Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable

The Business Roundtable gives you the opportunity to discuss your challenges and ideas with other business leaders in a confidential and supportive environment. The monthly facilitated roundtable will discuss a range of issues which are important to you and participants will have input into the issues covered. Guest speakers will include some of Geelong’s leading business people who are driving our region’s growth and can help you uncover high level opportunities for your business.

The peer support model is proven to help people learn and connect in an environment where you’ll find your challenges are not isolated to you. You can share your thoughts and benefit from the combined experience of the facilitator and the participants who have lived experience with those issues.The program is open to Senior Managers and Business Owners who have the ability to make independent decisions regarding their business.

Code of conduct

How will the program work?

The Business Roundtable is conducted on a monthly basis and includes 10 sessions running for a two hour period.  Depending on restrictions at the time, meetings will be conducted face-to face with the option to go online to Zoom meetings if necessary at any point.

The sessions will be run by a Facilitator who will greet the group and guide discussions. The facilitator will ask each participant to introduce themselves (name and business) and share their greatest win for the past month and current greatest challenge. Every achievement and challenge will be acknowledged.  The guest speakers will present on specific topics relating to the interests and needs of the participants.

To be part of this program, each participant is required to attend a minimum of 8 sessions. This is to assist in building trust, respect and commitment within the group of roundtable participants.  All discussions and comments within the group are strictly confidential.

Gillian Costa

Gillian Costa

Roundtable Facilitator

Gillian Costa will be facilitating the next business roundtable. A Geelong born and bred resident, Gillian has a history of business management across a diverse range of industries, including successfully owning and operating several private businesses over the duration, the current focus being The Pier Geelong.

Gillian also holds the positions of Deputy Chair for both a board in the Aged Care sector and with the State Government at the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, providing another view of business management and operations for a well-rounded understanding.

Mark Edmonds

Mark Edmonds

Roundtable Facilitator

Mark has over 30 years of working in the retail industry. Mark has been successful in turning loss making retail businesses into profitable businesses. Mark has strong experience in merchandise, property development, retail operations (multi-site), marketing, buying, product sourcing and business acquisitions.

Mark has wide experience in working with family businesses; private equity owned businesses and with public listed companies as well as franchise / member based companies.

Mark also has hospitality experience through being involved with a Donut King for eight years and now as a part owner of a Motel has a good understanding of the tourism and accommodation industry. Mark has also had a number of interim management roles at Discount Retailers, Hardware and Timber Companies and with the South Melbourne Market.

He is also an experience Non – Executive Director including roles with the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Barwon Legal Service, Geelong Cemetery Trust, Western Coastal Board to name a few. Mark is currently a Member of the Geelong Authority tasked with providing advice to the Victorian Planning Minister.

Cost of the Program

The cost of the program is as follows:

Chamber Members
10 Meetings – One off Payment for Members of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce: $2200 incl. GST
10 Meetings – Monthly Payment for Members of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce: $220 incl. GST per session

Greater Business Community/ Non-Members
10 Meetings – One off Payment for Non Members of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce: $2640 incl. GST
10 Meetings – Monthly Payment for Non Members of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce: $264 incl. GST per session

This can be a once off payment or charged monthly depending on the participant’s preference.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, please click here.

How to apply

Please complete the Expression of Interest Form – see button below. This enables the Facilitator to understand why you wish to be involved in the program and what you wish to achieve. It also ensures participants have had sufficient business experience to benefit from the high level roundtable and ensures there are no conflicts of interest.

Expression of Interest


The scholarship for the Business Roundtable is currently open for applications. To get more information and to apply for the scholarship, please head to the scholarship application.