Researcher Spotlight

Professor Margaret Abernethy, AM

  • Director, Melbourne Centre for Corporate Governance and Regulation
  • Program Director, Doctoral Program in Accounting
  • Sir Douglas Copland Chair of Commerce
  • Former Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Eternal student and Mother of three

Margaret, or Maggie as she is best known, has always been passionate about sharing her knowledge with others, something which is apparent when you speak with her students or colleagues.

I love what I do; I get paid to learn, to answer the big questions that are important to me.

And, it’s a passion that has grown over time. The self-proclaimed Accidental Dean, Maggie hasn’t followed power and success in her career. Rather her passion for teaching and research has determined her path.

Leaving the security of Canada at 21, Maggie spent two years teaching in small communities in Jamaica and Guyana. Completely out of her comfort zone, the experience opened her eyes to the fact that not everyone has the same opportunities. She quickly realised the importance of equitable access to education. Throughout her career, this lived-knowledge has played a vital role in her achievements.

She served as Head of Department of Accounting for three years and then as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics for over eight years. During this time, she was instrumental in the implementation of the Melbourne Model, enhancing the extracurricular experience of students and spearheading the Faculty’s investment in philanthropy.

She established the First in the Family Scholarship for Bachelor of Commerce students who are the first in their family to attend university and have experienced disadvantage.

These achievements however, are as she says by no means things she has achieved alone.

“I had wonderful people around me. You can never do these things alone; you need a strong team around you.”

And Maggie is committed to provide those people around her opportunities to learn, grown and advance.

“Create opportunities for others as you go up the ladder.”

Recently, she founded the Melbourne Centre for Corporate Governance and Regulation to create opportunities for others in the Department and to deliver important insights for accounting professionals and industry bodies bringing her commitment to knowledge and continuous learning full circle.

Research interests:

  • Diversity on boards
  • Cost accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Performance management
  • Corporate governance

View Maggie's full profile