Andrew Canion BCom GAICD
Andrew has a range of experience across business ownership, management and leadership, consulting, communication, political engagement and advocacy. This is combined with expert knowledge in podcast production and editing, and professional sports commentary.
Leveraging strong analytical traits with an ability to communicate and engage with stakeholders, Andrew seeks to build capacity in the teams and projects he works with and leads.
Andrew is highly productive, through active application of his knowledge of information technology, design thinking and process management.
Table of Contents
- Andrew's Career Story
- Employment History
- Skills & Attributes
- Higher Education
- Across 10 years with the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, I have worked with and supported hundreds of WA firms, providing strategic advice and direction.
- I am skilled in the development and implementation of corporate strategy that incorporates business unit goals with organisational objectives.
- Successful collaboration has enabled me to better support client outcomes. I can build close professional relationships with people and establish rapport with different personality types.
- I have direct experience in collaborating with senior management of large firms and SMEs, as well as at the most senior levels of Government and politics at both State and Federal levels.
- Facilitating business improvement sessions is a key element of my work with the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, and one I enjoy. My facilitation efforts have built long-term trust and rapport with colleagues and clients.
- I’ve successfully project-managed the development of iOS and Android apps, using an agile development methodology.
- I build and maintain my own web presence which includes many business and technology relevant articles.
- I have been a podcaster for years with the ability to plan, produce and edit audio shows and build an engaged audience.
- I participated in a Japanese study tour of lean manufacturing which included on-site education from Toyota, Kikkoman and other firms on the application of lean, 5S and continuous improvement.
- With a background in economics, and years of job and board experience in various financial roles I am confident in my ability to read and interpret financial reports. I regularly review and advise firms on their financial outcomes and work to develop strategies to consolidate and improve financial performance.
- As Director and Treasurer of Midlas, I was responsible for effective financial management within the risk framework established by the Board, building on my experience as a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
- I have represented stakeholders before parliamentary inquiries and legislative committees, which has been committed to Hansard at Federal and State levels.
- I have a deep understanding of political and government interaction, having experience working for a State Government Minister who held responsibility for transport, infrastructure and planning, and as liaison for the office of the Premier of Western Australia.
Andrew's Career Story
🍕 Part-time Basics
I started at Domino's Pizza (when it was still called Silvio's) where I memorised about 14 pages of the street directory—this was before the introduction of GPS. As well as improving memory, I learned how to work as a member of a team, be trustworthy, and take responsibility. I made life-long friends at this first job, one of whom went on to be a Vice President at Woodside. First jobs can change a person's life.
I moved up the employment chain mid-way through my university career. Coming from a family with not a lot of money, I had to work and study concurrently. At Liquorland I got strong moving palettes of beer one carton at a time around from storeroom to coolroom. I learned bravery at Liquorland, standing up to thieves, violent incidents and even a gunman. They were rough times. Cleaning up a shop of broken glass bottles after the store was trashed taught me resilience and patience.
🚌 Out of University
After graduating with a Commerce degree from Curtin University I started at Department of Transport. I remember managing large spreadsheets tracking the asset details of every piece of public-use infrastructure managed by the Department. I particularly remember poring through the one about the Transperth buses. This interest in finance and being across the detail saw me seconded into a specialist project that was set up under the purview of the Minister. I didn't realise it at the time, but this gave me an insight into politics which would help later.
🧑🏻🌾 Numbers and Nascent Technology
I wanted a change and I wanted to work for a large corporation. So, I took a job at CBH Group. Here I kept working with numbers and finance, being a Financial Controller of the Operations division with oversight of a $200 million budget.
At CBH Group I learned to work with big data. I was using data about grain taken in across 197 sites and delivered to 4 shipping ports across WA and overlaying it with the nascent GIS technology to create maps of data that was a new innovation at the time. This work formed the basis of a new Freight Network Strategy that realigned how CBH Group used its road and rail network to transport grain to port most efficiently. Beyond data analysis, though, I had to convince grain growers, shareholders and give presentations to the board. My transition to evidence-based persuasion had begun.
🗣 Into the Political Realm
These new communications skills I next took into the political realm. Remember that taste of politics from earlier? Now I was in it - working within a Policy Officer of the Department and Premier and Cabinet. The thrill came from going to Parliament House and working in an office that Premier Carpenter would sometimes occupy.
From there I was noticed, and taken into then Minister for Planning & Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan's, office. In this role I learned stoicism in the face of a strong boss. I learned to stick through it and pre-empt likely questions.
💼 Back to Business
In the background of this period, my wife and I had established a small business which we grew from nothing to one turning over a couple of million dollars per annum. This taught me so much about business ownership, human resources and dealing with employees, that it felt like I'd completed an MBA by the time we sold the business as a going concern after 6 years.
After time in government, I wanted to get back to business, so leveraging my political experience I took a job at the business lobby, Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA. My role was then to develop, communicate and advocate for business policy preferences to government and the media. At CCI I became accustomed to public speaking either in front of crowds of people, groups of journalists, or political hearings. A thrill was to have my evidence recorded into State Hansard!
As a result of my understanding of business, I transferred internally at CCI to work with Enterprise Connect - now Entrepreneurs' Programme - which is a service dedicated to providing management consulting advice to Australian companies. This job compiled all my previous skills and experience: communication, financial nous, an understanding of being a business owner, and being able to communicate with empathy; and applied them in a singular way.
✅ Doing Not Telling
After years of consulting, I’ve now moved into a management role where I’m not just giving advice, but am responsible for doing.
My task is to grow the activity of the Rockingham and Fremantle Policy and Community Youth Centres.
To grow the business, I need to strengthen the culture. That’s my first focus. With a strong foundation, good things can grow.
🎙 Side Hustles
During the past 3 years, I have built 'side hustles' of which I am particularly proud. This has involved podcasting and sports commentary. Hosting a podcast focused on Australia's National Basketball League has led to me gaining official media accreditation with the league. This in turn has created an opportunity for me to work as the commentator for the NBL1 team, Perth Redbacks.. Concurrently I have also developed a tech-adjacent podcast which has built an international audience.
🎯 My Mission
As a result of these combined experiences I have determined my current career mission to be, 'educating and entertaining through the medium of voice'.
With all this as my career history, it leads me to the question: "what shall I do next?"
Responsible for managing two centres within the PCYC Network - Fremantle and Rockingham.
Autonomous management of centres, including strategy development and implementation, employee management, program delivery, financial performance and maintenance.
2020 - 2023
Supporting Australian firms to improve their productivity and performance through the provision of consulting and advisory services across strategy, finance, and operations improvement.
2012 - 2020
Business Adviser, Entrepreneurs' Programme, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA
Worked in partnership with the Federal Government's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to deliver the Entrepreneurs' Programme, which incorporated the delivery of management consulting advice and support to help firms to achieve their objectives.
2010 - 2012
Manager, Small Enterprise Network, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA
Established a new business unit within CCI with a distinct brand designed to provide specific advocacy, networking and support for small business.
2007 - 2010
Senior Policy Adviser, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA
Represented and advocated for the views of the business sector, across industry sectors including resources and energy, climate change and environment, transport and construction.
2006 - 2007
Senior Policy Adviser, Department of the Premier & Cabinet
Managed the process of Questions on Notice and Question Time at Parliament House, ensuring that both questions and answers were managed, prepared and responded to as required. Provided policy support to the Premier. Seconded to work in the Office of the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure to provide policy advice with respect to climate change and sustainability.
2000 - 2006
Financial Controller, CBH Group
Oversaw the financial management and performance of 197 sites and 4 ports, representing an annual operating expenditure of close to $100m. Additionally I performed financial analysis and strategic assessments against a range of merger and acquisition targets. Led a project to review, improve and optimise the efficiency of logistics management and storage patterns across the entire network of grain storage sites.
1999 - 2000
Financial Analyst, Department of Transport
Inducted through the Department's Graduate program for the Group Finance Division, which saw me spend time working across various elements of the business including finance, asset management, and budgeting. Excelled in asset management which saw me seconded into a newly established Strategic Asset Management unit, tasked with identifying new and efficient methods of asset structuring.
|2015 - 2019
|Non-Executive Director & Treasurer, Midlas Inc
|1999 - 2000
|Member Representative, CBH Superannuation Fund