Whitlam Institute Board
The Whitlam Institute is established as a separate entity within the University of Western Sydney. Responsibility for the Whitlam Institute Trust resides with the Board of Directors. The Board is politically bi-partisan and includes leaders in academia, business and government organisations.
Chair, Senator the Hon. John Faulkner is a Labor Senator for New South Wales. Since his election to the Senate in 1989, Senator Faulkner has held a number of ministries, serving as Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, Cabinet Secretary, Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence. He served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1996 to 2004.
He has also held a range of senior positions within the Australian Labor Party, including National President of the party, twenty years as a member of its National Executive and nine years as Assistant General Secretary of the New South Wales Branch.
Senator Faulkner is well versed in, and passionate about the history of the Australian Labor Party. Prior to his political career, Senator Faulkner worked as a teacher of children with severe disabilities.
Professor Janice Reid AM has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney since 1998. She is a recipient of several awards and honours both in Australia and overseas, and has been a member of the Boards of public agencies at State and Federal levels in the areas of health information and research, welfare, schools, arts, higher education, energy and international relations. She is currently a member of the Unisuper Ltd Board, the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission Board, the Salvation Army Greater Western Sydney Advisory Board, and a Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In January 1998 Professor Reid was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to cross-cultural public health research and the development of health services for socio-economically disadvantaged groups in the community, and in 2003 received the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society through health and university administration.
Patricia Amphlett OAM is the Federal President of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, a position she has held since 2002.
With a succession of hits and as a long standing member of the Bandstand Family, Patricia established herself as a prominent force in the Australian music industry. Her musical talents are credited with many industry awards including Best Female Singer, Most Popular Female Performer, TV Logie for Best Teenage Personality and a succession of Gold Records.
A definite 'all rounder' in the music and entertainment industry, Patricia’s talent spans a broad spectrum from writing, producing and performing shows for children, and hosting charity and corporate events. She maintains a high profile in the music industry, with many live performances at Festivals, Corporate Events, Clubs and Television shows.
Patricia has a strong commitment to music education. She is a consultant for the NSW Government’s Talent Development Project. She is a member of the Board of the National Film & Sound Archives.
Geoffrey Roberson is a solicitor, an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation and Chairman of Champion Legal Pty Limited, a Sydney-based law firm. He chairs and serves on a number of company Boards.
Dr Kerry Schott is Chairman of the Moorebank Intermodal Company Ltd, a Director of NBN Co, a Director of the TCorp Board in NSW, a member of the Infrastructure Australia Board, Patron and Board member of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and a member of the Whitlam Institute Board.
Kerry is the Project Director for the NSW Treasury managing the current sales of the government owned electricity generating plants. Kerry was previously the Project Director of the successful sale and lease of the Sydney desalination plant. She completed her role as CEO of the Commission of Audit for the NSW Government early in 2012. Previously she was Managing Director and CEO of Sydney Water from 2006 to 2011.
Kerry spent 15 years as an investment banker, including as Managing Director of Deutsche Bank and Executive Vice President of Bankers Trust Australia. During this time she specialised in privatisation, restructuring, and infrastructure provision.
Kerry holds a doctorate from Oxford University (Nuffield College), a Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and a Bachelor of Arts (first class Honours) from the University of New England.
Gabrielle Trainor is a non-executive director and advisor. Her chair and director roles have spanned organisations in urban development, transport, education, public interest law, tourism, culture and sport.
She was a founding partner and co-owner of specialist consultancy John Connolly & Partners and over 25 years advised large listed companies on the management of major transactions and significant issues across stakeholder groups including in capital markets, government, NGO’s and other influencers. She is a member of the board of Leighton Contractors (advisory board), a director of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, Business Events Sydney, Cape York Group, the Aurora Education Foundation and is a trustee of the Charlie Perkins Education Trust. She is a member of the board of trustees of the University of Western Sydney. She is Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive and Chair of Barnardo’s Australia.
Gabrielle co-chaired the 2012 Federal Government review of the Australia Council for the Arts. She has had a long term involvement in indigenous affairs, including as director of Cape York Partnerships and a member of the Victorian Government’s Aboriginal Economic Development Group which reported in 2010.
She was educated as Ll.B at the University of Melbourne and was awarded a 1986 Churchill Fellowship. She studied in the USA and UK, including as a visiting scholar at Stanford University. She is an Honorary Associate in the Graduate School of Government at Sydney University and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
John Wells is Chairman of Wells Haslem Pty Ltd. His career has embraced journalism at the most senior levels in Australia and overseas, senior media involvement in newspapers, television and radio, policy advice to Federal political leaders and public affairs consulting. His major interests are in government and media and the operational elements of strategic communication campaigns. He works for all of Wells Haslem’s major clients in these and many other roles.
Nicholas Whitlam is chairman of Port Kembla Port Corporation and Sydney Ports Corporation. In a career that has embraced most aspects of banking and finance, he was CEO of the State Bank of New South Wales from 1981 to 1987, and was joint CEO of the investment bank Whitlam Turnbull from 1987 to 1990. He is a former President of the NRMA; in 2000, as chairman of NRMA Insurance/IAG, he supervised its demutualization and listing on the ASX.
Mr Whitlam was the inaugural Chairman of the Whitlam Institute between 2000 and 2002. He holds degrees from Harvard College (AB cum laude, 1967) and London Business School (MSc, 1969), and an honorary doctorate (Hon DUniv) from The University of New South Wales.
Talal Yassine is an experienced lawyer, banker and Non-Executive Director.
After 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Director and strategist, Talal joined investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia and is currently the Managing Director of Crescent Wealth.
Talal currently serves on the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports, the Whitlam Institute, The Australian Multicultural Council and as Deputy Chairman of the Gulf Australia Business Council. Talal has also served on the Board of Macquarie University; and as the Deputy Chairman of a government regulator, and as Chairman as Platinum Sound Pty Ltd.
Talal holds a Master of Laws, a Master of Business Administration which was focused on international business strategy, as well as holding degrees in law and diplomas from the AICD and UNE in directorship.
In November 2012, Talal was appointed as a Professorial Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at the Australian National University.
On Australia Day 2010, Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.
Company Secretary, Sandra Stevenson is the Senior Program Manager at the Whitlam Institute.