Our people

Discover the exceptional individuals who contribute their expertise and leadership to the John Curtin Research Centre. Our people of dedicated professionals who guide the strategic direction of the JCRC, drawing on their diverse background in academia, public service and advocacy.

Meet our experts

Executive Director

Dr Nick Dyrenfurth

Nick is the author or editor of twelve books, including The Write Stuff: Voices of Unity on Labor’s Future (2020, with Misha Zelinsky), Getting the Blues: the Future of Australian Labor (2019), A Little History of the Australian Labor Party (2011, with Frank Bongiorno), Mateship: A Very Australian History (2015), ‘A powerful influence on Australian affairs’: A new history of the AWU (forthcoming, 2017), Heroes and Villains: the Rise and Fall of the Early Australian Labor Party (2011), All That’s Left: What Labor Should Stand For (2010, co-edited with Tim Soutphommasane), and Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System (2009, co-edited with Paul Strangio). A second, revised edition of A Little History of the Australian Labor Party is due for release in 2024. Nick is also a leading media commentator, having written for The Age, The Saturday Paper, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review, Herald-Sun, The West Australian, Daily Telegraph, Canberra Times, The New Daily and is a frequent contributor to The Monthly magazine. Previously he has worked as a Labor Party advisor and speechwriter as well as appearing as an expert commentator on television and radio. Nick is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the School of Historical Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, where he obtained a PhD in Australian history, as well as lecturing there for a number of years as well as at The University of Melbourne. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney between 2009-2011. Nick sits on the editorial boards of Labour History and Palgrave Macmillan Debates in Business History Series. Nick authored the JCRC policy reports, Make Australia Fair Again (2017), Super Ideas: Securing Australia’s Retirement Income System (2018), Rental Nation: A Plan for Secure Housing in Australia (2020) and discussion papers Curtin’s Wish: 7 big ideas for a better Australia (2018) and #Changethestats: a new way of talking about unemployment (2019). He also co-authored (with Adam Slonim) Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work (2019), Powerstate: Building Victoria’s Hydrogen Industry (with Dominic Meagher. 2020), Private Gain, Public Pain: Taking Stock of Privatisation, Outsourcing and Contracting Public Sector Work and Clean and Mean: New Directions for Australia’s steel industry (with Dominic, 2022) and Super Solutions: Tackling Australia’s Housing Affordability and Supply Crisis (also with Dominic, 2023) In his spare time, Nick enjoys writing children’s picture books, three of which have been published, and another title is in progress.

Deputy Director And Chief Economist

Dr Dominic Meagher

Dr Dominic Meagher was a visiting fellow at the Australia National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific and is executive director of the Australasia Strategy Group, which supports democratic open society by promoting nuanced understanding and intelligent responses to major risks in Australia’s region. Dominic holds a PhD in economics from the ANU where he was a Rio Tinto China Scholar and managed the China Economy Program. He has worked in and on China for 20 years, including at think tanks and research centres in Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Canberra. In October 2020, Dominic co-wrote the John Curtin Research Centre policy reports, Powerstate: Building Victoria’s Hydrogen Industry (with Nick Dyrenfurth) and Clean and Mean: New Directions for Australia’s Steel Industry (out in June 2022, also with Nick).


Dr Henry Pinskier

Henry is a medical doctor by training who now works in a business capacity in the private sector across both health and technology, including listed and unlisted companies. He currently chairs two technology companies and a medical services business. He has previously been a Director of the Alfred Hospital, The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority and Yarra Valley Water. He has also been a member of not-for-profit boards in the past including The Disability Housing Trust and Melbourne Youth Music. He is a past Williamson Community Leadership Fellow and was a member and Chair of the Victorian ALP Health and Community Services Policy Committee, a member of the ALP’s National Policy Committee and a former Vice President of the Victorian Branch of the ALP. He has also been a State Conference and National Conference delegate over many years. He is the son of migrants who survived the Second World War and who were able to migrate to Australia in 1950. Henry went through the public school system and won the Australian History prize at Melbourne High School.


Adam Slonim

Adam is the founder of Blended Learning Group which assists organisations with Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, Communicating with Purpose, and Sales Capability. Adam has coached over 235 Managers in EI and administered over 2900 EI 360 Surveys. Having been trained by the man who developed the winning pitch for the Sydney and Manchester Olympics, Adam also coaches businesses and teams on increasing their Pitching success rate, and coaches Public Speaking and Presentation Skills for Politicians, business people, community leaders and individuals. Blended Learning Group works with diverse companies and community organisations on building their Sales Capability and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership, and has trained the next generation of female Muslim leaders in Cultural and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for the Islamic Council of Victoria, undertaken Cultural Intelligence programs through Victoria University for Chinese lawyers seeking to engage with and do business in Australia, and trained community leaders through the Scanlon Foundation Summer School. Adam is Sales & Marketing Director of an Artificial Intelligence start-up Vestia.AI, which has won and developed products for the Australian Department of Defence. He co-authored the JCRC discussion paper on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work and co-edited a recently released public policy Q&A with the Australian Institute for Machine Learning and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Adam advises Israeli companies on doing business in Australia. He has led Innovation Missions to Israel to explore how organisations and Governments can innovate more effectively.


Sam Almaliki

Sam is an experienced and strategically-focused business leader and board director with expertise in leading and advising on strategy, commercialisation, change and growth. The product of public housing and public schooling, Sam is passionate about the power of practical ideas and policies to transform lives. It’s why he is proud to be involved in and contributing to the labour movement and the John Curtin Research Centre. Bold economic and social programs that deliver prosperity and opportunity for all is what drives Sam. With an industry-proven combination of skills in strategic planning, operational execution and relationship building, Sam is particularly enthusiastic about the role of start-ups and early stage businesses to change lives, drive prosperity and deliver societal benefit. Sam is currently co-founder and CEO of online conveyancer, Settle Easy and Head of Commercial at Acusensus, a world leader in road safety technology. He is also Chairperson of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust. Previously, he was the Head of Community Engagement and Diversity Council Secretary at Cricket Australia. The youngest ever appointee to the Cricket Australia leadership team in the organisation’s 100-year history, at just 24 Sam was handpicked to lead the nationwide community engagement function, tasked with growing cricket’s reach. Over a four-year period, Sam oversaw a period of significant growth to record levels of participation, sponsorship and engagement, as well as leading substantial organisational change. Sam has also served as Deputy Chairperson of the ABC Advisory Council and as a Commissioner on the Victorian Multicultural Commission.


Sam Almaliki

Gerard Dwyer
Jenny Hill
Dr Shireen Morris
Dr Henry Pinskier
Filomena Pifarretti
Adam Slonim

Advisory Council

Hon Morris Iemma | Former NSW Labor Premier

Hon Kim Carr | Former Labor Senator
Hon. Stephen Conroy| Former Labor Senator

Dr Mike Kelly | Former Labor MP
Hon Michelle Roberts MLA | Speaker, Parliament of Western Australia
Kosmos Samaras | Former Assistant Secretary, Victorian ALP, Director, Redbridge Group
Ari Suss | Executive Director, Linfox Private Group
Marcia Pinskier | NFP Advisory Services
Zosia Kilmartin | Lawyer

Geoff Fary | Former Assistant Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions
David Cragg/ Former Assistant Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall

Marina Chambers | Australian Workers Union, National President
Josh Peak |Secretary, SDA South Australia & Northern Territory

Lord Maurice Glasman | UK Labour Party
Jon Cruddas MP | UK Labour Party
Arnie Graf | Community Organiser, US
Simon Greer | Cambridge Heath Ventures, US

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