, Founder of Protocom, ActivIdentiy, NexKey

Mary Anne Waldren | Master Founder, Convenor and MC

Building the capacity of leaders through connection and collaboration, Mary Anne was born into business and knows her way around the corridors of power. Known for creating and auctioning exceptional ideas, Mary Anne brokers relationships, mentors and connects leaders to step up and stand out in their lives.  Mary Anne was the driver of the million-dollar Australian Science Festival and multi-million-dollar National Science Week. She has also engineered the delivery of more than 80 Radio National TV and radio broadcasts for numerous clients. An accomplished TedX speaker, author and an experienced company director, Mary Anne runs a Master Series of training programs for entrepreneurs, corporates, not for profits and government leaders. She is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, has advised international governments on business and has sat on numerous government, private, not-for-profit and association boards. Mary Anne has a Master’s Degree in Management, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and a swag of other qualifications.