Advisory Board

The Centre Advisory Board was established in 2010.

The Board guides and supports the Directors by providing advice, insight, and acting as a sounding board on the Centre's vision and strategic direction.

Chaired by Judith Downes the Board comprises of senior business leaders and representatives from the University of Melbourne beyond the Department of Accounting.

The Board assists the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies for:

  • enhancing research and teaching and learning

  • fostering the intellectual discourse and knowledge exchange

  • enhancing the reputation and public standing of the Centre and the Department (thereby the Faculty and the University).

Board Members

  • Prof Margaret Abernethy
    Margaret Abernethy


    The University of Melbourne

Margaret Abernethy is the Sir Douglas Copland Chair of Commerce and holds the Chair of Managerial Accounting in the Department of Accounting. She recently completed over eight years as the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) at the University of Melbourne. She has experience on a number of public sector boards and worked as a researcher and advisor in large public hospitals since 1985. Margaret was a Commissioner for the City of Monash in 1995-1997.

As Dean of FBE she was responsible for a large faculty with turnover of more than $140 m, with approximately 350 staff and 7000 students. Among other accomplishments she was instrumental in the implementation of the Melbourne Model, designed and commissioned a new $128m building; and built the reputation and standing of the Faculty as the leading business and economics school in the region.

In 2008 Margaret was the National Telstra Business Woman of the Year (Community and Government) for her contribution to higher education. She regularly publishes in the leading academic journals on topics related to performance management. Prior to her taking up the dean's position in the Faculty she regularly consulted to the private and public sector and taught management and cost accounting in graduate and executive education programs.

In 2011 she was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

  • Michael Bray
    Michael Bray

    Partner, Audit


Michael has 30 years experience in providing audit and advisory services, mainly to companies in the energy and natural resources sector, and including ASX 100 companies.

He has been an audit partner for 22 years, and is audit partner for SP Ausnet, St Barbara, Tigers Realm Coal, Boom Logistics and International Power. He has been KPMG's audit partner for BHP Billiton's Australian Base Metals and Energy Coal assets, OZ Minerals and Pacific Hydro. BHP Billiton's base metals mines include Olympic Dam in Australia and Escondida in Chile, mines which he has visited a number of times. During his time on the BHP Billiton audit, Michael led KPMG's work on the purchase price allocation for the WMC acquisition. He had previously been KPMG's lead partner for WMC, where KPMG was the internal auditor. He has experience with significant capital markets transactions, such as acquisitions, and debt and equity raisings, including in the USA.

Michael is a lead participant in the Australian Business Reporting Leaders Forum (BRLF) and Leader of KPMG Australia's Better Business Reporting Group (BBRG), He authored KPMG's 'The Journey to Better Business Reporting' and other publications in KPMG's 'Better Business Reporting' series, and has worked with many organisations on their reporting strategies. BRLF participants include leading members of the Australian business community, including the Group of 100. The BRLF is working with the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) as the IIRC exposes its integrated reporting framework and progresses its global pilot programme.

  • Judith Downes
    Judith Downes



Judith joined the bankmecu Board in early 2012 and stepped into the Chair in March 2014. Judith also serves on Devine Limited's Board as an independent non-executive Director.

Judith's most recent position was Chief Financial Officer of Alumina Limited from 2009 to 2011, where she was responsible for finance, accounting, treasury, investor relations and taxation.

Judith has extensive financial experience gained during her career at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, and prior to that in public accounting. Prior to joining Alumina Limited in 2009, Judith was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Institutional Division, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and Group General Manager Finance of ANZ. She joined ANZ Bank Group in 1996.

Judith is a member of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Advisory Council of International Accounting Standards Board. Judith is also a member of G100 Executive (Australia). She is a past Director of ING Australia and member of the Audit and Risk Management Committees, past member Australian Accounting Standards Board and Australian Urgent Issues Group and a past Director of Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute.

  • Peter King
    Peter King

    Chief Executive

    Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Peter has been CEO of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the past two years, having spent the four years prior to that as CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, one of the largest event and venue management organisations in Australia.

During that role he oversaw the largest single event in Australia, the Royal Easter Show, and played a leading role in securing investment in the stadium that now hosts, among other things, GWS GIANTS home AFL matches.

Prior to that, he spent eight years as Asia Pacific president of Sunbeam Corporation and more than a decade as sales manager at Puma Australia.

Peter is a board member of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, Events and Exhibition Association of Australia and Tourism Australia Advisory Panel. He is deputy chair of both Melbourne Convention Bureau and Business Events Council of Australia.

  • Prof Helen Sullivan
    Helen Sullivan

    Chief Executive

    Melbourne School of Government, The University of Melbourne

Helen joined The University of Melbourne in 2011 after leading research programs into public service reform at the Cities Research Centre, Bristol and University of Birmingham, UK. Her award winning research focuses on collaborative governance and management, citizen participation in decision-making and public policy analysis.

Helen has a particular interest in bridging the gap between research and policy. In 2010, she directed the University of Birmingham's first Policy Commission investigating the future of local public services. The Policy Commission's report, 'When Tomorrow Comes' was published in July 2011. She's undertaken numerous evaluations for government bodies and frequently acted as an advisor to government locally and nationally in the UK. She sits on the Board of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria).