There's quite a range of organisations and activities listed on this webpage. There are four common threads. My core career for two decades was in finance, a good training ground for technical and management skills. Along the way I've collected diverse university degrees, which have built analytical skills and opened my mind to new ideas. I have always had a love of cities and the built environment, an area I finally moved into in the 2000s. Finally, I've discovered the pleasures of writing - informing opinion through the written word.

Housing Action Network (2012-)

Established in February 2012, the Housing Action Network provides consultancy, contracting and services across Australia and New Zealand. Check the website.

Elton Consulting (2010-2012)

Presenting at the Community Housing Federation of Australia Conference, Redfern, for Elton Consulting, 2011

Presenting at the Community Housing Federation of Australia Conference, Redfern, for Elton Consulting, 2011

Between March 2010 and February 2012 I worked as Senior Project Manager for Elton Consulting. Elton are a leading social policy, planning and community engagement firm based in Bondi Junction NSW. I am currently an Associate of Elton Consulting.

I helped establish the firm as a leading affordable housing consultancy, undertaking work in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, the ACT, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Services were provided to many of the leading community housing organisations, including preparation of substantial tender documents.

University of NSW (2009-10)

Joining the City Futures Research Centre as Research Associate, I coordinated research projects on regulating Australian community housing providerspartnerships for social housing renewal and an analysis of rental housing models developed by Defence Housing Australia. Building on my financial background, I worked with the WA Government on bond issues to fund affordable housing, and with Landcom on innovative financial approaches to property. I established the City Futures Publishing Group, and won a competitive grant to investigate the sustainability of community housing projects.

University of Sydney (2003-09)

Doctor of Philosophy (2006-9)

PhD graduation with degree presented by Marie Bashir, NSW Governor, 2009

PhD graduation with degree presented by Marie Bashir, NSW Governor, 2009

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute sponsored thesis, ‘Network power: an international study of strengthening housing association capacity’, studied community housing organisations in the US, England and Australia. Download. Based on my research,

I presented academic papers at the Australasian Housing Researchers Conferences in Brisbane (2007), Melbourne (2008) and Sydney (2009), and in 2007 was awarded the Early Career Researchers Prize. I also presented at the European Network of Housing Researchers Conferences in Rotterdam (2007), Dublin (2008) and Prague (2009).

Research Policy Manager (2005-9)

Acting as manager of urban planning research at the University’s Planning Research Centre, I coordinated a number of research projects. I was employed as lecturer in postgraduate courses including Development Finance, History and Theory of Urban Planning and Affordable Housing (with Vivienne Milligan and Peter Phibbs). I also acted as an independent consultant to various clients.

Master of Architecture (2003-4)

Completing an Honours degree in Architectural History, Theory and Criticism at the Faculty of Architecture in 2004, I was the top student for the year with an average mark of 91% and won the Dean’s Prize in 2003 and 2004.

N M Rothschild & Sons (1991-2002)

Moscow station, en route to Sydney after my move to Australia, 2002

Moscow station, en route to Sydney after my move to Australia, 2002

Australian Compliance Manager, Sydney (2001-02)

Rothschild are a major privately owned international Investment Bank undertaking advisory, banking, treasury, venture capital and private funds management activities in over 30 countries but with their principal operations in the UK, Australia and the US.

As Compliance Manager I was responsible for the legal and regulatory aspects of the Rothschild Australian businesses, employing 230 staff. The Compliance role was recently created and therefore I had major input into developing and implementing policies on Chinese walls, privacy, securities dealing, conflicts of interest and IT security. I project managed Rothschild’s implementation of the 2001 Financial Services Reform Act.

Associate Director, London (1998-2001)

Working closely with the world-wide Managing Director of Banking and Treasury, I was involved in the development and implementation of a global business strategy for the bank. Activities included preparation of business plans, budgets, forecasts and marketing strategies which were employed in the bank’s principal markets.

Managing a team of six senior executives, I had responsibility as Financial Controller and Compliance Manager for a £1.5 billion ($3 billion) loan portfolio. Involved in decision making at senior levels, I acted as Secretary to the bank’s principal management groups: the Global Banking & Treasury Committee, the UK Banking Management Committee and the UK Treasury Management Committee. I worked on international projects involving operational risk (Far East and Australia), process benchmarking (UK and Australia), bullion trading (US) and treasury systems selection (UK and Australia).

Leaving party from Rothschilds Manchester, 1998

Leaving party from Rothschilds Manchester, 1998

Northern Financial Controller, Manchester (1994-98)

Managing a team of seven staff, I was responsible as Financial Controller for the bank’s Investment Banking, Banking, Treasury and Invoice Discounting activities in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham (100 employees).

Reporting jointly to the Managing Director of Northern Division and the Finance Director of the bank I was accountable for all control aspects of a business with a balance sheet of £500 million ($900 million). The wider roles of the job included budgeting and strategic planning, managing information resources, IT and training. I implemented on time and within budget a major business process re-engineering project based on a strategy report agreed by the bank’s Managing Director.

From 1997 I was additionally responsible for finance and compliance at the Rothschild factoring and invoice discounting subsidiary, Five Arrows Commercial Finance (45 employees). During 1997 and 1998 I managed the introduction of new accounting systems across both businesses, and secretary of the Northern Management Committee and Chairman of the Northern IT Committee.

Assistant Manager, Manchester (1991-94)

Managing a £150 million ($270 million) loan portfolio, I was responsible for developing new lending proposals for large corporate clients in the North of England and marketing the bank’s services. I developed the region’s five year Strategic Plan in 1992 following extensive market research and organising a conference. The plan included a new marketing approach to coordinate banking, investment banking and treasury activity.

Manchester Business School (1989-91)

Graduation from Manchester Business School, 1991

Graduation from Manchester Business School, 1991

MBA, Manchester and UC Berkeley (1989-91)

I was awarded a scholarship to one of Europe’s leading graduate business schools which included one semester studying on exchange at the University of California, Berkeley, on their MBA course.

Further awards included: the Bryan Elliot Memorial Prize for first place in finance (1990), the VeriFone prize for best entrepreneurship project at Berkeley (1990) and prize for top student, achieving the highest marks over the two year course (1991). Special interests included finance, international business, marketing and the management of strategic change, and I completed a 40,000 word dissertation on ‘The economic effect of accounting regulations: an international and empirical study’.

Consultative assignment Eli Lilley, Liverpool (1990)

During a four month project based in the UK and North America, I was planned and implemented a major order processing and export documentation software package into the Materials Planning Department of Eli Lilley, a top US pharmaceutical company

Standard Chartered Bank (1988-9)

The bank manager, 1988

The bank manager, 1988

Corporate Banking Executive, London (1988-89)

Standard Chartered are a leading international trading bank. Managing a team of 12 staff in London, I had line management responsibility for a £250 million ($450 million) loan portfolio. I designed and implemented the bank's strategic marketing plan for corporate clients in London with a sales turnover in the range £5-100 million.

Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, London (1988-2002)

The organisation, now IFS, are the principal professional body for bankers in the UK and most Commonwealth countries. I qualified by taking a series of examinations and achieved the highest marks and the most distinctions since the Institute was founded in the late 19th century. Following award of the Beckett Memorial, George Rae, Simon, Haddo Drummond-Frazer and Murray Drummond-Frazer prizes in 1987, I later became a part time lecturer and assistant examiner for the Institute.

Hill Samuel & Co (1985-88)

Senior Credit Analyst, London (1987-88)

Out with Hill Samuel work colleagues, 1987

Out with Hill Samuel work colleagues, 1987

Hill Samuel were a leading UK based independent Investment Bank working closely with their core base of medium sized corporations and high net worth individuals. Reporting to the Head of Commercial Banking I was responsible for the approval of larger lending proposals from regional Directors. I assisted with designing a £500 million ($900 million) mortgage securitisation product, a pioneering new financial instrument in the 1980s.

Manager’s Assistant, Manchester (1985-87)

My role involved preparing corporate lending proposals, developing local marketing plans and supervising junior staff. I worked closely with lawyers to design new bank-wide customer loan documentation to comply with the Consumer Credit Act 1984.

Royal Bank of Scotland (1983-85)

The Royal Bank of Scotland are, after HSBC, the UK’s second largest commercial bank. As a graduate trainee I received detailed technical and practical knowledge of lending to clients and branch administration

Cambridge graduation, 1983

Cambridge graduation, 1983

Cambridge University (1980-3)

As an undergraduate at Downing College, Cambridge University, I read modern history, receiving a BA in 1983 and an MA in 1987. I was awarded the Richmond Scholarship 1980, 1981 and 1982.