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 - Jeff Borland

Jeff Borland is Truby Williams Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne.  His main research interests are the operation of labour markets in Australia, program and policy evaluation and design, Australian economic history, and sports economics.  Jeff was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2002, and in 2010 was the Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University.  He currently teaches subjects on economic history, sports economics, and using evidence in public policy. Jeff publishes a monthly ‘Snapshot’ on the Australian labour market at:

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 - Buly Cardak

Buly Cardak is Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Finance at La Trobe University. He is a member of La Trobe’s Transforming Human Society interdisciplinary research focus area and also sits on the executive committee. Before joining La Trobe, he held a post-doctoral position at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was also a lecturer at Deakin University. He completed his PhD in 1999 at the University of Melbourne. His research interests centre around the economics of education and range from empirical modelling of education (tertiary participation, public vs. private schools) to theoretical modelling of education decisions at the household level and how these decisions and policies affect welfare, income distribution, growth and political decisions through social choice. 

Office Bearer - Mary Cavar

Office Bearer - Tom Chan

Tom Chan has a deep professional and personal interest in the intersection of economic thinking, regulation/policy and emerging technologies. He is passionate about innovation and cross-boundary collaboration. Since joining the ESA (Victoria) Council in 2012, Tom has been involved in the Council’s re-evaluation of its ‘value proposition’, seeking to engage a more diverse demographic of economists and developing online communities and platforms to complement the offline social/professional-networking experience of Victorian members (e.g. ESA Vic LinkedIn Group). Tom pushed for the creation of the ESA National Economic Panel and an online public policy polling platform. In 2015, he developed and launched the prototype which he now curates (with Buly Cardak) as part of a partnership with Monash University (the ESA-Monash Forum). Tom is currently seconded to Service Victoria (Department of Premier & Cabinet, Victorian Government) to help digitally transform high volume citizen-government transactions. Previously Tom worked as a senior economist at the Office of the Commission of Better Regulation/ Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC)/ Department of Treasury & Finance and as a consultant at Frontier Economics. Tom has a LLM in Law & Economics (U.Rotterdam, Hamburg & Bologna), a LLB(Hons), a B.Com(Hons) and a Dip. Modern Languages/Chinese (U.Melbourne). In his spare time, Tom enjoys playing music, cycling, rowing and travelling.   

Office Bearer - Carmela Chivers

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 - Anthony Rossiter

Office Bearer - George Rivers

George Rivers is Associate Dean in the Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University. George has a Bachelor of Economics (Honours), a Masters of Economics and a PhD in industrial economics from Monash University. He has worked in a range of industry-related research projects including: road safety, animal welfare, regulation reform, integrated water management, and ICT innovation and productivity. Since 2010, George has acted as an academic research supervisor for the Australia New Zealand School of Government where he has supervised projects in the area of social housing, children in out-of-home care, and alcohol policy. His research interests relate to the theory of the firm including mergers and acquisitions, downsizing and transaction costs. 

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 - Beth Webster

Professor Beth Webster is the Director of the Centre for Transformative Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Policy and Impact). She is also an Honorary Professorial Fellow, at the universities of Melbourne, Oxford and Tasmania.

Her research interests cover several areas of applied economics including innovation; intangible capital; intellectual property; firm performance and public policy for the translation of science.

Under the name Elizabeth Webster she has authored over 100 articles on the economics of innovation and firm performance and has been published in RAND Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Law & Economics and Cambridge Journal of Economics. She has been appointed to a number of committees including the Lomax-Smith Base funding Review; the Bracks’ Review of the Automotive Committee; CEDA Advisory Council; the Advisory Council for Intellectual Property; European Policy for Intellectual Property Association; and Asia Pacific Innovation Network.

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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