Advisory Committee

The research activity of the Centre for Future Work is informed by the volunteer members of our Advisory Committee, who represent a wealth of knowledge and experience in the labour policy, economics, and industrial relations fields. The Advisory Committee meets twice per year and provides input to the Centre’s Director on future research topics, partners, and dissemination.

Dr. George Argyrous
Alison Barnes
Josh Bornstein
Prof. John Buchanan
Annie Butler
Thomas Costa
Peter Davidson
Geoff Derrick
Andrew Dettmer
Tim Dymond
Kate Flanders
Prof. Anthony Forsyth
Lisa Fowkes
Jonathan Guy
Luke Hilakari
Tom Lynch
Dr. Terri Mac Donald
Angus McFarland
Jessica Munday
Ben Oquist
Stewart Prins
Gillian Strong
Troy Wright


George Argyrous

Senior Lecturer, ANZSOG,
on secondment from the School of Social Sciences, UNSW

George has been teaching at the University of NSW since 1992, after completing postgraduate degrees at the New School for Social Research. He has taught political economy, research, and statistical analysis, as well as consulting with a range of government and private organizations.

He has published in the areas of full employment policy, and the interaction between parenting and the division of labor between household and paid work, as well as on the use and abuse of research and statistics.


Alison_Barnes__profile_pic.jpgAlison Barnes

National President,
National Tertiary Education Union

Dr Alison Barnes is the National President of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). She was elected to the position in October 2018. Before taking up her role as National President, Alison served as Assistant Secretary in the NTEU NSW Division and Branch President at Macquarie University. While at Macquarie University, Alison was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Management. Her research interests include union strategy, the development of workplace resistance and industrial relations.

Alison has had a strong commitment to unions since her university days as an Australian Services Union member while working in a call centre. She first joined the NTEU as a casual tutor at UNSW, and has been actively involved in the Union throughout her academic career.

Outside of work, she runs but this is mainly so she can keep up with her family.


Josh Bornstein

Head of National Employment and Industrial Relations,
Maurice Blackburn lawyers

Josh has headed the National Employment and Industrial Relations practice at Maurice Blackburn since 1997. He has served as a Director of the firm since 2004, including as Chair of the Remuneration Committee, and a Member of the Audit and Investment Committees.

He is a member of the Workplace Relations Executive Committee at the Law Institute of Victoria. In 2014, he received a Certificate of Service for outstanding service to the legal profession.

Josh also serves as a Director of The Australia Institute; on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne; and as Deputy Chair of the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (a disciplinary tribunal for the Victorian horse racing industry).

Josh has published commentary pieces for The Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald,The Age, Crikey, The Drum, the Law Institute Journal, and the Herald Sun.

John-Buchanan.jpgJohn Buchanan

Chair, Discipline of Business Analytics,
University of Sydney Business School

Professor John Buchanan is Chair of the Discipline of Business Analytics at the University of Sydney Business School. Previously, between 1988 and 1991 he was part of the team that undertook the first Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (AWIRS). In 1991, he joined the Workplace Research Centre (formerly acirrt) and served as its Director from 2005 through 2014.

Until recently his major research interest has been the demise of the classical wage earner model of employment, and the role of the state in nurturing new forms of multi-employer co-ordination to promote both efficiency and fairness in the labour market. Building on this research, he is now devoting special attention to the evolution of working life transition, the dynamics of workforce development and the connection between work, health and wellbeing. John is also Network Leader for the University of Sydney's Health and Work Research Network: a consortium involving experts from the Business School, Medical, Health Sciences and four other faculties.

He was one of the authors of Australia at Work: Just Managing? (1999), and Fragmented Futures: New Challenges in Working Life published by Federation Press in 2003. These texts provide an overview of the restructuring of work in Australia since the 1970s. He most recently co-edited Inclusive Growth in Australia: Social Policy as Economic Investment, published by Allen & Unwin in 2013.

Annie ButlerButler.jpg

Federal Secretary,
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Annie is a registered nurse with years of experience in the clinical, professional and industrial areas of nursing. She has more than a decade’s experience working in public hospitals, the community and on health education projects, and a further decade working in research and education.

She worked for the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association, for a further decade, as a professional officer, organiser and lead organiser, prior to moving to the national role.

Annie is passionate about improving Australia’s system of health and aged care and the critical role nurses and midwives have to play in the future of our health system. Annie is particularly keen to see nurses drive change for improvements in Australia’s aged care sector.

Thomas CostaCosta.jpg

Assistant Secretary,
Unions NSW

Thomas is the Assistant Secretary of Unions NSW, where his responsibilities include managing the NSW peak’s communications and digital team and also its research and industrial strategy. 

Thomas is also responsible for the coordination of Unions NSW’s Visa Assist Project. A partnership with the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC), Visa Assist was launched in 2019 to assist unions in representing and advocating for migrants and in particular the project provides free immigration legal support and advice to migrants who are union members. 

Prior to his role at Unions NSW, Thomas worked as an industrial officer and lawyer with the national offices of the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union and the Australian Workers’ Union, he has also worked as a solicitor for Slater & Gordon Lawyers and the HIV Aids Legal Centre (HALC).


Peter Davidson

Senior Advisor,
Australian Council of Social Service

Peter is Senior Advisor with the Australian Council of Social Service, the peak body for the community services sector in Australia. He specialises in employment, social security, superannuation and tax policies, and income distribution and poverty.

He has contributed to the development of policies including reform of working-age social security payments, youth allowances, jobseeker accounts for unemployed people, and proposals to strengthen the personal income tax base and provide State Governments with a robust revenue base to fund community services. He has many publications across these policy areas.

Peter has represented ACOSS on various advisory bodies including the Climate Change Household Assistance Working Group, the Community Tax Forum, superannuation policy advisory bodies, the ABS CPI Review advisory group, the Employment Services Industry Reference Group, the Centrelink Service Delivery Policy Advisory Group, the Disability Support Pension Advisory Group and reference groups for several research projects on poverty and inequality.

Geoff Derrick

National Campaign Coordinator,
Australian Council of Trade Unions

Geoff started work in a bank in Mt Druitt in Western Sydney at the age of 16. He immediately joined the bank employees’ union and over the following years was a workplace delegate, an organiser and later the elected NSW/ACT Secretary and then National Assistant Secretary.

Since 2017 Geoff has been the National Campaign Coordinator for the ACTU.

Throughout his life Geoff has been actively involved in furthering workers’ rights and building a fairer, more inclusive, and equitable society.

After completing his high school education at night through the TAFE system, Geoff now holds qualifications in Arts and Law.


Andrew Dettmer

National President,
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

Andrew Dettmer is the National President of the AMWU. He was previously the State Secretary of the Queensland/NT Branch of the union from 2003 until 2012. Before his election as State Secretary, Andrew was Assistant State Secretary in Queensland, and a National Organiser. He has been an official of the union since 1988.

Andrew holds a number of board positions, including ACTU representative to SafeWork Australia, board member of the Industry Capability Network, Carbon Nexus, The Australia Institute and Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA).

He has been involved in Australian Industry Participation policy and vocational education and training policy for many years, seeking to improve the productive performance of Australia’s manufacturing and construction industries and the role of workers and their representatives. He was a member of the board of QMI Solutions and was a member of ICN Queensland, Construction Skills Queensland, the Queensland Training and Employment Recognition Council, and Skills Queensland. He was also a member of the Enterprise Connect Manufacturing Advisory Committee and Chair of Manufacturing Skills Qld. He was a board member on the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, prior to its abolition.

As the AMWU’s international officer, Andrew has represented the union at many international conferences and delegations, including those convened by IndustriALL Global Union.

Andrew also served as Honorary ALP QLD State President from 2007-2012.

Tim DymondTDymond.jpg

Organising and Strategic Research Officer,

Tim composes submissions for various enquiries, including the productivity inquiry and prepares the State wage case. He is a member of the Australians Services Union, Australian Fabians and WA Labor. He previously worked for the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) - Federal Public Sector, United Workers Union, and the CPSU/CSA. He has PhD in History from the University of WA, a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Murdoch University, and has tutored and lectured in various university courses.

Kate Flanders

Assistant Branch Secretary,
Together Queensland

Kate Flanders is the Assistant Branch Secretary of the Together Union in Queensland having been elected to this position in 2010. Together members work in the state public sector in Queensland, in universities, the airlines and travel industry, law firms and are administrative and clerical workers in the private sector.

Before joining the Union as an industrial officer Kate worked as an administrative officer in private hospitals and a research assistant at Griffith University. Kate has a law degree from the University of Queensland.

Kate currently focuses on leading the industrial strategy and campaigns across Queensland Health  and with Together members in the Department of Education. Kate has a particular passion for and focus on campaigning around gender pay equity and access to universal health care for all Queenslanders.

Kate is a member of the Queensland Council of Unions Executive and is a representatives to the Minister’s Queensland Industrial Relations Consultative Committee.

Anthony ForsythForsyth.jpg

Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University

Anthony Forsyth is Professor in the Graduate School of Business and Law at RMIT University in Melbourne. He has worked extensively in legal practice, including with several commercial firms and the Transport Workers Union.

Anthony carries out academic research on a wide range of aspects of employment and workplace law. His main areas of focus are collective bargaining, trade unions, labour hire, the gig economy, and the optimal legal and regulatory systems for building collective worker power. He also runs the Labour Law Down Under Blog:

In 2015-16, Anthony was the independent Chair of the Victorian Government Inquiry into Labour Hire and Insecure Work. The recommendations in the Inquiry's Final Report formed the basis for the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic).

Anthony’s book “The Future of Unions and Worker Representation – The Digital Picket Line” will be published in early 2022 by Hart Publishing (UK).

Fowkes_pic_cropped.jpgLisa Fowkes

Employment Ventures, Social Ventures Australia

Lisa Fowkes is an experienced practitioner, researcher and policy analyst in the area of Australian labour market programs. She worked for nearly a decade across a number of senior roles at a large non-profit employment services provider and has consulted to the sector in the areas of management and policy. Her recent research work has looked at the design, management and impact of employment services in remote areas. She has worked with a coalition of Indigenous organisations and peak bodies to advocate for reform of remote employment services. In 2019 she took up a role with Social Ventures Australia identifying and managing ventures that have the potential to generate more effective approaches to labour market inclusion.


Jonathan Guy

Federal Strategic Research Officer,
Australian Education Union

Jonathan's work focuses on school and preschool funding, educational equity and vocational education.  He was previously the researcher for the University and College Union in the UK with a focus on funding and industrial matters, workload and gender inequity among higher and further education staff. He has also worked at academic and progressive research centres in the UK and Australia in the fields of early childhood intervention and on longitudinal studies tracking outcomes for children in out of home care.




Luke Hilakari

Victorian Trades Hall Council

As Secretary of Trades Hall, Luke is responsible for representing 40 unions and over 460,000 union members in Victoria.

Trades Hall is the central organising force of the mighty Victorian trade union movement. Under Luke’s leadership, Trades Hall organises campaigns for wage justice, to fix dangerous workplaces, to end workplace discrimination and to fight for a progressive, socially just Victoria.

He has previously worked as a union organiser at the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, now United Voice, working alongside cleaners, security guards, early childhood educators and hospitality workers – some of Australia’s lowest paid workers, who are also overwhelmingly women.


Tom LynchLynch.jpg

Federal President,
Community & Public Sector Union’s State Public Sector

Assistant Secretary,
Community & Public Sector Union (Tasmanian Branch)

Tom has held Offices in the Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU) for 20 years. 

Tom represents the union at a national and international level including being involved with organisations researching corporate tax accountability. He's active in the global federation of workers in public services, the Public Services International. Tom has led a range of public campaigns opposing privatisation and promoting the importance of well-funded public services.

Tom is a Director of Spirit Super, an industry superannuation fund.

Terri Mac DonaldMacDonald.jpg

Director, Policy and Research,
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)

Dr Mac Donald is the Director of Policy and Research with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), which represents the interests of Higher Education workers. Prior to working with the NTEU, Terri worked in the university sector both as a professional staff member and as an academic. 

Terri has worked across a wide variety of issues relevant to Higher Education, including higher education regulation and funding, academic freedom, industrial concerns (including the proliferation of precarious work), student participation and representation, international education, university research and gender equity. She has authored numerous submissions, articles and commentaries, and advises on the Union’s political advocacy and sector engagement.

Terri represents the NTEU’s interest on a number of external bodies, including the Federal Government’s Education Visa Consultative Committee and the ACTU’s Women’s Committee.

Angus McFarlandAngus_McFarland_pic.jpg

Assistant Secretary,
Australian Services Union (ASU) NSW & ACT Branch

The ASU represents the community and disability sectors, local government workers, water and energy utilities, the airlines & travel industry, and white collar transport and clerical workers throughout Australia. Angus also sits on the National Executive of the ASU. As Assistant Secretary, Angus has responsibility in NSW and the ACT for the Community and Disability Sector Division of the ASU – the largest and fastest growing part of the union.


Jessica MundayMunday.jpg

Unions Tasmania

Elected as the Secretary of Unions Tasmania in 2017, Jessica is the leader of the trade union movement in Tasmania. Prior to this, Jessica worked with the Community and Public Sector Union (PSU Group) for 12 years. She is also a trustee director of an industry superannuation fund, a Board Member of WorkCover Tasmania, and president and treasurer of community legal centre, Worker Assist. Jessica has a degree in political science and public policy and a Certificate IV in unionism. As well as being a passionate advocate for workers, she is known locally for her advocacy around workplace safety and gender equality.


ben_oquist_portrait-200x300.pngBen Oquist

Executive Director,
The Australia Institute

Ben is a highly respected political and communication strategist and commentator. Known for his ability to negotiate across the political spectrum, Oquist played a pivotal role in the deal which saw the Senate crossbench save the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Renewable Energy Target. Ben's contributions to The Drum, Crikey, The Guardian and Fairfax publications have ranged in topic from mining to senate voting reform to tax policy. He appears regularly on Sky News and other political broadcasts.

A former Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown and Senator Christine Milne, he also served as the Canberra adviser to progressive public affairs company Essential Media Communications. Ben maintains a particular interest in ensuring progressive voices feature more strongly in Australia’s economic debates.

Stewart PrinsPrins.jpg

Executive Director,
Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU)

Stewart is a former Ministerial Adviser, speechwriter, journalist, and communications consultant. Stewart has an BA (Hons) and MA from the University of Tasmania, where he researched the relationship between regional identity and regional economic development. He also is the President of the Men & Family Centre – a community-based organisation in the NSW Northern Rivers dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence.

Gillian StrongGillian_Strong_headshot.jpg

National Campaign and Communications Coordinator
Australian Services Union (ASU)

The Australian Services Union is one of Australia’s largest unions, representing more than 130,000 members across Australia. ASU members work in areas as diverse as local government, energy, airlines, social and community services, health, IT, and private sector administration.

Gillian has worked in the union movement for almost a decade in campaigns, communications and policy roles, previously at the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) and Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). She is passionate about delivering real outcomes for working people by developing and winning cutting-edge campaigns, and driving innovative communications strategies. Her current role at the ASU involves directing national campaigns, managing national member engagement projects, and coordinating national communications across the union.

Troy Wright

Assistant General Secretary,
Public Service Association (NSW)

Troy began with Corrective Services NSW as a Probation and Parole officer in 1997 and joined the PSA immediately.

Having completed an LLB on a part-time basis across eight years, he understands and is committed to flexible work practices and vocational opportunities for members.

In 2010, he joined the CPSU Federal Office as a National Industrial Officer, where he worked until his election as PSA Assistant General Secretary in 2016.

He remains passionate regarding our members in the Federal industrial relations system who are impacted by enterprise bargaining and privatisation.


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