Our Network

John Watkins, Chair

John Watkins was appointed Chair of the McKell Institute in October 2011.

John is currently CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and Chair of the Mary MacKillop International aid agency. John is still Chair of the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd, one of Australia’s largest not for profit health providers.

Prior to his appointment at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, John was a member of the NSW Parliament between 1995 and 2008. He was Deputy Premier from August 2005 to September 2008 and held portfolios including Transport and Finance.

Prior to becoming a politician, John was a school teacher at St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, a Master of Arts degree and a Diploma of Education.

Sam Crosby, Executive Director

Sam Crosby was appointed Executive Director of the McKell Institute in March 2014 and brings to the role years of experience working in government, business and civil society.

Previously, Sam served as Corporate and Government Affairs Manager for Johnson and Johnson, Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to a number of NSW Cabinet Ministers, and advisor to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. His experience spans infrastructure, transport, ports, mining, forestry, treasury and healthcare.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Social Sciences with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney and an MBA from the UNSW’s Australian Graduate School of Management. While completing his undergraduate degree, he served as President of the University of Sydney Union.

Orla McCoy, Board Director

Orla is a Partner of Clayton Utz lawyers, specialising in corporate restructuring and insolvency. Orla has acted in many of Australia’s most significant and high-profile corporate insolvency and restructuring matters including Mirabela Nickel Limited; RedFork Energy Limited; Lehman Brothers Australia; Trio Capital Limited; Borders/Angus & Robertson; ABC Learning Centres (ABC2 Group); Australian Discount Retail Group; and HIH Insurance.

She has a keen interest in corporate turnaround and in understanding the symptoms and potential solutions for corporate distress. Orla has also worked as in-house counsel with an international fraud and asset recovery firm in Dublin, Ireland and as an international banking and finance lawyer in London and Amsterdam.

Orla holds Bachelor of Arts in European Studies (Law and French), University of Limerick (1995), a Barrister-at-Law, The Honourable Society of the Kings Inns, Dublin (1997) and Advanced Insolvency Law & Practice, University of Southern Queensland/ARITA (2003-2004).

Mark Lennon, Board Director

Mark Lennon is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Mark has been Secretary of Unions NSW since October 2008, having served as Assistant Secretary since June 2001. Mark joined Unions NSW in 1988 and has held a number of positions in the organisation including Training Officer, Industrial Officer and Executive Officer.

His responsibilities over the years at Unions NSW have included industrial and political work in the areas of railways, electricity, health, industrial legislation, occupational health and safety, forestry and superannuation.

In addition to the McKell Institute, Mark is also a board member of First State Super, Health Super Financial Services Pty Ltd, Safety, Return to Work & Support Board, Trade Union Education Foundation and the Trades Hall Association.

Peter Bentley, Board Director

Peter Bentley is a board member of the McKell Institute, having served as the Founding Executive Director of the Institute from 2011 until 2014.

Prior to helping establish the McKell Institute, Peter served as a Senior Policy Director specialising in housing and infrastructure delivery. He has worked as a market Research Director, and an official for the Australian Labor Party.

Peter also serves as a board member of Club Plus Super and Ecclesia Housing. He holds a Master of Policy Studies with First Class Honours (UNSW), a Diploma of Superannuation (ASFA), and is currently completing a Master of Finance (UTS). He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate of FINSIA.

Verity Firth, Board Director

Verity Firth is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Verity Firth is Chief Executive of the Public Education Foundation, a not for profit organisation that provides scholarships for teachers and students in public schools and which works to enhance the value and reputation of public education.

In 2007, Verity was elected to the NSW Parliament as the Member for Balmain. She was immediately elevated to the Ministry and held a number of portfolios including Minister for Women and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change. In 2008 she was promoted to Minister for Education and Training, a position she held until the state election in March 2011.

Verity is also a former Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney. Before her parliamentary career, Verity worked as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon. Verity is also a board member of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare and is a Patron of Centipede at Glebe School Inc.

Sarah Kaine, Board Director and Research Committee Member

Dr Sarah Kaine is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Sarah is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Management at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Her research focuses on several broad themes including employee representation, the development and exercise of employee voice, the formal and informal regulation of employment relations, human resource management, Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability.

Prior to becoming an academic Sarah worked as an industrial relations practitioner and as a consultant to not for profit organisations.

Bruce Hawker, Board Director

Bruce Hawker is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Bruce is the Managing Director of Campaigns and Communications, an organisation specialising in political and corporate campaigns. Prior to that, Bruce was founder of Australia’s largest government relations practice, Hawker Britton. Bruce also served 9 years as Chief of Staff to former NSW Premier Bob Carr. Bruce has spent more than 30 years providing high-level consulting advice to governments, the Labor Party and corporate Australia.

Bruce is currently a prominent political campaigner and commentator. Bruce makes regular appearances on ABC Radio, Sunrise, Sky News and Channel 10’s “Breakfast” programme. He also contributes to print publications including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Bruce holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and a Law degree from the University of NSW.

Tara Moriarty, Board Director

Tara Moriarty is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Tara Moriarty is currently service as Secretary of the Liquor & Hospitality Division of United Voice NSW and Senior Vice President NSW Labor.

She holds a degree from the Australian National University in Canberra.

Tim Ayres, Board Director

Tim Ayers is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Tim Ayres is the NSW Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and a member of the Australian Labor Party’s National Executive.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Sydney.

Ric Sissons, Board Director

Ric Sissons is a board member of the McKell Institute.

Ric is the Founder and Managing Director of Campaign City Pty Ltd., a progressive, print-based communications company specialising in creative campaign material. Previously Ric co-founded Social Change Media and Pluto Press Australia.

Ric is a long-time political activist and is an award winning cricket historian.

Ric holds a Bachelor of Arts Economics from the University of Sussex.

Scott McDine, Board Director

Scott is the National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, Australia’s oldest and largest blue-collar trade union with over 135,000 members.

He began his career with the union as a member working at the Alcoa Pinjarra Alumina Refinery in Western Australia where he worked as a service person/crane driver. In July 2014 Scott was elected National Secretary of the AWU.

Scott was a director on the board of Cbus superannuation fund, and is currently a director on the board of AustralianSuper.

George Newhouse, Company Secretary

George Newhouse is Company Secretary of the McKell Institute.

George is currently practicing as an Australian lawyer at Shine Lawyers Ltd. and has previously been involved in some of Australia’s most well-known Civil and Human Rights Cases. He authors the Civil Justice Issues chapter in the Laws of Australia and is a former Mayor of Waverley Council.

In 2008, George helped established the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and is currently a member of the Board of the Stolen Generations Testimony Foundation. In 2009, Newhouse travelled to PNG to establish the Adrian Lam Foundation to assist youth in PNG through education and sport.

George holds a B.Com, Accounting and Financial Systems and a B.Com LL.B from the University of NSW.

Adele Langton, Fellow

Adele has an interest in a range of policy areas including law reform, human rights, social justice and industrial relations. She has a strong focus on issues affecting women including women’s safety, equality, advocacy and empowerment.

She currently works in Washington D.C as an adviser to U.S businesses on the Australian market. Prior to this, Adele served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Federal Attorney General and Federal Minister for Justice and Home Affairs and worked as a government lawyer in the Commonwealth public service. Adele has worked in a range of private and community sector legal roles and for non-profit organisations in Australia and the United States.

Adele holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Economics (Social Science) from the University of Sydney.

Rachel Garcia, Fellow

Rachel has a particular interest in health and human services policy and reform, with more than 15 years managerial and professional experience in the public and private sector.

Rachel is currently an Associate Director at KPMG where she focuses on organizational and behavioral change management, designing stakeholder engagement programs, strategic communications, research and analysis and public policy for government. Prior to consulting, Rachel was a Senior Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Health and before that a Senior Patent Attorney specialising in the area of Medical Science.

Rachel holds a Master of Business Administration (Exec) (AGSM), Master of International Development (Deakin University), and an honors degree in Medical Science (Sydney University).

Darrin Barnett, Fellow

Darrin has had a history working in workers’ rights in policy and communications roles.

He is the Communications and Campaign Director for the Maritime Union of Australia. In the past, he served as the Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Press Secretary and Policy Advisor for various NSW Government Ministers, including the Premier, and as a reporter for Australian Associated Press.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Media Studies (Journalism) from Latrobe University.

Corri McKenzie, Fellow

Corri has an interest in a wide range of policy areas, including welfare reform, disability and social supports; affordable housing and homelessness; participatory budgeting, particularly for social services; community sector reform; gender equality and opportunity; families and children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy.

She is the General Manager of Community Services for Mission Australia. Prior to that, Corr was Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Chief of Staff in the Office of Minister Jenny Macklin and held a number of communication and policy roles for Google, the Leader of the Opposition, the Office of the Prime Minister and the LHMU ACT Branch.

Corri holds a double degree in Arts and Law from the Australian National University.

Paul McLeay, Fellow

Paul is a thought leader in the public audit arena. He has a strong interest in technology in the work place, particularly in practical applications for identifying opportunities to increase profitability through re-engineering, improving supply chains, and getting the most out of existing approaches and people.

Currently, he is a Partner of consulting firm Performance Audit Review and Chair of the Sydney Business Enterprise Partnerships. Previously, he served as Minister for Ports & Waterways, Minister for Mining & Forests in the NSW Government and as a Member of Parliament. Prior to entering Parliament, he was Assistant General Secretary of the Public Service Association.

He holds an MBA from the UNSW Australian Graduate School of Management.

Madeleine Holme, Fellow

Madeleine has worked for the union movement, aid organisations and the private sector leading campaigns on economic justice, climate change and energy efficiency, and workplace relations.

Madeleine’s interests include affordable housing policy and tenancy rights, climate and energy policy; tax reform; early childhood education and care and aged care.

At present, she is the National Political and External Campaign Coordinator for United Voice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology & Government and International Relations) from the University of Sydney.

Cameron Milliner, Fellow

Cameron has a strong interest in a number of policy areas including health, trade, industry and innovation. With more than 15 years of experience within Government, consultancy and multinational corporations he has a deep understanding of the development and implementation of public policy.

He currently works as the Head of Government Relations and Public Affairs for a biopharmaceutical company with responsibility for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this, Cameron worked for a Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Company, as a Director of a Corporate Affairs consultancy and as a Advisor in the Queensland Government to both the Minister for Health and the Minister for Industrial Relations.

Cameron holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Industrial Relations) from Griffith University.

Fiona Landis, Fellow

Fiona has an interest in innovation policy which fosters growth in new industries and new jobs for Australia, in particular in the medical technology and biotech sectors. This includes healthcare and telehealth policies, advancement of STEM skills and commercialisation. She is also has a strong interest in policies that increase female participation in the workforce.

Fiona is an Associate Partner at the Endeavour Consulting Group, a Canberra-based government consultancy that advances clients’ policy interests within parliaments and bureaucracies throughout Australia in areas as diverse as trade, resources, tertiary education, media, telecommunications and financial services. Prior to that, Fiona worked at the Medical Technology Association of Australia, the peak body representing commercial, regulatory and policy matters affecting device, diagnostic and technology companies.

Fiona has worked as a senior ministerial advisor and Chief of Staff in the NSW Government in key public policy areas including transport, housing and mental health.

Fiona holds a Bachelor of Communications from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.

Professor Roy Green, Researcher

Dean of the UTS Business School

Author of: Understanding Productivity: Australia’s Choice

Professor Roy Green is the Dean of the UTS Business School. Roy gained his doctorate from the University of Cambridge and has worked on innovation policy with governments and business around the world. He has led projects for the OECD’s National Innovation Systems programme and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). Most recently, he led Australian participation in a global study of management practice and productivity, conducted a major industry review for the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and was invited to join the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce. In addition, he chairs the Australian Government’s Innovative Regions Centre and CSIRO Manufacturing Sector Advisory Council, and he is a member of the Enterprise Connect Advisory Council and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation.

Roy has degrees from the University of Adelaide and a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Dr Wendy Lipworth, Researcher

Author of: Funding Rare Disease Therapies in Australia: Ensuring equitable access to health care for all Australians

Dr Wendy Lipworth is a bioethicist and health social scientist. She completed her medical degree at UNSW in 1999, and moved into academia in 2002. She has since completed a MSc by research (USYD) on biobanking ethics; a PhD (USYD) on the ethics of journal peer review; and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at UNSW on pharmaceutical policy.

She is a Senior Research Fellow & NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine. Dr Lipworth has published over 50 peer reviewed journal articles in ethics, social science, legal and medical journals, and her research has been presented both nationally and internationally. Her work has also been translated into policy and practice through her role as Deputy Chair of the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) Ethics Committee, and her involvement in the NSW Ministry of Health’s Office for Health and Medical Research (OHMR) Working Group on consent for NSW public health biobanks; the latest revision of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ conflict of interest guidelines; and two submissions by professional organisations to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

In 2013 she became the inaugural Chair of a Special Interest Group on ethics for the Drug Information Association – a major, global, non-profit organisation with more than 18,000 members worldwide who are involved in the development and regulation of pharmaceuticals. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science.


School of Business, University of Sydney

Author of: The Success of Representative Governance on Superannuation Boards

Michael has undertaken research on work, labour markets, skills development, occupational health and safety, and financial aspects of working life, including mortgage stress, superannuation and retirement. He has also written on the shifting of life course risks from employers and the state to workers and households and the growing role of financial markets in managing those risks.

Previously, he was MBA Program Coordinator at the University of Wollongong. Mike holds a PhD in economics, is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Employment Research at Warwick University and has taught at universities in Australia and Europe.

Amanda Robbins, Researcher

CEO Equity Economics

Author of: Funding Rare Disease Therapies in Australia: Ensuring equitable access to health care for all Australians

Amanda is currently Director of Equity Economics and is an experienced economic and social policy adviser and qualified lawyer. With over 10 years’ experience working for the Federal Australian Treasury, Amanda has worked in health and education policy, governance and public financial management and development economics. Amanda was an executive level official in the Department of Treasury and has worked as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Australian Federal Treasurer. Amanda has played a central role in the Federal Government’s Budget Strategy, was responsible for delivery of key budget policies, and advised on expenditure programs across a range of areas including health reform. Additionally Amanda was a senior adviser in the PNG Department of Treasury from 2006 to 2008 and has extensive experience working with and advising the not for profit sector domestically and internationally.

Amanda holds a Masters of Laws (Legal Practice), Australian National University and a Diploma of Laws, from the University of Sydney, College of Law as well as a Bachelor of Economics (Social Science) from the University of Sydney.


Department of Marketing and Management, Macquarie University

Author of: The Success of Representative Governance on Superannuation BoardsThe Case for a National Portable Long Service Leave Scheme in Australia

Louise has published extensively across a range of inter-related and interdisciplinary fields which fall under the broad umbrella of employment law, employment relations and public sector management. Her research has spanned the topics of anti-discrimination law, equal employment opportunity practice, employer associations and industrial/labour law, corporate governance and executive remuneration, work/ family balance, fiddling at work, the history and current regulation of public sector employment and HRM policy formation and implementation in the public sector. More recently, she has been researching social media at work and its implications for employment law, workers compensation in NSW, and was on the team which produced the report, The Case for a National Portable Long Service Leave Scheme in Australia, for the McKell Institute.

Dr Tim Williams, Researcher and Research Committee Member

Author of: Homes for All. The 40 things we can do to improve supply and affordability

Tim is CEO of the Committee for Sydney. He is a part time Principal for global consultancy Arup. He is also an advisor to the Federal Committee on Assisted Housing. He has advised PowerHousing, the peak organisation for Australia’s biggest community housing providers. He has worked with a number of other Community Housing Providers in NSW and South Australia. This report is written in his private capacity. Prior to becoming a resident here, Tim was Managing Director for Navigant Consulting in London where he built a team of 25 working on housing, urban renewal and local government. Tim was special advisor to the Rt Hon David Miliband when he was UK Cabinet Minister for the Department for Communities and Local Government. Tim advised the current London Mayor on the housing design guide for London, the CEO of the Homes and Communities Agency and the CEO of Lend Lease Europe on the Olympic legacy. In 2007 Tim chaired an inquiry for the UK’s Housing Corporation into the design of affordable housing in Thames Gateway, published as ‘The Williams Report’. Tim was Chief Executive of the Thames Gateway London Partnership between 1998 and 2003, when the Gateway, Europe’s biggest urban renewal programme, become a national priority.

Tim studied at Cambridge, Oxford and the University of Wales where he gained his Ph.D. He is also a qualified barrister.

Emilio Ferrer, Researcher

Author of: Getting us there: funding the transport infrastructure of tomorrowThe Economic Impact of Penalty Rate Cuts on Rural NSW

Emilio has worked in public policy for almost 30 years in a range of areas including planning, housing, health and economics.

He is currently a partner at Sphere Company, a consultancy firm specialising in financial and economic modelling in public policy. His clients include government, NGOs and the private sector. Prior to this, Emilio was Director of Policy in the office of the NSW Premier and a Senior Manager at the Macquarie Group.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degrees in Public Policy and Mathematics; and has a particular interest in public finance and affordable housing.

Michael Gordon-Smith, Researcher

Author of: Superfast Broadband The future is in your hands

Michael has more than 20 years’ experience in Australian media and communications policy and related industries, including appointments to the Australian Br oadcasting Authority (ABA) and the Australian Communications Authority (ACA), precursors to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

He conducted the highest profile investigation and public hearings in Australian media regulation, the ABA’s Inquiry into ‘cash for comment’. Michael was the chair of the ABA’s Planning and Licensing Committee that was responsible for developing spectrum plans for digital television, and allocating the last available FM radio frequencies.

Michael is Chief Executive of the Australian Publishers Association, a Director of the Technology Dispute Centre Pty Ltd, President of the Australian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications and previously was a Fellow of the McKell Institute.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the Australian National University and a Company Directors Diploma from the University of New England.

Sean Macken, Researcher

Author of: Homes for All. The 40 things we can do to improve supply and affordabilityGetting us there: funding the transport infrastructure of tomorrow

Sean has over 20 years’ experience advising on urban affairs, infrastructure and planning. Sean Macken has conducted a number of research projects for the McKell Institute since 2013, including as co-author of the McKell Institute’s inaugural Homes for All report on Housing affordability.

Sean is currently Managing Director of Macken Planning Solutions, specialising in advising on public policy and urban affairs. Prior to this, Sean was the Director of Development and Infrastructure at Hawker Britton for over a decade. Prior to that he was Senior Advisor to the Minister of Planning in NSW.

Sean Served as a Councillor on South Sydney Council from 1993-2000. He chaired the Council’s Planning Committee and oversaw the development and implementation of the Green Square Masterplan, Council’s Comprehensive LEP and the Cities Social Plan. He has a Masters in Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in History.

DR JOANNA HOWE, Researcher

Dr Joanna Howe is a Senior Lecturer of Law at the University of Adelaide and a consultant with Harmers Workplace Lawyers. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Law from the University of Oxford where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

She has also worked as a consultant for the International Labour Organisation in Geneva and for the Equal Opportunities for Women in the Workplace Agency. Joanna is the holder of a prestigious grant from the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain to convene a workshop on temporary labour migration bringing together international experts in 2015. Joanna is also a chief-investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, ‘Work Experience: Labour Law at the Boundary of Work and Education’ (DP150104516, 2015-2018).

Joanna is regularly invited to present evidence to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee and to advise government departments and reviews on Australia’s temporary migration programme. She is also the co-editor of the Work and Employment Column in the Australian Journal of Administrative Law and writes regularly for major media outlets. She is the author of two books – ‘The Australian Standard of Employment Rights’ (2009, Hardie Grant) and ‘Rethinking Job Security’ (2015-forthcoming, Ashgate Publishing) and numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Dr Stephen Koukoulas, Researcher

Stephen Koukoulas has a rare and specialised professional experience over more than 25 years as an economist in government, as Global Head of economic and market research, a Chief Economist for two major banks and as economic advisor to the Prime Minister.

Between September 2010 and July 2011, Stephen was Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard MP having moved there from a senior role in the Commonwealth Treasury. Before that, Stephen spent three years in London as the Global Head of research and strategy for TD Securities.

Stephen has also spent 10 years as a Senior Economist and Chief Economist of Citibank Australia and Chief Strategist at TD Securities in Sydney. Between 1999 and 2001 he was The Australian Financial Review’s Economics Analyst.

Dr John Howard, Researcher

John currently serves as Adjust Professor at UTS School of Business. Previously, he served as a Partner of Ernst & Young and PwC.

John has provided advice to Ministers, Ministerial staff, CEOs and senior management teams on policy, strategy, organisation structure, program performance improvement, communication, and innovation. Advice is built around detailed situation analysis, stakeholder consultation, literature review, case profiles, and evidence based material on contemporary management practice.

He has a PhD from The University of Sydney (Innovation), a Master of Arts from the University of Canberra (Public Policy), and a degree in Economics (Honours) from the University of Tasmania.

PETER KHALIL, Research Committee Member

Mr Khalil is currently the Director of Corporate Affairs, Strategy and Communications for SBS. Mr Khalil worked for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as his Foreign Policy and National Security adviser and has served as Senior International Adviser to the Minister for Defence. Prior to these appointments Khalil was based in New York providing political risk consultancy to government, multinational corporations and Wall St financial institutions.

He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. From 2003 to 2004 he was the Director of National Security Policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and was awarded the Australian Overseas Humanitarian Services medal for his service.

GEORGE WILLIAMS AO, Research Committee Member

George Williams AO is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators. He is the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professor and the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, he is engaged in a multi-year year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy. He has held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Columbia University Law School in New York and University College London.

As chair of the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee in 2005 he helped bring about Australia’s first State bill of rights, the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. In 2007 he chaired a NSW Government inquiry into Options for a New National Industrial Relations System that produced the historic referral of State industrial power over the private sector to the Commonwealth. George was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011: ‘For distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator.’

STEPHEN MILLS, Research Committee Member

Stephen Mills is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney. He teaches Public Sector Leadership, supervises student research and delivers an Extractive Industries Governance module to the school’s training programs in Africa. His research interests centre on election campaign management, and his most recent book – “The Professionals: Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia” (2014) – is based on his PhD research into the professionalisation of Australian election campaigns. He is also the author of “The New Machine Men: Polls and Persuasion in Australian Politics” (1986) and “The Hawke Years” (1993).

Stephen was a journalist and editor in the Fairfax newspaper group in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney for ten years. He served as speechwriter to Prime Minister RJL Hawke from 1986 to 1991. He also has more than 10 years’ experience in managing external relationships for leading financial services companies including ASX, Citigroup and Bankers Trust. He won a Harkness Fellowship in 1983, leading to a Master of Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1985.

Edward Cavanough, Manager of Policy

Edward Cavanough joined the McKell Institute in 2015 as the senior in-house researcher.

Prior to joining the Institute, Edward gained experience in both the private and public sectors in Australia and the United States, working within the IT industry, the United States Congress and in the office of a South Australian Member of Parliament.

Edward is also a passionate musician and composer, having performed instrumental music across Australia, the United States, and in Iceland.

Edward holds a Bachelor of Arts in History & Politics from the University of Adelaide, and is currently completing a Master of International Relations at the University of Sydney.

Marieke D’Cruz, Research and Policy Officer

Marieke joined the team in 2014 and conducts research for the Institute’s broad suite of policy reports. Her main areas of research include fair wages, a healthier society, early childhood education and childcare and boosting tourism in Sydney.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts, with a double-major in International Politics and Media & Communications from the University of Melbourne. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Public Policy part-time at the University of Sydney.

Marieke presently serves as President of the Australian Swimmers’ Association and previously ran her own small business and was an Elite Athlete Program Coordinator at the University of Melbourne. She is also a member of the Australian Swim Team, having competed in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships.

Jasbinder Singh, Manager of External Relations

Jasbinder joined the McKell Institute in 2016 as Manager of External Relations.

Born, raised and residing in the Greater Western Sydney region, Jasbinder is a strong supporter of the public schooling system and served as School Captain at her local High School. During her University studies, she was selected to attend the National Student Leadership Forum and participated in Macquarie University’s Global Leadership Program.

Her previous experience spans across the private sector, working as a staff member for a Federal Member of Parliament during the 2013 Federal Election and volunteering for various Not-For-Profit Organisations and community groups.

Jasbinder holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations from Macquarie University and has a keen interest in Australian public policy and foreign affairs. She also holds a Certificate in Digital Marketing.

Jennifer Light, Policy and Research Officer

Jennifer joined the Institute in early 2015 and assists with research for a wide-range of policy topics.

Previously, Jennifer served as the elected President of the University of Sydney’s Student Representative Council, representing 30,000 students and managed a budget of $1.5m dollars.

She has significant local and international campaign experience, having coordinated a successful state election campaign and worked for a Federal Member of Parliament.

Her interests include travelling, playing the piano, surfing and she was a volunteer surf lifesaver for seven years at Eloura Beach and mentor for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience.

Jennifer is currently studying a degree in Arts and Science, majoring in Geography and Government, at the University of Sydney.