Gambling expert advisory group appointed

Gambling expert advisory group appointed

Media release — 30 May 2013

The Australian Institute of Family Studies, Director, Professor Alan Hayes AM today announced the appointment of an expert advisory group for the new Australian Gambling Research Centre, to help guide the Institute as it establishes Australia's new independent research centre on gambling.

The Australian Gambling Research Centre has been established at the Australian Institute of Family studies to gather robust evidence to inform policy to help address problem gambling.  The Centre will commence in July this year and is funded by the Australian Government.

Professor Hayes said the expert advisory group comprised members with a diverse range of experience relevant to gambling research, addiction, impacts on families and family breakdown, as well as community, industry and social policy perspectives.

The Group will assist Professor Hayes in setting the research agenda for the Centre, and building national research capacity to better understand gambling, including the harms of problem gambling.

“We also want to have input from a wide variety of groups that can assist with setting the research directions for the new Centre, making the Centre's priorities relevant to those who shape policy and deliver services across the country, and to highlight the harms associated with problem gambling,” said Professor Hayes.

“I am confident that the strategic advice I receive will position the Centre to keep pace with the changing face of gambling, and highlight the strategies needed to address the needs of problem gamblers, their families and communities.”

The members of the expert advisory group are:


Professor Richard Chisholm AM - Adjunct Professor at the ANU College of Law; retired Judge of the Family Court of Australia, with extensive experience in in legal and social policy research.


  • Professor Max Abbott - Director, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Professor Abbott is also the Pro Vice Chancellor, and has for the past 20 years been Dean of Health and Environmental Sciences at AUT.
  • Mr Ashley Gordon - Manager, NSW Aboriginal Safe Gambling Services, and an Aboriginal gambling research consultant for the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University.
  • Rev the Hon Professor Brian Howe AO - Professorial Associate in the Centre for Public Policy, Melbourne University and former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Professor Howe also chairs AIFS' Advisory Council.
  • Dr Ralph Lattimore - Assistant Commissioner, Productivity Commission. The Commission has produced two landmark reports from its inquiries into gambling in Australia - in 1999 and 2010.
  • Professor Alison McClelland - Professor McClelland is a part-time Commissioner with the Productivity Commission. She holds an adjunct professorial appointment at La Trobe University. She joins the expert advisory group in her private capacity and brings a wealth of expertise in social policy and research.
  • Ms Cheryl Vardon - Chief Executive, Australasian Gaming Council - a national association of gambling industry leaders with a charter to promote responsible gambling, gambling education, quality research and evidence-based policy.
  • Dr Mark Zirnsak - Joining the group in his private capacity, Dr Zirnsak is the Director of the Justice and International Mission Unit, Uniting Church in Australia Synod Office (Victoria & Tasmania), and the Uniting Church's representative on the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce.

The expert advisory group will also have representatives from Commonwealth and state/territory governments observing, and will meet 2-3 times a year.

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