The ARA Council is the governing board of the Australian Retailers Association, comprising representatives from small, medium and large Australian retail businesses.
Andersens Floor Coverings
Rowan is a retail leader with 25 years of leadership experience in the franchise sector. Until 2018, Rowan was the CEO at Battery World Australia. Previously, Rowan was a Retail Manager for Westfield, CEO for Domino’s Pizza Belgium and various other leadership roles. He has great passion for trends in retailing and franchise governance.
Owner, Managing Director
Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses
Steve is the CEO of the century old Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses retail baker chain and a member of the ARA Council for around 6 years. Steve is a 4th generation Aussie retailer in a business that has navigated two World Wars, The Great Depression and his own multi-generational family challenges. Steve is very passionate about the retail industry.
Owner, Managing Director
Bright Eyes Sunglasses
Ralph has an extensive 30 years of experience as an owner/operator of varied and successful small to medium-sized businesses centred around retail, franchising, property leasing, wholesale, marketing, distribution, design and import. Over the last 16 years, Ralph has occupied long term positions with the Franchise Council of Australia and the QLD Small Business Advisory Council.
GM of People and Communication 7-Eleven
Sharon has more than 20 years’ experience in leadership and human resources roles across the retail, finance, health and franchising industries. Her roles have seen her contribute to organisations such as Grill’d, Australian Unity, Coles Myer and currently with 7-Eleven Australia. Sharon brings her skills as a human-focused strategy leadership expert to the ARA board.
Jane has over 30 years’ experience in international retail including major UK fashion businesses Primark, Alexon, Peacocks & Dorothy Perkins. Jane has been a Board Member for 18 years and has been a highly successful CEO for the past 11 years, across a range of private capital, listed, and founder-owned businesses.
Franchise owner Battery World
Greg, a former electrician, took the Townsville Battery World business from a lagging store in 2005 to the consistently no.1 ranked store in Australia. Greg is from the real world of small business - starting his first company at 24 with not much more than a van he borrowed from his best mate. Greg has also produced a successful manual for small business based on his success.
Executive General Manager, Community & Consumer AusPost
Nicole joined Australia Post in August 2018. She is a highly accomplished senior executive with extensive experience in the media, marketing and digital industries. She is also responsible for brand, marketing, community and corporate responsibility. Nicole is a Director of Chief Executive Women (CEW), a Non-Executive Director of Capitol Health (ASX:CAJ) since December 2015.
CEO/Co-founder Retail Prodigy Group (Nike Retail)
Steve is the Co-Founder and CEO of Retail Prodigy Group which holds the master retail franchise for NIKE stores across Australia and NZ with the distribution rights for TOMS and Timbuk2. Steve joined NIKE Australia as Retail Director and then to NIKE’s HQ to head up the retail division for North America. Steve’s has also held leadership roles at Jeanswest, Myer and Luxottica.
Franchise owner, chairman
Forty Winks Group
Drew is the Chairman of the Forty Winks Group and has operated a Forty Winks franchise for the past 15 years. Drew has an intimate knowledge of franchising and is a skilled director with extensive experience in governance, strategy and risk mitigation. Drew also has experience in the hotel and resort industry with several multinational brands.
Owner, chairman Chemist Warehouse
Jack is the Chairman of the Chemist Warehouse Group and a Co-founder of this $5 billion retail group. Jack has a wealth of experience in retail having been involved in the growth of the business since 1972. Additionally, Jack created the largest distribution business in Pharmacy and created the iconic brands Le Specs, Le Tan, Australis and Colours of Australis.
Head of Category Management
Charlie is the Head of Category Management at the Leading Edge Group
- a buying and marketing group supporting over 900 independent retailers across Australia. Charlie has enjoyed retail leadership roles in the UK and Australia including Sainsbury Supermarkets, Dixon Store Group, WH Smith, Woolworths/BigW, Optus and Camerahouse.