Pension Review - Reference Group

Short Biographies

Bruce Bonyhady

Bruce Bonyhady (M. Ec., B.App.Ec.(Hons)) is President of Philanthropy Australia. Other community positions held by Bruce are: Chairman of Yooralla, a Director of Housing Choices Australia and Chairman of the Advisory Panel to Solve! At the Royal Children's Hospital.

Bruce is also Chairman of ANZ Trustees, Chairman of Acadian Asset Management Australia Limited and a Director of Dexus Wholesale Property Limited. Bruce is a Member of the Disability Investment Group, established by the former Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, in April 2008.

Prior to becoming a full-time Non Executive Director, Bruce held a number of senior positions in the funds management industry, including Managing Director of ANZ Investments and Executive Vice President at BT Funds Management. His earlier career was as an economist and econometrician in the private sector and the Australian Treasury.

Bruce has three children and two of them have disabilities.

Ross Clare

Ross Clare has degrees in Economics and Law from the Australian National University. Prior to joining the staff of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) he held senior positions with the Economic Planning Advisory Commission (EPAC) and the Commonwealth Treasury. At EPAC he was the head of the Social Policy and Government Branch, with projects including an examination of the distribution of income in Australia and the economic and social impacts of an ageing population structure.

Ross, as Director of Research at ASFA, has over the last decade prepared a wide range of research papers and contributed to submissions on a variety of superannuation and retirement income issues. An important part of this work has related to adequacy of incomes in retirement. He instigated the preparation and production of the Westpac-ASFA Retirement Standard, which sets out on a quarterly basis typical expenditure budgets for achieving either a modest or comfortable standard of living in retirement. Other research has dealt with the interaction between the Age Pension and receipt of superannuation benefits.

Charmaine Crowe

Charmaine Crowe is a Research/Policy Officer at Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) of NSW. Charmaine has been engaged by CPSA since May 2008, working primarily on pensions and superannuation. Charmaine has a degree in Social Science and International Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney. Recently Charmaine spent a year in France studying as part of her International Studies degree. Whilst studying, Charmaine worked as a note taker at UTS for people with disability. She has carried out research work for The Wayside Chapel in Sydney, and has also worked as a volunteer for the Australian League of Immigration Volunteers.

Val French AM

Born in 1927, Val French is a journalist by profession and inclination in radio, television and print. She also taught at University of Queensland, and co-designed the journalism course at QIT (now QUT), lecturing there for 19 years until 1988, including broadcasting news and current affairs with her students for radio 4EB.

Val's voluntary career since 1950 has been built around empowerment of people. At first this was of women generally, then later women in the media, carers and older people. Empowerment included: teaching debating in schools, prison reform, Women's Radio and the first Women in the Media Conference. She represented Queensland on the Australian National Association of Mental Health, was vice president of the Queensland Association of Mental Health and of Association of Relatives And Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI), co-founder and foundation president of the Queensland Council of Carers and was on the foundation committee of Carers Australia.

In 1993 Val established Older People Speak Out (OPSO) and has been president since then. She was Queensland chair of the Forum for the Aged and the Older Australians Advisory Council in the 1990's, chaired the Nursing Home Appeals Committee in mid 90's and was a surveyor for retirement village accreditation from 1996 for 10 years.

As president of OPSO Val leads teams of volunteers who travel seeking the issues of older people and takes these to state and federal governments or finds local solutions, including the Queensland Government 2020 project. Val also trains seniors' organisations in working with the media, represents older people on the Queensland Road Safety Ministerial Advisory Committee and the Seniors Task Force (on crime against seniors) and is an active member of committees on elder abuse prevention, grandparents bringing up grandchildren, nursing homes, seniors housing and intergenerational projects. She supervises QUT students in research projects on older people.

Val initiated the Media Awards and the Peoples Choice Awards which OPSO has conducted since 1994 to encourage reporting of older people and their issues as a means of reducing negative attitudes in the community to ageing, and encouraging positive ageing. She is one of the foundation members of the Queensland Roundtable which represents older peoples' issues to the Queensland Government.

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Rhonda Galbally AO

Rhonda Galbally's life's work has been to strengthen non-profit, education and community organisations. Her dynamic leadership in creating new solutions for community organisations is consolidated by her vast experience in organisational development and management, strategic policy and program development, capacity building, fundraising and grantmaking.

Rhonda has made unique contributions to Australian and international social development by establishing new organisations and programs for Australia and the world from concept to operational success. These include the Australian International Health Institute (Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne). In this role Rhonda initiated the Sir Gustav Nossal Fellowship for Leadership in Health Reform and the Australian hub for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Child Vaccination Program. Rhonda established and sustained the world's first organisation to use the dedicated tobacco tax for health promotion, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth). She created the Australian Commission for the Future, which among other areas such as biotechnology, information technology, the future of work and education, began the movement to establish Greenhouse emissions as a vital issue for Australia.

Other positions held by Rhonda include the Executive Director of the Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Foundation, Chair of Philanthropy Australia (then the Australian Association of Philanthropy). In all of her positions - executive and non-executive, on boards and reviews, Rhonda has successfully ridden the boundary between the commercial and non-profit worlds, forging productive and practical linkages for the better development of both sectors with beneficial outcomes for the wider community. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 1990, the Award of the Degree Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from LaTrobe University in 1998, the Award of the Degree Doctor of Social Science (honoris causa) from RMIT University in 2006, and the Centenary Medal in 2003, in recognition of her service to the community.

Marion Gaynor

Marion Gaynor is a research officer with Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and has a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University. She has been engaged with ACTU since 1986 and has been a member of the ACTU National Wage Case team since 1987. Marion currently sits on the National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy Advisory Committee, the National VET Disability Advisory Taskforce and the Australian Fair Pay Commission Disability Round Table.

Throughout her career Marion has been employed as a Graduate Clerk for the Victorian Treasury, Assistant Research Officer for the Federal Department of Housing and Construction, Clerk at Commonwealth Public Service Board and a Research Officer at Civil Air Operations Officers Association. Marion has also been a member of the CES Advisory Committee, Employment Services Regulatory Authority Board and the Client and Student Voice Action Group (VET Equity Reference Group).

The ACTU National Wage Case (NWC) submissions canvass benchmarks and indicators of income adequacy, indicators of community living standards and methods of improving low incomes in the form of minimum wages. The ACTU NWC team has commissioned and/or utilised data sources such as ABS Household Expenditure Survey, ABS Survey of Income and Housing, ABS Financial Stress Indicators, SPRC UNSW Budget Standard Indicators, NATSEM work on Effective Marginal Tax Rates, The Smith Family/NATSEM report on Financial Disadvantage in Australia, ABS Analytical Living Cost Indexes for Selected Australian Household Types, Henderson Poverty Lines and various ABS measures of wages/incomes/community living standards (AWE, WPI, National Accounts measures).

Bob Gregory AO

Bob Gregory is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Research School of Social Sciences in the Australian National University. Bob's research interests are primarily in Australian Labour Markets, international comparisons of labour markets and economic policy generally. His current interest is the economic and social implications of growing income and employment inequality and welfare reform.

Lorna Hallahan

Lorna Hallahan is a Lecturer for the School of Social Work at Flinders University. She holds a doctorate in Social Work and is responsible for teaching ethics in social work practice, social work theory across the lifecourse, and disability theory.

Lorna is currently Chair of the South Australian Ministerial Disability Advisory Council, a Research Ethics Advisor for the Faculty of Social Sciences at Flinders University, a Staff representative for the Flinders University Disability Committee, Deputy Chair of the Julia Farr Group (SA), a member of the Anglicare SA Policy and Ethics Committee as well as a frequent consultant, conference presenter and public speaker on disability issues and ethical human service provision.

Lorna has over 30 years experience of living with a mobility impairment and is a disability leader with extensive national networks. She has 25 years experience in community organisations as employee, manager and director; 25 years experience in social work settings, community development and social justice activities; 20 years experience in formal and informal systems and individual advocacy for and with people with disability; 13 years experience in various roles in tertiary education settings, including teaching and research; and 8 years experience in disability policy analysis and development.

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Joan Hughes

Joan Hughes is CEO of Carers Australia, appointed in 2006. From 1993 until 2006, Joan was CEO for Carers NSW. She has a Bachelor of Education and a Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences, Human Resource Development. From 1999-2005 Joan was an Honorary Associate in the Department of Nursing Research Centre, University of Sydney. In 2000 she reached the finals for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award. In 2003, she was the runner up in the National CEO Awards sponsored by Equity Trustees. Joan was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2004. Her research about ageing parents of people with disabilities was carried out in Canada, USA and the UK. In 2008, Joan was selected to participate in the Australia 2020 Summit.

Joan is invited regularly to speak and advise about carer support internationally, mostly in the USA, Canada, Sweden and NZ. Joan is an advisor to Carers NZ, executive member of the International Alliance of Carer Organization and international advisor to the National Competence Carer Centre in Sweden.
Joan participates in a range of national government and non-government committees providing advice about quality carer support, community care and the impact of caring on individuals and families.

Gregor Macfie

Gregor Macfie is the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). ACOSS is the peak council of the community services and welfare sector and national voice for the needs of people affected by poverty and inequality. Gregor has worked on social and economic policy for over a decade in both government and non-government roles.

Michael O'Neill

Michael O'Neill is the Chief Executive of National Seniors Australia Ltd (NSA). NSA is Australia's leading representative body for senior Australians with some 280,000 members across all States and Territories. Michael O'Neill joined NSA in August 2006 and is responsible to the Board for all of NSA's membership, representative and commercial operations. Michael's background includes extensive experience in managing representative bodies, having led Queensland and National groups in the agricultural and mining sectors. An economics graduate from University of Queensland, he has also operated his own consultancy and small business.

Patricia Reeve

Patricia Reeve has a commitment to social justice and redress of disadvantage. She has extensive experience in participatory policy processes to enable a wide range of people to engage in shaping public agendas that affect their lives and those of their peers.

Since 1993 Patricia has held senior management positions in Council on the Ageing (COTA) at both state and national levels. These have included Executive Director COTA (Victoria) 1994 - 2002, Director Policy & Research, COTA National Seniors Partnership 2002-2004 and Acting Executive Director Policy, COTA Over 50s (2007)

Patricia's roles have focussed on the participation of seniors in policy development and representation of seniors' interests to governments and other stakeholders.

Through COTA Over 50s Ltd she is connected to many thousands of seniors who are engaged in policy development, consumer information and healthy ageing programs.

Before joining COTA, Patricia had twenty years experience in policy analysis, development and advocacy in school education as a parent representative and in senior positions in the public service. She was Deputy Chair of the State Board of Education (1982-1989) and President of Australian Council of State School Organisations (1983 - 1986).

Patricia is a trained primary teacher and has completed requirements for the Master of Educational Administration, Deakin University.

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Peter Whiteford

Peter Whiteford is Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales, having previously worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. He has also worked as a researcher and policy analyst in Australia at the then Department of Social Security from 1975 to 1985 and the then Department of Family and Community Services from 1996 to 2000. He has also worked in an earlier period at the SPRC and at the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York in the United Kingdom.

Peter has written extensively on issues related to Australian and overseas pension policies and also on issues of poverty, inequality and the living standards of households. His publications include studies of developments in the Australian system of retirement incomes, trends in the incomes and living standards of older persons in Australia, international comparisons of the living standards of pensioners, systems of retirement incomes in Pacific Rim economies, pension reform in Central and Eastern European transition economies, and China, as well as pension reform issues in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Content Updated: 29 May 2012