Board of Advisors

Nilss Olekalns

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Melbourne

Professor Nilss Olekalns received his Bachelor of Economics with Honours from the University of Adelaide in 1981, and then completed a Master of Economics at Australian National University in 1984. Later, he was awarded his Ph.D. in Macroeconomics from LaTrobe University in 1994, and began teaching macroeconomics at the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. Professor Olekalns has been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, a guest lecturer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and an invited lecturer for the Australian and New Zealand government. He has also published papers on a variety of macroeconomic topics which include fiscal and monetary policies, exchange rates, output and inflation volatility, and interest rates. His publications have appeared in The Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Macroeconomics, The Journal of International Money and Finance, The Southern Economic Journal, The Economic Record, as well as many other international journals. 

Margaret Abernethy

Department of Accounting, The University of Melbourne

Professor Margaret Abernethy is an expert in cost accounting, budgeting, performance management and compensation design. She has provided expert insight to both the public and private sector. Margaret returned to the Department of Accounting in mid-2012 after over eight years as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics. She currently holds a research position as the Sir Douglas Copland Chair of Commerce and the Chair of Managerial Accounting. As Dean she was instrumental in the implementation of the Melbourne Model and building the reputation and standing of the Faculty as the leading business and economics school in the region. Margaret is a leading researcher in her area of expertise as evidenced by numerous publications in the leading international accounting journals.  She has also served on a number of public sector boards, was a Commissioner for the City of Monash and has worked as a researcher and advisor in large public hospitals since 1985. Margaret has taught management and cost accounting in undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs. She was awarded the Telstra Business Woman of the Year (Government and Community) in 2008 for her outstanding contribution to higher education. In 2011 she was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. 

Jeff Borland

Truby Williams Professor of Economics, The University of Melbourne

Professor Jeff Borland's main research interests are analysis of the operation of labour markets in Australia, program and policy evaluation and design, Australian economic history, and sports economics. In 1997 he was awarded the Australian Academy of Social Sciences Medal for Excellence in Scholarship in the Social Sciences, and in 2002 was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. His current teaching is in the areas of microeconomics, sports economics, and Australian and world economic history. At University of Melbourne he has been a recipient of the Ed Brown University Teaching Prize and the Dean’s Award for Individual Teaching, and at Yale University he was awarded the Raymond Powell Prize for Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Economics. In 2007 he was awarded a Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. In 2010 he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University between 1996 and 1998, and has had visiting teaching positions at the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Sports Economics, and between 1998 and mid-2002 was Co-Editor and Editor of the Economic Record. He has acted as a consultant on labour market and microeconomics issues to organisations such as the OECD, IMF, ACCC, New Zealand Treasury, and Productivity Commission.

Qi Zeng

Senior Lecturer, Department of Finance, The University of Melbourne

Qi Zeng received his PhD from Finance Department, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 2003. His research interests include dynamic asset pricing models, asymmetric information models in asset pricing, and the application of corporate contracting in asset pricing. More recently he is also interested in the financial market in China. His publications appeared in Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, among others.

Zezan Tam

University of Melbourne Alumnus, Product Manager at Redbubble

Zezan Tam graduated from Balwyn High School in 2006, and began his higher education at the University of Melbourne in 2007 majoring in Actuarial Studies as a Bachelor of Commerce. In 2013, shortly after graduating, Zezan was the winner of Singularity University's Global Impact Competition. His achievement earned him a scholarship to a 10-week graduate studies course at Singularity University in Silicon Valley. In addition, Zezan has worked as an investment consulting intern for Towers Watson, an intern for the Australian Government Department of the Treasury, and as an associate consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. More recently, he has worked at RedBubble, a marketing startup, as a strategy manager, director of business development, and most recently product manager.