Skip to main content
(07) 4963 2000 We're here to assist
Can we help?

9 Hidden Corporate Players Shaping Mackay, Whitsundays

30 May 2022

Emma Coburn, Partner of Wallace & Wallace Lawyers has been named as one of nine hidden corporate players who are shaping Mackay and the Whitsundays.  The following is an excerpt from an article by Duncan Evans, journalist with The Courier Mail and The Daily Mercury published on 30 May 2022:

From banking and commercial law to agronomy and tech, these influential corporate players work behind the scenes to keep Mackay and the Whitsundays humming. Find out who they are in our list of ‘hidden’ corporate flyers.

Greater Whitsundays Alliance CEO Kylie Porter is proud of the innovative spirit coursing through regional Queensland and says we need to do a better job spruiking the achievements of small and medium-sized businesses leading the charge.

“The noise is all from the big dominant industries,” she said.  And rightfully so because they are dealing in such massive volumes in investment levels.  

But there are lots of other examples of smaller businesses that are quietly making inroads.  They are really the heart and soul of innovation across regional Australia.”

These ‘hidden’ corporate players do not receive the kind of attention funnelled to ASX-listed big guns such as Mastermyne and Tassal, but their influence is nonetheless substantial.

From banking and commercial law to agronomy and tech, the men and women in our list are working quietly to shape the future of Mackay and the Whitsundays.

And the best thing of all, this list is only the tip of the iceberg:

  • Kerry Qualischefski and Wayne Berginey - NQ Farmshed
  • Corey Vaughan - 2Censor
  • Chris Adams - Rabobank
  • Russell Dobe - Dobe Farms
  • Nick Thomas - Mulgowie
  • Emma Coburn, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers
  • Brendan Refalo - Consolidated Engineering Plastics
  • Mick Storch - 4PS software
  • David Tranter - TranTech Computers

Emma Coburn, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Wallace & Wallace Lawyers', partner and lawyer, Emma Coburn is an integral part of Mackay’s corporate culture.

She specialises in commercial law and works behind the scenes for some of the largest firms in the region, including BHP.

Born in Mackay, Mrs Coburn joined Wallace & Wallace Lawyers in 2015.

“I’m not a terribly adversarial person” she said.

“I’m more of a negotiator, a facilitator, helping people achieve an outcome that generally everyone is happy with.”

Her six biggest clients are publicly and privately listed mining companies.

In order to prosper in the world of mining, Mrs Coburn said knowledge was key.

 “Understand the industry and understand what pressures they have and what is going on in the industry at a market level – that is what really drives their projects,” she said.

“If you’re going to do it keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on.”

The firm has represented BHP for 22 years and Mrs Coburn credits former managing partner Brett Johnson for bringing in such a massive client.

“We just have such extensive corporate knowledge” she said.

She said her firm’s work with BHP had helped it pick up other mining firms and a “big” renewable energy company.

“The work follows, it’s through relationships.”

She added she enjoyed the “behind-the-scenes” nature of the work and the way her firm had escalated quietly.

“I’ve always enjoyed going under the radar with the type of work we do” she said.

“I think we’ve surprised a lot of people locally just how well we are doing.  Just suddenly, people are taking notice.”