The invisible networks that bind the ‘directors’ club’

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From pro bono corporate advisor Adara Partners to the AFL and Australia’s top universities, the people at the top of these organisations are all closely linked.

where investment bankers donate their time and advice for free. The fees are passed on to Adara Development, which focuses on health and education for women, children and impoverished communities.influencer list this year, as well as Macquarie and Wesfarmers director Mike Roche and long-time director Catherine Brenner. Other well known business names include David Gonski, Barrenjoey chairman Guy Fowler and Matthew Grounds. Adara Group founder Audette Exel recently joined the Westpac board.

University of NSW chancellor David Gonski presides over board members such as Business Council chief executive and Wesfarmers director Jennifer Westacott; Qantas, Origin, Orica and Woolworths director Maxine Brenner; and Matthew Grounds.Company director Ann Sherry with Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze at the AFR 70th Platinum dinner has been recently appointed the Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology.University of Sydney’s chancellor is Qantas director Belinda Hutchinson.

It is a similar story in the sporting world, particularly for the AFL Commission led by Qantas chairman Richard Goyder along with Paul Bassat and BGH Capital’s Robin Bishop. At the club level, chairmen include Tony Shepherd of the GWS Giants, Andrew Pridham of the Sydney Swans, Luke Sayers at Carlton and Craig Drummond at Geelong. Directors include Terry Bowen at the West Coast Eagles.

Long-time director Elizabeth Proust says even though these connections are sometimes considered to be a consolidation of the “directors’ club”, she argues these linkages show how genuine new talent can be recognised and promoted.


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