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Ross Garnaut

Professor Ross Garnaut AC

Join us at our annual conference 2020 to hear Professor Garnaut talk us through how Australia can achieve economic superpower status by harnessing our natural systems, people power and scientific skills.

Professor Garnaut is a Professor of Economics at The University of Melbourne. He was previously distinguished Professor of Economics at the Australian National University, the Director of the ANU Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management and was the longstanding Head of the Department of Economics. He is the author of numerous publications in scholarly journals on international economics, public finance and economic development, particularly in relation to East Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Recent books include The Great Crash of 2008 (with David Llewellyn-Smith, 2009); Dog Days: Australia After the Boom (2013); and Forty Years of Reform and Development in China (2018). He is Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Economic Society, Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resources Economic Society, Fellow of the Australia Academy of Social Sciences and Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Professor Garnaut has had longstanding senior roles as policy advisor, diplomat and businessman. He was the senior economic policy official in Papua New Guinea’s Department of Finance in the years straddling Independence in 1975, principal economic adviser to Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke 1983-1985, and Australian Ambassador to China 1985-1988. 

He is the author of a number of influential reports to the Australian Government, including Australia and the Northeast Asian Ascendancy, 1989, The Review of Federal State Financial Relations (with Vince Fitzgerald) 2002, The Garnaut Climate Change Review 2008, and The Garnaut Review 2011: Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change.

Latest book

Superpower: Australia’s low-carbon opportunity

Professor Garnaut’s new book sets out how the government can embrace low-carbon opportunities in this term.

“Australia has the potential to be an economic superpower of the future post-carbon world.” Ross Garnaut


Professor Garnaut has chaired the Boards of major Australian and international companies since 1988, including Lihir Gold Ltd (1995 – 2010); Bank of Western Australia Ltd (1988 – 1995); Primary Industry Bank of Australia Ltd (1989 – 1994); Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Limited Pty Ltd (2002 – 2012) and its subsidiary OK Tedi Mining Ltd; Lonely Planet Pty Ltd; Aluminium Smelters of Victoria Ltd; ZEN Energy Technologies Pty Ltd. In May 2019 he resigned as the President and Director of Simec ZEN Energy and became the Chairman of Sunshot Energy.

Professor Garnaut was made Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1991 for service to education and international relations and a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2017 for service on climate change and energy.