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ASF ADVISORY PANEL

To keep ASF’s scholarships strategy contemporary and relevant, and to help identify trends and influences in the Australian NFP sector, ASF has appointed a small group of people to its Advisory Panel.

Denise McComish

Denise McComish is a Chartered Accountant, Registered Company Auditor and has been a partner in KPMG Perth’s Audit and Risk Advisory division for 20 years. She has extensive experience in providing audit and advisory services to major companies in a variety of industries with operations nationally and globally. Denise was a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board for six years. She participated extensively in the ongoing program to harmonise Accounting Standards and, as such, has a strong understanding of accounting and regulatory issues in Australia and internationally.

Denise is a director of Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention, a NFP organisation and is a member of the Council at Edith Cowan University. She also is a member of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) which advises the Australian Government on financial services and markets. Resides in Perth.

Steven Schwartz

Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz AM is the Executive Director of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies and Senior Advisor at Nous Group.

Steven has served as Vice Chancellor of three universities: Macquarie University in Sydney, Brunel University in London and Murdoch University in Perth. He has also held academic positions at Oxford University, the University of Texas, Harvard University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland.

Steven is Chairman of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, a member of the Board of Teach for Australia, the NSW Library Foundation, and the Council for International Educational Exchange (USA).

Steven is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, an Academy of Science-Royal Society Exchange Fellow, a NATO Fellow, a WHO Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In addition to management recognitions (Prime Minster's Institutional Award, Premier's Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management, Telstra National Employer of the Year), Steven has also received numerous scholarly prizes and grants. He is the author of 13 books, more than 120 scientific articles and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. He is a columnist for the Australian Financial Review.

Steven is married to Claire, originally from Inverness. His main extra curricular interests are rambling, writing and theatre.

 Greg Hutchinson

Greg Hutchinson is a senior advisor and former partner/ director of Bain & Company, a leading global strategy consultancy. He has 29 years experience leading major strategic and operational change programs for some of the largest global corporations in Asia, Europe and North America.  

Greg was also the founding Chief Executive of The Australian Charities Fund and he is currently Deputy Chairman.  He is committed to building the links between business and community. Greg has recently been involved in establishing the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) bringing together business, community, universities and government.  Greg is a director of CSI.  He has also helped establish and is a director of ShareGift, an innovative organisation that allows shareholders to cost and tax efficiently donate small shareholdings to charity.  He has also been a part of establishing SVA Consulting a not-for-profit consultancy dedicated to building world class strategic and operational performance in charities.

Prior to joining Bain, Greg spent ten years working for a major commercial bank in Australia and Europe, and several years as a Visiting Lecturer in Finance at Macquarie University. Greg holds an honors degree in statistics and economics from Macquarie University, as well as an MSc from London University. He is also a former director of The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and current member of the Brandenburg Council.

Carol Schwartz 

Carol Schwartz AM is Executive Chairman of Qualitas Property Partners and on the Board of a number of organisations including Stockland, Yarra Capital Partners, The Sydney Institute and the City of Melbourne's Enterprise Melbourne Advisory Board.  Her other appointments include Executive in Residence at Melbourne Business School and Chairman of Our Community. 

Carol is a past National President of the Property Council of Australia and has also been Chairman of Industry Superannuation Property Trust. Carol was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honors list in 2006 for her achievements in business and commerce and her contribution to community and the arts. Carol also received the Centenary Medal in 2001 in recognition of her outstanding service as a leading business executive and board participant.

 Julie White

Julie White has over 30 years experience in both not-for-profit and corporate sectors. She is currently the CEO of Chief Executive Women and advises organisations on social investment and community engagement. Julie is Chair of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation and Dana Asia and also non-executive director on Social Enterprise Finance Australia, Inspire Foundation and Women's Community Shelters. Most recently Julie was the global head of the Macquarie Group Foundation for 11 years where she oversaw the growth of the Foundation to become one of Australia's leading Foundations, whilst building its international presence.

Julie was named as one of the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine's True Leaders in 2008 and was named in January 2009, by ABC Limelight magazine, as one of the top smart arts 90 executives. Julie was also named as a finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Awards for 2009.  She has been a regular speaker at the philanthropic and not-for-profit conferences both in Australia and overseas and is regarded as one of Australia's leading experts in corporate philanthropy and community social investment.

Previously, Julie has worked as a community social worker in local government and overseas, established state wide community legal education programs for the NSW Government, and has worked in education development and fundraising.

 John Barnes

John Barnes' professional career spans over thirty years, encapsulating diverse interests in mining, investment banking and marine services, with the last ten years focused on his charitable involvements.

John was with Bain & Company for many years as Managing Director and Chief Executive.  During this time, Bain expanded to become one of the top five, full service investment banks in Australia, with the business ultimately being acquired by Deutsche Bank AG.

On leaving Deutsche Bank in 1998, John’s long held interest in providing assistance to disadvantaged children in the early years of their lives, as a means of preventing social dislocation and crime, led him to found a not-for-profit Charitable Foundation. He is also Patron of the Glengallan Homestead Trust and is involved in a range of other private charities.  John was made an Honorary Doctor of Griffith University in December 2008.


Melinda Cilento Melinda Cilento has significant public and private sector experience in economy policy development and analysis. She is a non executive director of Woodside Petroleum, Wesfarmers Insurance and Reconciliation Australia.

Most recently she was Advisor to the Business Council of Australia (BCA). Melinda previously worked with the BCA as Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Economist; County Investment Management (now Invesco) as Head of Economics, and with the Federal Department of Treasury in various roles, and also spent two years at the International Monetary Fund as the technical assistant to the Australian Executive Director.

Melinda has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from Flinders University, and a Master of Economics from the Australian National University.