Research Advisory Committee

The Research Advisory Committee assists in the development and implementation of the Regional Australia Institute’s research agenda.

The Committee is responsible for ensuring that our research aligns with the research vision, framework and priority areas of the Institute, and that it is within our capacity and is of a quality that can be recommended to the Board for consideration and endorsement.

Professor Geraldine Mackenzie (Chair)

Professor Geraldine Mackenzie is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southern Queensland, appointed September 2017.

Professor Mackenzie returned to the University having been Foundation Head of the University’s School of Law in 2007 and 2008, before she took up senior executive positions at Bond University (2009-2014): Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Community Engagement), and Executive Dean, Faculty of Law. Before returning to the University of Southern Queensland, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Southern Cross University (2014-2017). Prior to joining the University in 2007, as Head of the Law School, she held various senior roles at QUT, and served on QUT Council for nine years. She has a strong commitment to widening participation in higher education, particularly in Australia’s regional areas, flexible learning opportunities and encouraging a strong link between the University and business, industry and the community. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, and a Board member of the Regional Australia Institute and Universities Australia.

Professor Mackenzie has held a number of senior positions at State and Federal level including Deputy Chair, Universities Australia DVC (Research) Committee; Co-Chair, Universities Australia Executive Women; Chair, NSW DVC (Research) Committee; Chair, RUN Research group; Chair, RUN Executive Women; Chair, Humanities and Creative Arts panel, Australian Research Council College of Experts; Chair, Queensland Selection Panel American/Australian Fulbright Commission, and was an executive member of the Council of Australian Law Deans.

Chris McDonald

Chris has experience in a range of leadership roles in government and academia. This includes executive and management level roles in regional and rural development, community development, and land use planning and infrastructure policy across 13 years with the State Government of Victoria. He has worked as a Policy Analyst in the Regional Development and Tourism Division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development since 2015, which includes management of the Territorial Review of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA), the National Territorial Review of Peru, contributing to the Monitoring of Sweden, and thematic projects on Indigenous economic development, and mining and regional development.

Chris’s undergraduate qualification is in urban planning and he has a PhD in regional development. He has published on these subjects in peer review journals, and has undertaken teaching and lecturing roles in public policy, regional development and economic geography including as an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Geography at Monash University. Chris also has experience as a consultant to the government and university sectors in Australia.

Professor John Tomaney

Professor John Tomaney helps governments and agencies in Europe and China understand questions about regional development. John, who is also a who is also a Professor at University College London, brings vital experience in building relationships between academic research and policy making.