Council Members

A Council is elected each year to provide voluntary administration and organisation of the Society. The Council is responsible for

  1. developing the Society’s strategy and direction
  2. organising events, publications and other activities
  3. engaging with members, partners, young economists and students
  4. representing the Victorian branch at the national level.

We are always looking for members to involve themselves in the running of the organisation.  Please contact us on to express your interest in becoming involved.

Further information on governance is available in the Economic Society of Australia Constitution  

The Council

The 2019 Victorian Council was elected at the Annual General Meeting in November 2018.


President - Mary Cavar

Mary Cavar is the Executive Manager of the Melbourne office at the Productivity Commission, where she is responsible for planning and coordinating the Commission’s inquiry and research work, supporting the development of staff, and advising on analytical matters. Prior to this, Mary was an Assistant Commissioner and lead a number of inquiries and studies.
Prior to joining the Productivity Commission, Mary worked for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance in the areas of macroeconomic forecasting, tax policy and intergovernmental relations. She has also worked as an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia. Mary has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Melbourne and an Executive Master of Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government.

Secretary - Benedict Davies

Benedict Davies is Public Policy Manager at UniSuper. He has experience in technical, product and policy roles for a diverse group of employers including ANZ, Aviva and the Over Fifty Group. Benedict is on the Policy & Research Committee of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), the Tax Standing Advisory Panel of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and the Funds Management & Superannuation Research Committee of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS). Benedict has degrees in economics, philosophy, taxation law and qualifications in applied finance. 

Treasurer - Philip Norman

Philip Norman’s current economic interests are Mental health, Transport, Agriculture and Macroeconomics. His economic consultancy advises, innovates and offers tutorials.

Philip gained wide work experience across government (Reserve Bank, Department of Transport, Victoria), business (Norman Bros stationers, BHP Minerals) and not for profit (University of Melbourne, Business Council of Australia). He is a past President of the Economic Society (Vic branch).

Professor Richard Ivan Downing (1915-1975) was Philip’s inspiring economic teacher. Prof Downing studied under Lord Keynes at King’s College Cambridge UK in 1938 and married Philip’s mother in 1965.

University of Melbourne and Southampton University awarded Philip economics degrees with mathematics and econometrics. LSE taught him econometrics.

Philip still swims competitively. He rowed for MUBC in the All Japan Championships and for LSE at Royal Henley.

Office Bearer - Nick Alexiou

Office Bearer - Brendan Coates

Office Bearer - James Giesecke

Office Bearer - Guyonne Kalb

Office Bearer - Alex Millmow

Alex Millmow is a Senior Lecturer in economics at the School of Business at Federation University. Alex was a founder and co-editor of the Journal of Economic and Social Policy for seven years. He has written opinion pieces for the Australian media, most particularly The Canberra Times and the Australian Financial Review. Alex’s research interests include the economics of Joan Robinson, the making of the Australian economic profession and the role of economic ideas in steering public policy. He completed his doctorate at the Australian National University in 2007 on "The Power of Economic Ideas: The Rise of Macroeconomic Management in Australia" which was subsequently published. Alex has published over 50 journal articles, including the Economic Record, Economic Papers, Economic Analysis and Policy and the History of Economics Review. He is also the current President of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia (HETSA) and member of the Editorial Board of Australian Universities Review. 

Office Bearer - Nick Robinson

Office Bearer - Anthony Rossiter

Office Bearer - Steven Stern

Steven Stern is University General Counsel and University Secretary at Victoria University, and an Adjunct Professor in the College of Law and Justice. He has a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Law from Monash University, and a Master of Law and PhD from the University of Melbourne. His Master thesis was on the protection of computer software, and PhD on the extent to which monetary economics influences financial law. Steven is alos a member of the Victorian Technical Committee of the Taxation Institute of Australia. He has published in internationally refereed journals such as Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, The Journal of Business Law, and The Company Financial and Insolvency Law Review. 

Office Bearer - Simone Wong

Simone Wong is currently a senior economist at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. She was previously a specialist in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet's Behavioural Insights Unit and a consultant for Frontier Economics where she advised on Australian electricity, coal and natural gas markets. She also has extensive market modelling experience. Aside from economics, Simone enjoys live music, running and yoga. Simone graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne in 2009.  



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