Kim Houghton, Director
Kim is an adjunct Professor, University of Canberra (more info to come).
Kim set up Strategic Economic Solutions Pty Ltd in 1997 to provide services to a broad range of clients wanting to understand the economic issues affecting their communities and develop practical responses.The company specialises in local economic development and small business.

The Company works extensively on regional labour markets in Australia, looking at where jobs have grown or declined, with a particular emphasis on building community profiles, creating employment and issues for young people.

The Company has a very strong track record in helping communities across Australia, and among other things has conducted a study on home-based businesses in two states focusing on helping employment growth in these very small businesses, developed a ‘small business readiness’ self assessment kit and has completed a number of other projects to foster growth in the broader small business sector.

Before founding SES, Dr Houghton completed a major study for the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) titled Jobs in Our Regions: Building on the Small Business Base. The book presents a comprehensive analysis of small business in regional Australia, examining the major constraints on regional small business growth and offering practical solutions.

Kim’s previous work has included Adviser in the Economic Planning Advisory Commission (EPAC) and other positions in the Commonwealth Government. He has lived and worked in Japan for many years, and was Executive Officer at the Australia-Japan Research Centre at the Australian National University for four years.

Kim’s other qualifications include a BSc Hons in Geophysics from the University of Tasmania, accreditation as a community mediator and facilitator, and a reputation as a performance poet.
Academic Qualifications
– PhD Economics (ANU)Degree awarded April 1996 Thesis title: Energy Efficiency and Energy Policy in Japan 1973-1991
– Earlier work comprised Masters of Economics units (1988) and
– Graduate Diploma in Economics (1987).
– Bachelor of Science with Honours (First Class), Geophysics, University of Tasmania, 1983.

Professional History

– Project Manager, Regional Small Business Focus Project, Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA)
Commonwealth public service positions including:
– Senior Officer Grade (SOG) C, Economic Planning Advisory Commission (EPAC)
– Acting SOG C, Industry and Economic – Section, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C)
– Administrative Services Officer (ASO) Grade 6, Industry and Economic Section, Office of Multicultural Affairs, (PM&C)
– Executive Officer, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Australian National University, working with Professors Peter Drysdale and Ross Garnaut.
– Lecturer, Economics Faculty, Kobe University, Japan

Thomas Fell, Researcher

Tom Fell has worked with SES as a researcher since early 2009. Tom’s main work with SES has been in survey design and analysis, undertaking interviews and consultations, preparing local and regional economic overviews, and drafting the economic development strategy for Adaminaby.

Thomas has a background and interest in Natural Resource Management with an Honours Degree in Natural Resources from UNE in 2005. Tom’s academic work is of a very high standard, and he was awarded the John Burton Memorial Prize in Natural Resources in 2005 and the Australian Association of Natural Resource Management (NSW Branch) Prize in 2004.

Prior to working with SES, Tom worked as both a Human Resource Advisor and Policy Officer for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, after successfully completing the Graduate Program in that Department. Tom has high level skills in analytical research, preparing reports and government briefings, as well as good knowledge of government process and regional agricultural issues and industries. Tom is currently working part-time with SES while completing a Bachelor of Music at ANU.

Merran Laver, Researcher

Merran has worked on a diverse range of projects for SES since 1999.
She enjoys the variety of experience in this role, particularly projects involving the rural / regional sectors.
Health is another strong area of interest; Merran has worked in various positions in this field, and has just completed a graduate diploma in (medical) journalism.
Her professional interest in writing and editing is reflected in the work she has done for SES and for other organisations, and in a range of publications.

Academic Qualifications

– Graduate Diploma in Journalism University of Queensland
– Bachelor of Applied Science, University of Canberra

Professional History

Web Project Officer Women’s Centre for Health Matters
Library Officer Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT
Research assistant Clinical Pathways Project The Canberra Hospital

Simone Annis, Senior Project Manager

Simone started working on projects with SES in 2003.
Simone has worked extensively in local government and for community organisations as a Manager, Environmental Educator and Trainer.
She is interested in community and business development particularly as it relates to the concept of “Zero Waste” – empowering communities and organisations to make a difference by thinking creatively about the way in which they manage their resources.
Simone is also the owner/manager of Switched on Cycles a small business which designs, imports and sells electric bicycles.

Educational Qualifications

– Masters in Business Administration (strategic operations management) degree awarded in 2002
– Certificate IV Train-the-Trainer category 2
-Train-the-Trainer category 1
– Workplace Assessor (1998)

Bachelor of Art (Visual) degree awarded in 1992

Professional History
Owner/operater Switched on Cycles
Waste Policy and Planning Manager, Waverley Council
Waste Education & Research Officer, Waverley Counci
Waste Advisory Officer, Queanbeyan City Council
Environmental Project Officer, Opotiki Council, New Zealand
Site Manager and acting business Manager Revolve Pty Ltd.
Training Officer Zero, Waste New Zealand.
Board Member various community organisations

Peter Annis, Senior Researcher
More info to come

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