Our Business Advocates

Chris Rodwell

Chris Rodwell | Chief Executive Officer

Chris Rodwell has been Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) since February 2018.

Chris has many years of experience in senior trade and investment roles, including spending the past four years as Australia’s Trade Commissioner to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

This role involved regular travel to WA to establish and foster relationships with many major businesses engaged in international export and import markets, including successfully securing participation of WA’s resources sector in Mexico following a historic reform program.

Prior to this, Chris was the Queensland State Government’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Americas, and the Director of Australian Industry Group in Queensland.

He has specific expertise in innovation policy and skills development, and has held non-executive positions on bodies regulating workplace health and safety, workers compensation and vocational education and training.

Chris is leading CCI’s vision for Western Australia to become a world-leading place to live and do business. 

His commitment is for CCI to be the most contemporary reflection of the business community it represents.

He believes advocating for a regulatory framework that inspires innovation, and inserting WA businesses into global value chains, through digital and other technological transformations, will be central to the state’s future success.

Rick Newnham

Rick Newnham | Chief Economist

Rick Newnham is passionate about making Western Australia a world leading place to live and do business.

He joined the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) as Chief Economist in January 2017. Prior to joining CCI Rick worked as an Economist for Shell around the world, including postings in Australia (Brisbane and Perth), the UK (Aberdeen) and the Middle East (Dubai).

Rick is recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper, he is an Ambassador for Australia Day and a State Advisory Council member of CEDA - The Committee for Economic Development Australia.

In 2011, Rick was awarded Young Western Australian of the Year for establishing the Left Right Think-Tank, Australia’s first non-partisan think-tank of young minds.

Rick has a keen interest in innovation and policy that will advance Western Australia’s position in the global economy. Through the economic policy, start-up and trade communities Rick stays connected to the economies of the Middle East and Asia, where his experience and interests most overlap.

Rick completed his undergraduate business studies at The University of Western Australia and post-graduate studies at Oxford University. His thesis at Oxford evaluated the economics of Uber and Airbnb’s government relations strategies worldwide for which he won the Saïd Business School prize.

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