About the Panel
The Australian Republic Advisory Panel brings together a diverse group of women and men who have each made significant contributions to Australia in fields including government, media, academia, business and the law. They are a group of leading Australians who are committed to an Australian head of state and who have agreed to serve as patrons for our cause.
Chief Executive, Melbourne University Publishing
Louise Adler is the Chief Executive of Melbourne University Publishing, President of the Australian Publishers Association and Chair of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (fiction & poetry). She served for over a decade on the Monash University Council and the boards of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
Former Ambassador to the United States, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Opposition Leader
Kim Beazley was Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition. In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.
He was Ambassador to the United States from 2010-2016 and is President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs, Distinguished Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Senior Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre and Board Member of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue.
Managing Director, Transfield
Luca Belgiorno-Nettis was born in Australia and has spent most of his career working in the family engineering and contracting business, Transfield Holdings. In 2004 he founded The newDemocracy Foundation, a non-for-profit research organisation focused on political reform. In 2009 he was awarded an AM for his work in arts and the community generally, and in 2014 he was awarded a Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Western Sydney University.
Professor and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology
Prof. Larissa Behrendt is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman who holds the Chair of Indigenous Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of UNSW and Harvard Law School. She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues and is a prize-winning novelist, film-maker and broadcaster. Larissa was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year.
Former Premier of Victoria
Steve Bracks was Premier of Victoria from 1999 to 2007. He is a non-executive director on a several boards and holds a number of voluntary appointments, including as Adviser to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. Mr Bracks received a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for services to the Parliament and community of Victoria, and he remains a leading advocate for both multiculturalism and Aboriginal reconciliation.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Australian National Party; Former Ambassador to the Holy See
The Honourable Tim Fischer AC is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and was the Australian Ambassador to the Holy for 3 years until January 2012. A former Australian Army Officer, NSW State Parliamentarian, Leader of the National Party and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer is also a consultant, company director, author, broadcaster, and multiple patron.
Author and historian
Ross Fitzgerald AM is Emeritus Professor of History and Politics at Griffith University and the author of 39 books. Most recently these include an edited collection of original essays, 'Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football' and the sexual/political satire ‘Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure’, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour Writing. Professor Fitzgerald is a founding member of the Australian Republican Movement and a past Convenor of the Queensland branch.
Chair and non-executive director
Marina Go is Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club, Chair of Office Brands, a non-executive director of Energy Australia, Autosports Group and The Walkley Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Centre For Media Transition at the University of Technology Sydney, and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders. She was previously Head of Hearst Australia at Bauer Media. Boss magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016. Marina has over 25 years of leadership experience in the media industry, having started her career as a journalist.
Chairperson, Harris Farm Markets, Rugby League Commissioner
Catherine Harris is the Chair of Australia’s largest independent produce retailer, Harris Farm Markets Pty Ltd. She is on the Board of The Australian Rugby League Commission, The Australian Ballet, Tyro Payments, Sport Australia Hall of Fame, The Australian School of Business UNSW and Governor of The University of Notre Dame.
Catherine is an Officer in the Order of Australia and was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal, The Centenary Medal and has an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UNSW.
Former Liberal Party leader, financial and economic expert
Dr John Hewson is one of Australia's most experienced economists, financial experts and company directors. He is also a former politician and was Leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1990 to 1994.
Since leaving politics Dr Hewson has forged a very successful career in investment banking and at the elite levels of business.
Dr Hewson is a member of the Advisory Council for ABN AMRO Australia and Chairman of The John Hewson Group Pty Limited, Global Renewables Limited, Universal Bus Company Pty Ltd (UBC), Strategic Capital Management Limited and Belle Property Pty Ltd. He is also a director of Macquarie Graduate School of Management and other public and private companies.
Former Federal Cabinet Minister
The Hon Robert Hill AC is a former Australian Senator and Minister for the Environment. He was Australian Ambassador to the United Nations and is Past President of United Nations Association of Australia. Upon returning to Australia he was Chancellor of the University of Adelaide. He is Asia Pacific Board member of The Nature Conservancy, Chair of NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust and independent Chairman of CRC for Low Carbon Living.
Professor of Law
Helen Irving is a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney, specialising in constitutional law and history. She was a prominent participant in events surrounding the Centenary of Federation (for which she was awarded the Centenary Medal) and in the campaign for an Australian republic leading to the 1999 referendum. In 2005-6, she held the Harvard Chair of Australian Studies as a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and has been a visiting ‘Fellow’ at universities in Hong Kong, London, and Florence.
Philanthropist and 2011 Australian of the Year
Simon McKeon is the Chancellor of Monash University and the 2011 Australian of the Year. He has been with the Macquarie Group in a variety of senior roles for more than 30 years and is presently retained as a consultant.
Simon is Chairman of Summer Housing which provides housing options for young people with a disability and a member of the Victorian Government’s Science, Medical Research and Technology Panel. He is inaugural President of the banking industry’s Review Panel for the Banking and Finance Oath, an Australia Day Ambassador for the Victorian Government and Chairman of South East Melbourne, an alliance of six Councils and Shires accounting for around 1 million residents and representing 25% of Victoria’s GDP.
Senior Counsel and former NSW Bar Association President
Jane Needham SC was President of the Bar Association of New South Wales from 2014-15, and during that time oversaw a programme of cultural change arising out of studies demonstrating a gender pay gap and unacceptable rates of harassment and bullying within the legal profession.
She has a national and international practice in succession and trust law, and has appeared in large inquiries and inquests. She has lectured in succession and real property, and served as a Deputy President and Divisional Head in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
Professor, Law School, and Public Policy Fellow, Australian National University
Kim Rubenstein, a leading legal academic and practitioner, is currently a Professor in the ANU College of Law and Acting Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute. She was Director of the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University from 2006 through to December 2015. She is Australia's citizenship law expert and she was one of the early instigators of feminist scholarly approaches to Australian constitutional law.
Historian, author and broadcaster
Clare Wright is an award-winning historian who has worked in academia, politics and the media. She is the author of the bestselling books Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans and The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka which won the 2014 Stella Prize. Clare created and co-wrote the ABC television documentaries The War That Changed Us and Utopia Girls, which she also presented. She is the writer/presenter of the ABC Radio National History series and podcast, Shooting the Past. Clare is Associate Professor of History at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
Managing Director - Crescent Wealth
Talal is Australia’s one of Australia's leading thought leaders and business executives in the finance industry. He is currently the Managing Director of Crescent Wealth, an Australian pioneer and Islamic wealth manager, which launched the world's first Islamic compliant superannuation fund. Talal has also served on the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports and currently serves on the Board of the Whitlam Institute, First Quay Capital and Western Sydney University Foundation.
On Australia Day 2010, Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.