Alera National Conference 2021, Melbourne, Australia, 15th & 16th October 2021 

ALERA National Conference 2020, Melbourne, 16th to 17th October

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Speakers - Displayed in Alphabetical Order

Hon Tony Burke MP

Parliament Australia, Shadow Minister Industrial Relations

Tony Burke is the Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Shadow Minister for the Arts and Manager of Opposition Business in the 46th Australian Parliament. 

Tony grew up in a small business family, later ran his own small business and also worked as the local organiser for retail workers. Tony's portfolios reflect his lifelong commitments to working people, the environment and to the arts. 

In Government, Tony Burke was responsible for resolving 100 years of conflict in the Murray-Darling Basin, placing Tasmania's forests on the World Heritage list, making the second-largest conservation decision in the history of the planet by protecting our oceans and implementing the comprehensive Creative Australia arts and culture policy. 

He has also led the fight against racial hate speech with the iconic Walk for Respect in the heart of his community in Lakemba. 

Paula McDonald
Professor of Work and Organisation and Associate Dean

Paula McDonald is Professor of Work and Organisation and Associate Dean, Research in the QUT Business School. Paula’s research addresses the profound social implications arising from a globalised, ‘collaborative’ economy. 

Her work spans topics including education to work transitions; public/private boundaries; and technology and work. Paula currently leads an ARC Discovery project Working the Gig Economy and she recently conducted the first Australian prevalence study on digital platform work. 

Paula has published over 100 scholarly outputs and her work has actively shaped public debate through media engagement and invited research seminars to end-users. She is a registered psychologist and a senior fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Sandra Parker

The Fair Work Ombudsman

Professor Marilyn Pittard

Law Resources, Monash University

Hon Justice Iain Ross AO President of the Fair Work Commission

On 1 March 2012, Iain was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court and President of the Fair Work Commission.
Prior to his appointment, Iain was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria and President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. 

Iain has also served as Chair of the Council of Australasian Tribunals, inaugural Chair of the Mediator Standards Board, a Judge of the County Court of Victoria, partner of a major law firm and a Vice President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia on 13 June 2005 and elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia on 25 September 2019.

Jim Stanford 

Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work, based at the Australia Institute. The Centre for Future Work focuses on issues of work, labour markets, income, economic development, technology, inequality, skills, and more. The Centre was founded in May 2016, with Jim as its inaugural Director, and has quickly become Australia’s leading source of independent progressive expertise on work and labour.

Jim divides his time between Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada, where he remains one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators. Jim received his Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York. He also holds an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Calgary. 

Jim is the author of Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism (second edition published by Pluto Books in 2015), which has been published in six languages.

Greg Vines

Deputy Director-General for Management and Reform, International Labour Organisation

Mr Innes Willox

Chief Executive Australian Industry Group

Innes Willox is Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, a leading industry organisation representing businesses in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, transport, defence, ICT and labour hire.

Innes was appointed Chief Executive in May 2012. Amongst other appointments, Innes is also a Director of Australian Super, Chair of the Migration Council of Australia and a Board member of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue. 

Prior to joining AiGroup in 2008 he served as the Australian Consul General to Los Angeles from 2006 to 2008, Chief of Staff to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, from 2004 to 2006 and earlier was Manager of Global Public Affairs for Singapore Airlines based in Singapore (2000-04).

Innes began his career as a journalist. His positions included Chief of Staff at The Age
newspaper in Melbourne and Chief Political Correspondent for The Age in Canberra.