11/06/2008 - 22:00

Committees that count

11/06/2008 - 22:00


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Committees that count

There are two committees in Perth that can be considered centres of commercial and public influence - the University of Western Australia's Business School board and the Committee for Perth.

Chaired by investment banker, Azure Capital co-founder Mark Barnaba, the business school board includes some of the state's most influential company directors and executives.

Most of its members are UWA graduates or have come to Perth from overseas, but its latest recruit is an exception to that pattern.

Under-treasurer and Murdoch University graduate Tim Marney is widely regarded as the most influential public servant in the state.

The business school's deputy chair, Tony Howarth, is also chairman of the Committee for Perth, which was established as a vehicle for business people to help promote the city's cultural and social development.

Mr Howarth is one of Perth's most respected company directors. His current roles include serving on the boards of Wesfarmers and AWB and being president of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He is one of three former Alinta chairmen serving on the business school board.

The others are Azure Capital co-founder and executive chairman John Poynton, who succeeded Mr Howarth at Alinta, and one-time Woodside Petroleum chief executive John Akehurst, who oversaw last year's sale of Alinta.

Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder, Woodside chief executive Don Voelte, and BHP Billiton stainless steel materials division boss Jimmy Wilson also sit on the business school board.

Its external membership is rounded out by Mirvac executive Adrian Fini, whose company is a major apartment developer in Perth, and research scientist and one-time Australian of the Year, Dr Fiona Wood.

The Committee for Perth has an eclectic membership, with more of a bias to the professions.

Its deputy chair is John Atkins, who recently stepped down as head of office for law firm Freehills to become ANZ Banking Group's WA chairman.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh, BHP Billiton vice-president external affairs Ian Fletcher, restaurateur Kate Lamont and Alcoa executive Kathryn Sydney-Smith are also members.

New additions this year are Ernst & Young managing partner Jeff Dowling, and Australian Capital Equity chief executive and former Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive John Langoulant.


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