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OAM for giving industry bodies a voice

Jennifer Lambert gives a voice to industry groups and it’s her service to business that has seen her awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Ms Lambert who lives at Werombi is “honoured and chuffed” to have received the recognition.

She said there are a lot of people who do similar work to herself, but she felt privileged to have been nominated.

“It came as a complete surprise to me; it’s nice that a range of people have taken that effort.

“I have worked with not-for-profit industry bodies for 40 years.”

She finds policy and advocacy interesting work.

Up until 2022 she represented Australia’s peak industry group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“I was the policy director and twice acting CEO of that organisation.”

Ms Lambert’s different roles has seen her deal with a myriad of industries and issues - employment, skills, education and migration policies and even energy and climate change policies.

Her foray into business after finishing her degree saw her working for an insurance company as a share analysist.

“A role came up with the Hotel Association four decades ago dealing with industrial awards and I was keen; I stayed in industry associations.”

Ms Lambert said while many graduates don’t think of industry associations as a career, she said it can be a very satisfying path.

She gives a voice to businesses in an industry for whatever reason. She said businesspeople usually don’t have the time, information or avenue to develop and formulate policies with major stakeholders from state to federal levels – it’s people like her who advocate and lobby.

“People can use their industry organisation to vent frustrations or their issues - even the success of a particular policy.

“We truly a pluralist society and it is about lots of different voices that give you the right balance” Ms Lambert said.

The mother of two daughters has lived in Werombi for 21 years and enjoys coming home to the tranquillity of rural living.

Ms Lambert has held several positions:

Director, Economics, Employment and Skills, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2011-2022.

Chief Executive Officer, National Tourism Alliance, 2007-2010.

Chief Executive, Nursery and Garden Industry Australia, 2005-2007.

Chief Executive Officer, Meetings and Events Australia, 1999-2005.

Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant and Catering Industry Association New South Wales, 1994-1999.


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