About Us

We’re here to develop the wellbeing of individuals and communities through the growth of sustainable employee-owned cooperatives which have the potential to transform the nature of work.
 

Help us save Australian businesses and jobs

Our Misson

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Blue Tongue CDN

We value collaboration and cooperation, one of the five pillars of Community Wealth Building. Encouraging plural and democratic models of business ownership to build wealth that stays in local communities.

Succession planning is challenging, and in many cases business owners fail to sell. This usually results in a negative situation with employees losing their jobs, and in some cases unemployed long term. The Bluetongue Cooperative Development Network aims to reverse this trend utilising employee buyouts in the form of employee-owned worker cooperatives. 

To setup a network of practitioners to save as many businesses as possible from closure.  Keeping jobs, skills and products in Australia by undertaking the following tasks:

1.  Promote the worker cooperative concept across society and government

2.  Identify suitable businesses for employee-ownership implementation

3.  Educate owners to understand that they can best preserve their legacy by selling to their staff

4.  To assist the employees coming to believe that they are capable of purchasing and running their own business in a democratic way

5.  To encourage cultural change by embracing the principle of high performing workplaces

6.  Facilitating the transfer of ownership by supplying know-how

7.  Ongoing support and networking 

 

Vision

To develop the wellbeing of individuals and communities through the growth of sustainable employee-owned cooperatives which have the potential to transform the nature of work.

 
 

Mission

To change society one business at a time through employee buyouts. We advocate a new way of conducting the business succession process creating a new and fairer society. To establish private, for-profit, worker cooperative business structures that are designed to share ownership, decision making and profits narrowing the wealth gap, and addressing social and environmental issues. To preserve jobs in Australia through the high performance of employee-owned, managed and governed workplaces. To become an employer of choice for the next generation.

 

Values

We seek to implement employee ownership by working cooperatively, demonstrating ethical conduct and behaviour, open communication, and fairness.

We value business owners, workers and their jobs and appreciate the benefits they bring to their communities.

We support a style of business operation where equity, ethics and equality are valued, where decision making is shared, where worker-owners can discern and develop their future.

We value honesty, education, co-operation, teamwork.

We support and share information with other cooperatives, mutual and employee ownership networks and groups.

We value people before programs and money.

 

We value the “Seven Cooperative Principles”.

Team Members

Rob

Robert McMaster
Chairperson & Director & Member

Author of ‘Swapping Desks’

Business Chaplain and Welfare Officer at Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce

Toolmaker tradesman and General Manager of C-Mac Industries (Aust) Pty Ltd for 36 years. Transferred ownership to the 30 employees on retirement. Actively involved in Scouting and his local church in North Richmond, NSW.

A community wealth building practitoner. 

Dr Anthony Jensen
Research Director & Member

Social Enterprise Advocate and Founder of the Asia Pacific Co-operative Research Partnership

Sessional Lecturer Corporate Governance, University of Newcastle NSW

Frank

Frank Webb CPA
CEO & Director &Member

Certified Practicing Account 20 Years experience as an account, Financial Controller and Director of several companies with turnovers of from $12 – $168M turnover. 

Accredited Adviser for the Family Business Association.

Director Greater Blacktown Business Chamber

Founding Director of Business Clarity

22 years experience as a Business Coach of SME’s and an advocate of inclusive business mgt and Co-operatives. 

John Shiel_4

John Shiel Phd
External Director

John is a Built Environment Consultant with his won low-carbon precinct and home consulting business. He is a member of several co-operatives including Narara Ecovillage and Enova Community Energy and formerly was a Civil Engineer and IT consultant.

He co-founded a computer-aided-design and database company, CadBase Systems, and was CEO or President of several not for profit organisations including a public company, the Sydney PC Users Group, and Permaculture Hunter.

John has rescued businesses and developed strategies to run many successful events, festivals and conferences including with international artists and speakers.

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Marc Menzber
Director & Member

Marketing & Business Analyst

Specialties include consumer research, data journalism, forecasting and brand strategy

Prior business owner for 6 years

Bernice Hookey

Bernice Hookey
Member

 Founder of MZB Empowerment, a niche professional cultural advisory business with leading capabilities integral to assisting cultural inclusion and pathways for community projects, bringing leadership responsibility together for Indigenous Participation Procurement planning. Increasing First People business growth and providing cultural capability assessments.  A community wealth building practitioner.

Positions Vacant

  • Business Cultural Change Specialist
  • Academic with a strong interest in employee ownership and the process of praxis learning.
Appy by email to info@bluetonguecoop.com.ausend us or send us a mesage

Policy Development

Providing inputs to government and industry associations on new policy to support worker cooperative formation and ongoing development.

 

Methodology Process

Blue Tongue is a research based consultancy which is our competitive advantage. We operate with the Participant Action Research problem solving method in facilitating a buyout. Continually learning from our experience and applying these learnings.

Bluetongue Co-operative Development Network Ltd Certificate of Registration

  • NSW Fair Trading Registration Number: NSWC21003
  • Date of registration: 11th November 2021