The Honourable Robert French AC (Chair)

Robert French AC is a former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia and played a central role in establishing the Aboriginal Legal Service in Western Australia. He was appointed to the Federal Court and later became the inaugural President of the National Native Title Tribunal. Robert became the president of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law in 2001 and was a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. In 2008, he was appointed as the first Western Australian Chief Justice of the High Court. He retired from the Court in 2017 shortly prior to his constitutionally stipulated expiry date.

Mr Paul Lenton

Paul Lenton is a Business Advisory Partner at the Sydney Office of Nexia Australia – an established, trusted, mid-tier Advisory and Accounting Firm that is a member of the Nexia International Network of independent firms.  

Paul has over 40 years of professional experience advising businesses and private clients in matters including, income tax, structuring, accounting, finance, operations, improvement, growth strategy and succession planning. Paul advises businesses and their leaders at all stages of development.  

During his time at Nexia, Paul also served nine years as Managing Partner where he oversaw the Firm’s expansion from 16 to 29 Partners and an increase in turnover from $19 million to $50 million. This growth included mergers, strategic acquisitions, organic business development, establishing new service lines and positioning the Firm to attract more mid-market corporate clients. Most importantly, Paul introduced training and coaching for business development, making it a mandatory competency for all Partners at his Firm.  

Not only does Paul have extensive experience advising clients on how to operate successful organisations, but he also led a committed team of professionals through a scale-up phase during the COVID-19 years to achieve record growth and profitability. His strategic, project-focused approach is rooted in fostering a culture of success, underpinned by shared values of his people to achieve effective strategy execution. 

Following his years as Managing Partner, Paul continues to practice as a Business Advisory Partner. He also coaches and mentors CEO’s, Managing Partners and younger professionals, helping them enhance their effectiveness and realise their full potential.  

Paul is a Chartered Accountant, a registered Tax Agent, and an active member of several peer-to-peer advisory groups including Leaders for Impact. 

Outside of work, Paul enjoys life with his family as well as his interests in classic cars and playing the guitar (albeit badly) whenever he gets a chance.


Mr Andrew Phelan AM

Andrew Phelan AM was the Chief Executive & Principal Registrar of the High Court of Australia from 2007 until 2018. From 1986 he held a number of senior government law enforcement, legal, international and general management positions. Andrew served as a Councillor, and remains a member, of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration. He was the Secretary of the Council of Chief Justices of Australia and NZ from 2007 until 2018. Andrew has degrees in Arts, Laws and Business and was admitted as a solicitor in 1978. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

Professor Don Markwell

Don Markwell is the Head of St Mark’s College, Adelaide, and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide. Rhodes Scholar for Queensland for 1981, he has served as Warden of St Paul’s College at the University of Sydney, Warden of Rhodes House, Oxford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) of the University of Western Australia, Warden of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, and Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Merton College, Oxford. He has also served as Senior Adviser on Higher Education to the Federal Minister for Education, and Senior Adviser to the Attorney-General and Leader of the Government in the Senate. His books include Constitutional Conventions and the Headship of State: Australian Experience (2016).

Dr Sarah Murray

Dr Sarah Murray is a Professor at the University of Western Australia where she teaches Constitutional Law and researches in public law, electoral law and court innovation. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a former member of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, is co-Chair of the International Society of Public Law AUS-NZ Chapter and a co-Convenor of the WA Chapter of the Electoral Regulation and Research Network. Her PhD thesis received the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for Law by Monash University and was published as a monograph, The Remaking of the Courts - Less-Adversarial Practice and the Constitutional Role of the Judiciary in Australia (Federation Press, 2014). Professor Murray was awarded the Fay Gale Fellowship and Institute for Advanced Studies Distinguished Early Career Fellowship for her work on Community Justice Centres. She has published widely in Australia and internationally and is an editor of Constitutional Perspectives on an Australian Republic– Essays in Honour of Professor George Winterton (Federation Press, 2010), co-editor of Regulating Preventive Justice- Principle, Policy and Paradox (Routledge UK, 2017) and a co-author of The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia – History, Principle and Interpretation (CUP, 2015) and Winterton’s Australian Federal Constitutional Law (Thomson Reuters, 2022).  She has recently published a monograph on the community justice centre model, Community Justice Centres - New Trajectories in Law (Routledge, 2022).  Professor Murray is passionate about civics education and is a former advisory board member of the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia and has worked as a constitutional law advisor for CEFA in the past.

Professor George Brandis KC

The Hon George Brandis KC is Professor in the Practice of National Security at the Australian National University, in a joint appointment by the National Security College and the College of Law.

Professor Brandis was educated at the University of Queensland and Magdalen College, Oxford.  A barrister by profession, he specialized in commercial law, competition law and equity.  He also lectured in Jurisprudence at the University of Queensland Law School.

Professor Brandis was appointed to a casual Senate vacancy in 2000 and served as a Liberal Senator for Queensland for 18 years.  He was a minister in the Governments of John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.   Among other appointments, he was the Attorney-General in the Abbott and Turnbull Governments, and Leader of the Government in the Senate under Prime Minister Turnbull.

Upon his retirement from Parliament in February 2018, Professor Brandis was appointed as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, serving from 2018-2022.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Council on Geostrategy, a London-based think tank, and a director of the Constitutional Education Fund. He has published extensively on legal and political topics, and writes a fortnightly column for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Mr George Harris

George is a legal practitioner with more than four decades experience in corporate practice and is Of Counsel with the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. He is an editor of The Journal of Banking & Finance Law and Practice and has lectured in the Master of Laws programme at UNSW. George is a director of a charity which supports the teaching of Ancient Greek and Latin in Australian universities and of a foundation which supports young Australians in the field of opera. He provides pro bono advice to charities involved in medical research and training and is a director of Australia’s oldest charity dedicated to avoiding blindness. George chairs a committee active in the translation of liturgical texts. Since 2010 he has been a member of the judging panel for the Governor-General’s essay prize organised by CEFA.

Emeritius Professor Geoffrey Gallop AC FASSA

Emeritius Professor Geoffrey Gallop is an Australian academic and former politician who served as the 27th premier of Western Australia from 2001 to 2006. He is currently a professor and director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney and former chairman of the Australian Republican Movement.

Born in Geraldton, Western Australia, Gallop studied at the University of Western Australia, and later progressed to St John's College at the University of Oxford after winning a Rhodes Scholarship. Having joined the Labor Party in 1971, he served as a councillor for the City of Fremantle between 1983 and 1986, and was elected to the seat of Victoria Park in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly at the 1986 state election. Having held several portfolios in the preceding Lawrence Ministry (including Minister for Education), Gallop replaced Jim McGinty as Leader of the Opposition in 1996 following McGinty's resignation.

At the 1996 election, Labor was defeated by the incumbent Liberal Party led by Richard Court despite a rise in Labor's share of the vote, but he remained as the party's leader, and at the 2001 election Labor was elected to government, with Gallop becoming premier. Having successfully contested the 2005 election, Gallop resigned as Premier, Labor leader and from parliament in early 2006.

Foundation Councillors

Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC

Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC is an Author and Historian, Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne, and a governor of the Ian Potter Foundation. Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton AO is Chancellor and Emeritus Professor at Murdoch University and ABC Boyer Lecturer 1992.

Professor Greg Craven

Professor Greg Craven is the Executive Director of the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy and Chair in Government and Constitutional Law at Curtin University. He was also a member of the ‘Yes’ Committee in the 1999 Republic Referendum.

Dr John Hirst

Dr John Hirst is an Author and Historian at La Trobe University.  He was formerly a member of the Prime Minister's Republic Advisory Committee, Chair of the Commonwealth Civics Education Group, and is currently a Council Member for the National Museum of Australia.

Associate Professor Gregory Melleuish

Associate Professor Gregory Melleuish is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Wollongong. Since 2000 he has been the President of the Asia Pacific Affiliate Branch of the World History Association. Greg has also published a number of articles on world history and political theory including a chapter on the utility of the idea of ‘clash of civilisations’ for understanding history and a recent article on the idea of ‘commonwealth’.

Sir David Smith KCVO AO

Sir David Smith KCVO AO is a visiting scholar at the Faculty of Law at Australian National University. He is Director of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Mr Hugh Morgan AC

Mr. Hugh Morgan AC is a Director of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, President of the Business Council of Australia, Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Business Council; President of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee.

The Honourable Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG KStJ QC

The Honourable Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG KStJ QC is a Commercial Mediator and Disputes Consultant. He is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW and Lieutenant Governor of NSW. He is a former Chairman of John Fairfax Holdings Ltd.

The Honourable Lloyd Waddy RFD

The Honourable Lloyd Waddy RFD is a former Judge of the Family Court of Australia, and Chairman of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. He is a Foundation Director of the Australia-Britain Society

Professor George Williams AO

Professor George Williams AO is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators. He is the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professorand the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, he is engaged in a five year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy. He has held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Columbia University Law School in New York and University College London. George was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011: ‘For distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator.’