John McKinnon was awarded a University Medal in Mathematics from ANU, has an MA in Biblical Studies and a PhD in Social Enterprise and development. He spent 17 years in the finance industry before joining overseas aid and development NGO, TEAR Australia, in 2005, managing first their NSW and then the Australian operations. John currently manages a charitable foundation and is involved with numerous NGOs, with both an environmental and anti-poverty focus.
Howard Pender was awarded a university medal in Economics at the Australian National University. He worked at the Australian Treasury, an investment bank and was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University. He co-founded and was a Director of Australian Ethical Investment for 20 years until 2011. He was a Director of 2 other ASX listed companies. He is currently Deputy Chairman of the ACT Long Service Leave Authority and a Director of Corporate Analysis Enhanced Responsibility (CAER).
Adam Verwey is the founder and executive director of the Future Super Group, which offers a wide range of ethical financial services products including Australia's first fossil fuel free super fund. Previous to this, he spent nine years at Australian Ethical Investment where he was the Senior Relationships Manager with a focus on building ethical investment among individuals, financial planners and employers. Adam is also a committee member of the Canberra chapter of Co-operation in Development, a charity that builds schools in the poorest areas of Bangladesh.
Brynn O’Brien is our Executive Director. She is also an Office Bearer. Brynn is a lawyer, she has a background in human rights, global work and migration issues. She is an expert on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Her experience traverses both commercial and human rights law, and she has worked extensively in the field of human trafficking and slavery in global supply chains. Brynn holds a Master of Laws from Columbia University in New York and a Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Laws with first class honours from UTS.
Emma Batchelor is our website and communications officer. Emma has a background in communications, event and project management and publishing. She is the Founder and Editor of Leiden Magazine, an online destination for fashion, beauty, health and fitness and holds a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours in Immunology.
Howard Pender is the research manager. See above for details.
ACCR Research committee
Chair of the Research Committee
Emeritus Professor Robert (Bob) Matheson Douglas AO
MD, BS (Adelaide) MA (Penn) FRACP, FRACGP, FAFPHM
Currently: Director Australia21
Bob Douglas’s forty-year medical career spanned work as a researcher into hypertensive vascular disease in New
Zealand, as a specialist physician in Papua New Guinea, as an epidemiologist working on the development of a
pneumonia vaccine in the United States, as a community medicine academic and general practitioner at the Adelaide
Medical School, and as Dean of the Adelaide Medical School. From 1982-1988 he chaired a Geneva based World
Health Organisation Technical Advisory Group on the control of pneumonia in the developing world.
In 1989 he became the Foundation Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the
ANU, a post he held until his retirement in 2001. Personal research and publications spanned several phases,
including the effects of treatment of hypertension, evaluation of heath care systems, prevention and treatment of
respiratory infections, the organisation and evaluation of general medical practice and health inequalities. He
published more than 100 articles in peer reviewed journals and books and edited or co-edited 3 books.
Following his retirement in 2001, he established a new body, Australia21 the Board of which he chaired from 2001 to
2011. Australia21 is building networks of thinkers and researchers on some of the large challenges, which face
Australia and the world in the 21st Century. Arising from that experience, in 2006 he published a small book entitled
“SEE-Change Centres, Grey Power and Hope” He founded SEE-Change ACT which helps to empower local
communities to take action on climate change and their ecological footprint. Since early 2010 Bob has worked
closely with the evolving Transform Australia Network with which he is a “designated catalyst”. He has recently
published a manual for use by teachers and senior students in schools in the ACT, entitled “Imagining a Sustainable
Canberra” which has been distributed to principals of all schools and Colleges in the ACT.
Bob was honoured for contributions to medicine by the award of Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2000. He
was a finalist for the ACT Australian of the Year for 2007 and in October 2008 shared the ACT Conservation Council’s
Supreme Green Hero award. In April 2011 he was named the ACT Environmental Volunteer of the Year.
Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards AM
Bcomm (Hons.) (Melb); PhD (Pub. Finance) (ANU)
Currently: Emeritus Professor, ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra Meredith has been a lecturer, researcher, policy analyst and administrator through her career. She has served as a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra. She set up the National Institute for Governance in 1999, of which she was Director until 2004. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA).
For research history and publications click here.
Dr Graeme Ivan Pearman, AM
PhD, University of Western Australia
From 1970 to 2004 Graeme worked at the CSIRO. Prior to his departure he was Director of the
Climate change division. Graeme Pearman has contributed over 150 scientific journal papers
primarily on aspects of the global carbon budget. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of
Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Society of Victoria and the Australian Academy of
For research history click here.
Mr Howard Pender
Howard Pender was awarded a university medal in Economics at the Australian National University. He worked at the Australian Treasury, an investment bank and was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University. He co-founded and was a Director of Australian Ethical Investment for 20 years until 2011. He was a Director of 2 other ASX listed companies. He is currently Deputy Chairman of the ACT Long Service Leave Authority, a Director of Corporate Analysis Enhanced Responsibility (CAER) and an office bearer of ACCR.
Mr Ben Jacobsen
Ben is currently an economist in the Australian public service.
Ben’s research is available here.