Australian APEC Study Centre

Australian APEC Study Centre


The Australian APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Study Centre at RMIT University describes its mission as to “advocate and advance APEC‘s objectives of promoting open trade and investment, structural reform, the strengthening of financial systems and regional integration.” [1]

According to its website, the Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT is “a leading centre in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of advocacy of APEC’s objectives of promoting open trade and investment, structural reform and regional integration through training programs, supporting institutional capacity building, symposia, dialogues and publications. It does this together with its component facility, the Melbourne APEC Finance Centre.” [2]

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) was created in 1989 and now boasts it encompasses 21 members spanning four continents. The center was established at the APEC Leaders Summit in 1993, where leaders agreed to set up APEC Study Centres “in the higher education sector to promote APEC’s goals and objectives.” [2]

From 1997 to 2009, the Centre was administered by Monash University. In 2007, the State Government of Victoria funded the Melbourne APEC Finance Centre which functioned as a part of the Australian APEC Study Centre. In April of 2009, both Centres were transferred to RMIT University’s College of business. [2]

The Centre has functioned as a pro-free trade think tank, and also has a history of opposing the Kyoto Protocol and other climate change legislation. [2]

Climate science denier and lobbyist Alan Oxley functions as Chair of the Australian APEC Study Centre, while he also managed the Asia Pacific Page of the now-defunct, a website that regularly promoted the views of climate change deniers. [3]

Stance on Climate Change

March 2010

“The science of how the world’s climate works is very weak. The models used by the UN to predict changes have enormous gaps of knowledge. There is also very vigorous debate among scientists about whether or not levels of carbon dioxide cause global warming or are caused by it. In other words, we do not know if human generated carbon dioxide is significant or not. Many of us just want to think it is.”[3]


According to their brochure, “The Centre successfully bids for funds to support these activities from the Commonwealth government from AusAID and other sources. The Victorian Government finances activities of the Melbourne APEC Finance Centre to promote work in financial regulatory training and Melbourne as a regional financial centre.” [1]

Key People


Note, 2005 through 2011 were individuals listed on the Australian APEC Study Centre’s “Activity Report,” while 2017 are those listed on the Centre’s website as of 2017 (although it is not clear when that list was last updated.)

Name2005 – 20062006 – 20072007 – 20082008 – 20092010 – 20112017Description
Alan Oxley YYYYYChairman
Briony Wood-Ingram    YY 
Aaron Soans     YResearch Fellow
Alberto Posso     YPrincipal Research Fellow
Bonnie Rivendell     YSenior Manager (Acting)
Douglas Brooks     YPrincipal Research Fellow
Errol Muir     YPublications Editor
Joaquin (Jack) Gelvezon     YReporting and Minitoring Analyst
John Farrugia     YProject Officer
Kevin Nguyen     YProject and Communications Assistant
Lisa Barker     YLead Staffer of the ABAC Australia Secretariat
Roslyn Zakaria     YProject Officer
Margot Kilgour   YY Executive Manager
Alex Kerangpuna    Y Temporary Intern
Elissa Macleod    Y  
Jack Gelvezon    Y  
Mary Prusakova    Y Temporary Intern
Alex Katz YYY  Project Manager
John McKay YYY  Senior Associate
Lauren Streifer YYY  Project Manager
Kenneth Waller  YY  Director, Australian APEC Study Centre (and Melbourne APEC Finance Centre)
Jaime JobsonYYY   Communications and Executive Manager
Judi O’GormanYYY   Financial and Administrative Officer
Alison HendyYY     
Ken WallerYY    Chair
Tim WilsonY     Project Manager (Resigned. April 2006)

Advisory Board

Name2010 – 20112017Description
Alan OxleyYYChairman
Mark Johnson AOYYChairman of the Board, Australian ABAC Member
Andrew Macintyre YDeputy Vice-Chancellor International and Vice-President RMIT
Chris Tinning YAssistant Secretary APEC Branch, Investment and Economic Diplomacy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Observer)
Geoff Raby YGeoff Raby & Associates
Ian Palmer YPro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, College of Business, RMIT University
John Denton AO YPartner and CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Justin Hanney YLead Deputy Secretary Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victorian Government
Ken Waller YChair
Merilyn Liddell AM YFormer President of RMIT Vietnam
Amb Richard Woolcott ACY Former Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Bruce Kean AMY Past Chairman of the Board
David HannaY Deputy Secretary, International Coordination Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, State Government of Victoria
John LarkinY Assistant Secretary, APEC Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Kenneth WallerY Director, Australian APEC Study Centre (and Melbourne APEC Finance Centre)
Ian PalmerY Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, College of Business, RMIT University
Paul JamesY  

Financial Services Advisory Board

Name2005 – 20062006 – 20072007 – 20082008 – 20092010 – 2011Description
Alan OxleyYYYYYChairman
Chris GaskellYYYYYHead of International Relations, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Christine BrownYYYYYProfessor, Department of Accounting and Finance, Monash University
David KnoxYYYYYWorldwide Partner, Mercer Consulting
Jules GribbleYYYYYDirector, Enterprise Metrics
Kevin DavisYYYYYResearch Director, Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies
Ian Thompson YYYYManaging Director, Chief Credit Officer and Head of Research & Training (Asia-Pacific), Standard & Poor’s
Kathryn Watt YYYYPrincipal General Council and Company Secretary, Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd
Joe Garbutt  YYYPolicy Director, Institute of Internal Auditors – Australia
Aaron Smith   YYAssociate Pro-Vice Chancellor (Industry Engagement), College of Business, RMIT University
Kenneth Waller   YYDirector
On Kit Tam YY YDeputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Business International), College of Business, RMIT University
Justin Douglas    YManager, Bank Policy Unit, Australian Treasury
Richard Foster    YDirector, Foster Infrastructure
Rod Maddock    YHead of Group Strategy, Commonwealth Bank
Ros Grady    YAssociate Professor, University of New South Wales
Adeline Hiew    YSenior Associate, Blake Dawson
Hugh Moor    Y(Observer). Director, Financial Services, Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, State Government of Victoria
Robert GladingYYYY Consultant and Former Insurance Commissioner
Tim CoyneYYYY Partner, Financial Services, Ernst and Young
Edmond U YYY CommInsure, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Richard Fisher YYY General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, University of Sydney
Sean Balding YYY Ernst and Young
Syd Bone YYY Chairman, Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies
Leonie Lethbridge  YY Head of Risk – International Partnerships, ANZ
Marcus Chadwick  YY Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Tony D’Arcy  YY Project Manager- Financial Services, Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
Kerstin Wijeyewardene   Y Financial System Division, Australian Treasury
Ken WallerYYY  Chair
Chris LeggYY   General Manager, Financial SysteDivision, Department of the Treasury
Nick MinogueYY   Division Head, Risk Management, Macquarie Bank Limited
Development Y    
Jaime Jobson Y   Communications and Executive Manager
Jayne Godfrey Y   Deputy Dean, Research, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash
Kim Holmes Y   Manager, International Cooperation Office of International Relations, Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Paul Rekaris Y   Project Manager -Financial Services, Department of Innovation and Regional
Kim HolmesY    Senior Lawyer, Office of International Relations, Australian Securities and Investments Commission;
Mark BlairY    National Manager, International Affairs, Australian Stock Exchange;
Natalie WellsY    Director, Financial Services Ratings Asia Pacific, Standard and Poor’s.
Nelun JayasingheY    (Alternate member) Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Siwe Sin YuanY    (Observer) Associate, Insurance Regulation Development Division, Insurance Department,Monetary Authority of Singapore; and
Stefan HohlY    (Observer) Representative Officer for Asia and the Pacific, Bank for International Settlements.


March 2008

Bill Bown of ITS Global wrote in an Australian APEC Study Centre publication that the Stern Report and the Garnaut Review on climate change “are advocating an approach to climate change that would increase, not decrease, poverty.” [4]

“Economic growth is the best way to continue to reduce poverty. However the Stern Report recommends we decrease growth,” the Centre’s publication claims. “The Stern strategy would reverse the current trends to eliminate poverty. It would increase the number of people in poor countries in absolute poverty.” [4]

April 2005

The Centre organized a conference entitled “Managing Climate Change: Practicalities and Realities in a post-Kyoto future” supported by Tech Central Station and the International Public Affairs website. The conference, which included several climate science deniers as speakers, was also sponsored by Xstrata and ExxonMobil. [7][5]

Speakers included: [6]

  • Harlan Watson
  • Qingqing Zhao
  • Alan Oxley — Chairman of the Australian APEC Study Centre, Monash University.
  • Graeme Pearman — Director, GP Consultants Pty Ltd.
  • Bob Carter
  • William Kininmonth
  • John Zillman
  • Garth Paltridge
  • Roger Beale — Senior Associate, The Allen Consulting Group.
  • Brian Fisher — Director, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Meg McDonald — General Manager Corporate Affairs, Alcoa World Alumina Australia.
  • Aynsley Kellow
  • Alan Moran — Director, Deregulation Unit, Institute of Public Affairs.
  • Jon Stanford — The Allen Consulting Group.

January, 2005

After attending the tenth meeting of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, The Australian APEC Study Centre’s Chair, Alan Oxley, wrote a paper titled “The prospects for global collaboration on climate change.“ [3]

Oxley writes that the Kyoto Protocol emissions reductions “would have negligible impact on global emission of carbon dioxide.” He proposes a “practical strategy for Australia,” where he recommends that emissions trading would be an “outdated” strategy, adding: “There is no point in Australia’s allying with the EU alone to support a global warming strategy that cannot work and which reduces global competitiveness.” [3]

He goes on to promote a supposed “debate” on the science of global warming. [3]

“This debate has real substance. A principal indicator of this is the unwillingness of Green groups to engage,” he writes. “The general response from Green groups has been to say the science was settled years ago and that there is a comprehensive consensus among scientists that global warming is occurring and that human activity is the leading contributor. There has been orthodoxy rather than a consensus about the science.” [3]

Without citing sources, Oxley writes that “more detailed temperature readings of the upper atmosphere […] “generally do not support the claim that temperatures are rising in the atmosphere.” [3]

August 21, 1997

The APEC Study Centre organized a conference titled “Countdown to Kyoto” in conjunction with the Frontiers of Freedom Institute. [8]

Speakers included Patrick Michaels, John Christy, and Alan Oxley as well as Jerry Ellis, past Chairman of the multinational BHP Ltd. and Peter Hartley, director of a think tank called the Tasmania Institute.

At the conference, U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel commented, “I believe we are headed down the wrong path in the negotiations for any global climate treaty to be signed in Kyoto, Japan, this December.”

Hagel went on to cite well-known climate change denier Richard S. Lindzen, quoting him as saying “a decade of focus on global warming and billions of dollars of research funds have still failed to establish that global warming is a significant problem.”

Hagel concludes that the “path to Kyoto should be abandoned until we have a better idea of the climate changes we are dealing with and until we can come up with a truly global solution that is fair and equitable for all the nations involved.” [9]

The centre also released a 1997 report before the conference, similarly titled “Countdown to Kyoto” written by prominent climate change denier John R. Christy. The paper describes climate change as an “uncertain phenomenon” and claims that warming is “more modest” than models suggest, which could “ take away some of the urgency for
immediate action on CO2 reductions.” The paper also promotes the supposed benefits of CO2, and downplays dangers of increased concentrations in the atmosphere, saying: [10]

“There is nothing toxic about CO2 at levels even five times that of the current amount. Plant life flourishes with increased CO2 (up to three times present concentrations), and the entire biosphere is invigorated with CO2 in greater concentrations. It was in such a rich CO2 atmosphere (at least three times today’s levels) that most of our present biosphere evolved,” the paper claims. 

Contact & Location 

Room 26, Level 6, Building 80 [11]
445 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 
Fax: +61 3 9925 5624

  • The Lavoisier Group – Alan Oxley was a speaker at the inaugural conference of the climate science denial group.
  • Tech Central Station (TCS) — Alan Oxley ran the Asia Pacific page of TCS while also working as Chair of the Australian APEC Study Centre.  [3]


  1. “The Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University” (PDF),, March 9, 2010.
  2. About the Centre,” The Australian APEC Study Centre. Archived August 18, 2017. URL:
  3. “The prospects for global collaboration on climate change” (PDF),, January 2005.
  4. Bill Bowen. “The Stern Strategy on climate change would increase poverty – Garnaut should not go down the same path,” APEC Currents, March 2008. Archived August 21, 2017. URL:
  5. APEC Currents (June, 2005 issue). Archived August 21, 2017. URL
  6. “Centre Activity Report: June 2004 – June 2005” (PDF), The Australian APEC Study Centre.
  7. Papers available from the Australian APEC Study Centre Conference, April 4 ‘Managing Climate Change: Practicalities and Realities in a post-Kyoto future’,” Climate Change Issues. Archived May 5, 2005. URL: 
  8. Countdown to Kyoto: The Consequences of Mandatory CO2 Emission Reductions,” Monash University. Archived August 6, 1997.
  9. “Countdown to Kyoto” an International Conference on The Consequences of Mandatory Global CO2 Emission Reductions: Remarks by United States Senator Chuck Hagel” (PDF), Retrieved from
  10. John R. Christy. “‘Countdown to Kyoto’: The Consequences of the Mandatory Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions, Australian APEC Study Centre, Canberra, 19–21 August 1997” (PDF), The Australian APEC Study Centre, 1997.
  11. “Contact Us,” The Australian APEC Study Centre. Archived August 21, 2017. URL:
  12. Australian APEC Study Centre,” SourceWatch. Archived August 21, 2017. URL

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